Saturday, July 19, 2014

Finding the First Gallery

Since I have moved to Kenosha, I haven't really been able to find much of the art scene. However, a single search and Kenosha changed all together. Kenosha actually has a huge art community that is not only greatly adverse, but really close and connected. Events all over are always being held and hundreds, if not thousands, are gathering to be part of them.

One of the galleries in Kenosha as been established for 15 years, and it also happens to be a non-profit. Yes, a non-profit art gallery! This really blew my mind, and this one caught my interests big time. So to take what I learned, I decided to adventure to this gallery and see what the gallery was like. I decided I was going to go in and purchase a low dollar piece of art to see how the sales went, knowledge of the person that works there, and just get an over all feel of the gallery.

My first impression as I drove up to it, I was slightly put off. The neighborhood doesn't seem to be the art style, and it seemed to be very small. As I looked for a place to park, there wasn't even a parking space. I then remembered that this was a non-profit and that it wont have a budget for aesthetics that a for profit is able to do. Finding a parking spot on a side road, I then stepped into the gallery.

My second impression; Wow. The inside was so different than the world inside. The lighting was great, everything was well spaced and displayed, and was almost right away greeted by lady. I tried to hold my excitement back and was able to peel away from her just so I could walk around. She caught me lingering near some art longer than I was before and before I knew it we were talking. She was very sincere about the artwork, knew the artists as if they were relatives, and was able to explain the piece in a way the price no longer really mattered. That last part was the key. This was a $400 dollar piece that I really wanted, and I actually only wanted to spend up to $50, and if she was able to make me want to by that piece for $400 I was sure she would have no problem to do that for my work. Luckily, I didn't have enough money to buy it at that time, though, I have a feeling I will end up buying it in the future if it remains there for to long.

After talking, I finally broke into that I was a photographer looking to break into the gallery world and have also just recently moved to Kenosha. She was more than happy to discuss what is happening in Kenosha, how the gallery works, and gave me the grand tour. There was so much more than what you can see from the outside, it was incredible. She explained what the dues covered, what was expected, and what being a member to the gallery means. Before she was even through, I was eager to get home and fill out the application to have my prints reviewed to see if I would fit their gallery.

I then continued to walk through the gallery and see what type of art was there. There were about five or six other photographers that displayed their work there, however, none of them were close to my style. I also had a unique medium used for my prints; metal and glass. None of the other photographers used those and felt this gallery could benefit from my prints as much as I would benefit with joining them

Today, I dropped off my application and prints and now sit until I receive an e-mail on the decision. I have a feeling it will be approved as one of the artists there was willing by purchase the metal panorama print on the spot (the director said, "Wait until he's a member before you buy" and than laughed). Also, she was able to point me to a local framer which I now have doing a custom frame for the Milwaukee Skyline panorama. We are also working on a unique frame for the metal prints that are normally not framed!

milwaukee skyline art

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Into the Gallery

This will be a short and sweet blog, as I have just started the next adventure in my photography; Getting into an art gallery!

I now have 5 pieces at home that I feel are strong images and are ready to be put up into a gallery. After a bit of internet searching the last few days, I have found pretty much nothing beyond of:
  • Visit the gallery before you offer your images to be displayed in it
  • Learn how much the staff knows about art
  • Talk to other local artists on their experience with the gallery
Most of the articles found are all about setting up your online gallery, setting prices, and getting the word out. Last year I reached out to one local (Milwaukee area) retail shop that also sold photographs, and ended up getting the cold shoulder after one e-mail of them expressing they would be happy to sell my images. So now my photography concentration will be finding out how to get into a gallery and getting it set-up (and the special image requests). . 

I also found the following recommendation about the artwork when you submit it to be entered into a gallery:
  • Have the image framed or displayed the way they would be sold to the customer
  • Have your information and sale price already on the piece
    • Remember the gallery gets a cut out of the sale, so adjust the price to make sure the profit you desire is there
      • Don't sell a piece for $100 if the cost to make it is $80 (paper, time, frame, ect..) and the gallery's cut is 20%.  It only covers the cost to make it, leaving you with $0 for yourself and unable to move forward with additional product.
I will be keeping my blog updated as soon as I have learned something new, or have successfully put my photographs into a gallery.

Photograph taken on vacation while in South Carolina in early July 2014.

kenosha wisconsin art