Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A big move

For the past year I’ve been thinking seriously about renting a new space in the town I live in to start my own gallery. Even though I currently show in one of the established galleries in Sandpoint already, I’ve always felt that if the opportunity presented itself, I would set up my own solo gallery/studio in a different location.

Artworks Gallery in downtown Sandpoint is where I’ve sold my art locally for the past 4 years. The majority of my sales still are through the various art festivals I attend plus my own website, but it’s nice having a brick and mortar location to send people to view my work at. That’s the problem with Artworks. Because I am a consigning artist in that gallery (one of nearly 60 different artists) I’m only given a very small amount of wall space to display on. I’ve always had a problem selecting which new piece I should hang and which old one I should replace.

That’s when fate showed its face. I’ve casually put a bit of effort into finding my own space but being as busy and on the road as much as I am, I never found the right space at the right time. Well, that changed last week. Through another artist friend of mine, I heard about an already renovated space in the rear portion of the most prestigious art gallery in town. It’s a great location, right in the middle of down town. The owner of this gallery has been using this 1000 square feet of space for back storage but had always intended to expand the main gallery there in the future.

His decision to rent out this space instead of using it himself looks to be my good fortune. The problem with keeping open my own gallery/studio has always been my constant travel schedule. In order to make the gallery work I would need to hire employees to work it when I wasn’t in town. That was just not feasible. Because the two spaces adjoin each other, Jim, the owner of the galley I’m looking at has offered to handle any sales that I have when I’m not there in exchange for me watching his gallery occasionally when I’m in town. Perfect!!

An additional benefit is that he farms out custom printing of different editions for a few of the artist he already represents because he never wanted to invest in the wide format printers to handle these sporadic custom sales. I already have these printers and would be glad to supplement my income a bit by doing his printing for him. I love win-win situations.

So, after a few details are ironed out I’ll be moving my print studio into my own retail gallery. After it’s set up, I’ll be posting a bunch of photos here.

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