Friday, December 14, 2012

mixing business with pleasure

So far in my brief career as a painter, I have had the luxury of sending my work off to others and letting them tend to the business of sales. I began painting seriously about the same time that friends founded Gallery 24 here in Torrey, Utah, where I live, and they were kind enough to represent me. Over the years I have been with two other galleries in southern Utah. My production level has always been slow enough that I never had more pieces than the galleries could handle (not that everything sold!). In the last couple of years, however, as my style has become more consistent, my production has increased a bit, and I have begun to consider other ways to sell, either through a new gallery or through direct efforts.

I am still considering these options, and plan to investigate them actively after the holidays. In the meantime, though, the owners of Gallery 24 decided to retire and close the gallery. Chagrined by the idea of Torrey losing one of its two galleries, and by the thought of not having local representation, a small group of us artists who have been with the gallery decided to investigate the idea of keeping it open ourselves. The result is a six-partner agreement, about to be filed as a business with the state of Utah, and the organization of a new... well, organization. We are a friendly group, and so far are working well together. We each have different strengths and interests in terms of the business side of things, and so are sharing tasks as much as we are sharing ideas. It is both exciting and scary, to be in charge ourselves. If nothing else, it guarantees that 2013 will be an interesting year.

There is a lot to learn and experience, and while I know that it will be fun, at the same time it is not something I would have sought without the incentives of the specific situation. I am far more interested in creating than in selling (yes, I know, selling can be creative, but not in the same way!). On the other hand, if I intend to explore other options for marketing my work, the experience of being part owner (yikes!) of a gallery can only enhance my efforts. It is an opportunity for growth, in what I hope is a manageable way, and I hope that the experience will complement my efforts in the studio.

The latest of these efforts, above, is 16" x 16" x 2", as yet unnamed. I like it.

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