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Wednesday, November 3

A New Gallery, an Old Friend

Some years ago I met a woman who was in charge of organizing an art show at a suburban art and nature center. We didn't know each other before, but somehow over the course of participating in the show over a period of a few years we became friendly. That's how it often is in this business. We are connected through art and commerce. We "get" each other.

So, anyway, the little show was a delight to do and many established artists adopted it. Then, one year, a whole new crew was in charge and she was elsewhere. I spoke to her after that and expressed what so many artists had said. That she had made the show what it was and her loss would end the show. And it did.

She went on to bigger and better things. An accomplished collage artist herself, she went on to manage another gallery, a gift shop, she moved on. She visited many of the art shows I do and we always were happy to see each other and she almost always bought something from me.

This Summer she wrote and said she had opened her own gallery and would I be part of it? I was thrilled to be asked. Then all that other stuff happened, so I was late to the party, but I got things made and Russell and I went there to drop them off.

What a delight. She had opened up the rooms in what had been a fairly typical suburban box house. There were "shutters" made of glass with painted panels, a door with a mural, a crayon box of colors highlighting the exterior. Shiny, buttery wooden floors, sunlight through unadorned windows, clean, bright spaces for hung work. I was proud to be part of it.

Not all these venues are run very professionally. Art and commerce can mix but it is often a struggle. Not this time. We have spread sheets and updates and accountability. Yowza! :)

She sent an update a few days ago with news and a list of who would be getting checks this week and I was one of the lucky ones. That was nice to see and it made me think again about putting more of my things in shops and galleries.

Problem is, I don't know exactly how to do it. I am reluctant to approach the owners of these places. Like I'm suddenly shy or something? The funny part is that they have already approached me, usually during my busiest art shows...with a card and a number to call and compliments about my work. I know. So what is the problem? Beats me. Russell says he'll be my "agent" and reconnect with these folk, but he gets busy, too.

And I think how nice it would be to get not just one check this month, but 10. That adds up! Yes, I know this is only a revelation to me. I'm going to work on it. Really.

For now I am going to enjoy my one gallery, take pleasure in my one check.

Because it comes from someone who never stopped believing in her art and the art of her colleagues. Someone who has supported my small efforts with praise and purchase.

And the name of the place is just so perfect for my life right now:

Go. Look. Schmooze. Buy. Say Hi to Paulette. Tell her Pat sent you.

1 comment:

Charlotte Besaw said...

Wow, Pat, I read your previous post and tears came to my eyes. You are so very brave and so fortunate to have so many who love you so. Don't be shy about your work! I have my stuff(mittens, hats, and scarves made from recycled sweaters) in 10 stores now, and all it took was a big deep breath and a phone call. Obviously, if you cannot be stopped by the "big C", there is not much out there that could stop you! Boy, just when I think I've got it rough, a wonderful someone like you comes along and makes me count my blessings! Thank you for sharing this with all of us. And keep on keepin on, sista!