I’ve talked a lot about what inspires me in my work and shared little stories about the things around me that I love and how they weave themselves into the art–the pink poppies, the ancient old house, the birds inside the kitchen here and outside our windows. But I haven’t really chatted a lot about art galleries and how important they are to me. Other artists may have a different view and that’s okay. For me, I am grateful for the people who, on a day-to-day basis, show my work, are happy to spend time in person and on the phone or email talking about the paintings, and look for new opportunities for ways to share the art–whether in a home or for a corporate collection.
Here’s something that perhaps you didn’t know: for six years my husband and I owned and managed an art gallery here on Bainbridge Island. It was really a wonderful time, just heavenly visiting other artists’ studios, talking art, hosting art, and just being around art all the time. When we first opened the gallery, our goal was to make our space as warm and welcoming as possible. Out went the carpeting, exposing a bare pock-marked cement floor that we had painted black for shine but nothing too glossy. We wanted a good looking, no fuss, no muss surface so that strollers, dogs, wheelchairs, spilled lattes, wine, and high heels could mix and mingle and not make a dent.
An artist friend painted the ceiling to look like a worn and vintagy sky–light blue with wisps of rolling clouds, a nod to the age-old brick buildings lining Seattle’s Pioneer Square and we hung a big chunky sparkly chandelier in the middle of it all–a soft and pretty contrast to the stark and modern white walls and exposed dark floors.
On a pedestal next to the desk–the built in desk being tall and discreetly tucked in the back so that visitors could wander around without feeling like they were being watched (eek!)–there was a big glass bowl filled to the brim with M&Ms. Who can resist M&Ms? (I know I couldn’t and had to discipline myself to stay away from the candy bowl.)
Our trusty and super friendly little pup “Poco” was the ultimate greeter–I think he probably was one of the top ten things that people took pictures of when they strolled along the island’s Main Street. He loved going to the gallery every day and would sit just to the side of the front door (always open rain or shine) and he’d watch the world go by, pose for photo ops, and wait for the his downtown doggie friends to make their rounds. (They had their own bowl of treats!)
The whole goal was to try to make the very fun and exciting time of falling in love with that special piece of work a great experience! We loved helping people and art find each other!
And that’s just how it is with the galleries that represent my paintings now. There’s a passion there and a knowledge of art and artists and process and history.
Recently, someone emailed me (thank you K!) with some inquiries about my work and about galleries because sometimes purchasing art and all the good questions one might have about a special piece can be a bit overwhelming–especially when buying long distance.
You might find a painting on my website and want to know more:
“Do the galleries ship paintings?”
“How to hang a painting?”
(Galleries can tell you what will work best for your walls and lighting.)
“How can I afford the work?”
(Just ask–galleries are happy to help!)
I love to hear from you. Thank you for your questions. Finding that special “forever” piece is a wonderful feeling!
Pacini Lubel Gallery, Seattle
Roby King Galleries, Bainbridge Island
MUSEO Gallery, Langley, Whidbey Island
for me galleries are essential.
I am lucky to have so many places to see a very broad range of artists from all different levels in there careers.
i have seen galleries move into an area and contribute to the revitalization of the neighborhood.
Seeing art in person is an essential experience for a visual person and there is so much out there to see.
I wish I could have see it! Sounds absolutely wonderful 🙂
Thank you, Kathe! I had not realized the extent to which galleries serve as dealers.