October 23, 2007

Art Show Nostalgia...

Reading Rebecca Cromwell's recent blog entries have me tripping down memory lane once again. She has been visiting her gallery in Santa Fe where they presented an introductory show of her work and promised a full fledged show next October... signs that she is gathering no moss since signing on. That market is like no other... if you've got the product and a good gallery, you are in business!

Interesting to note is that Darnell Gallery is owned by the former director of Waxlander Gallery where I had a three year stint. My show was October, 2001... a great weather month. Sales, all during my association, were constant and the requests for more work came like a drum beat... long story short, I couldn't keep up. I was rushing my work and not liking what was happening to it or to me. I began slowing down with shipments to the gallery and wasn't surprised when a conversation ended with... it's been nice, but...

I'm sad about that... I think it says something about my inability to be as proficient as is expected of a professional artist. The competition is very keen in Santa Fe... so many galleries along one long street, plus many other really good ones all around the city. To keep their name up front there's a lot of expense involved which is shared by the artist... not unusual except that the numbers are much higher in this market than most. The process and expense of building and shipping crates is mind boggling and it didn't help when we moved to another state and gave up my freight guy who would come by the house to pick up when I called. Was never able to find the same fit in our new location which meant considerably more effort on our part.

Meanwhile, I was still trying to keep new inventory in my other galleries and finally had to make a choice... cut out all the SE gallery relationships I worked so hard to establish or quit Santa Fe. Looking to the future, I could see myself within driving distance of all my major galleries... no shipping necessary. I began letting the Santa Fe inventory slide and like I said, wasn't surprised when the call came.

All that said... I miss the drum beat, the excitement, the high rolling ride! Sales from all five of my SE galleries don't equal the one in Santa Fe. But the pace suits me... I can take my time... I can have a life outside the studio. The experience was like no other and am so glad I was part of the scene for at least a while. Good luck Rebecca... enjoy!

6 comments:

Rebecca Crowell said...

Oh you're talking about me! that's so nice. Although I've only just started, I have tasted the pace and the pressure in Santa Fe which you describe so well. After a very busy summer, I know that I have to set my own pace or go nuts. But--I don't mind long studio hours...I've just gotten an empty nest here and what else to do with myself? So far I'm keeping up and actually am quite a bit more relaxed about things than I was for awhile, when the wave first hit. It really is a different kind of art scene than I have dealt with before, but so far, so good. Thanks for the post and good wishes...and I sure got a lot of hits on my blog from yours today!

KJ said...

You're in a good place with an empty nest... should have no problem with the pace. Good to know we're being read, I keep forgetting to check my stats!

San said...

It's fun to read your post about your Santa Fe gallery experience, since I live in Santa Fe and have had a gallery here with my husband since 1993. I'm also a part-time painter and a person whose family is very important. I completely understand about the high expense of doing business here. Also the challenge of weighing one's priorities: What'll it be--perfecting one's art, sales, peace of mind, time with family, OR??? Sometimes all of these magically mesh. Other times, it's a magical mess. But it's always magic and for that I count myself blessed.

I enjoy your blog, Karen, and your art is wonderful.

KJ said...

Great to meet you, San... I doubt that there's an artist who has visited Santa Fe and not entertained the thought of moving there and maybe even... opening a gallery. And you are living the dream! I look forward to reading your blog and imagining what it would be like... good luck!

Walker said...

ah Karen - this brings back fond memories. I remember when I used to travel to SF all the time and I'd go take photos of your walls at Waxlander. And then we all gathered there for your show that year (whatever year it was). Sure wish I had time to travel like that again...
Robin

KJ said...

One of my fondest memories, Robin! Getting to meet many e-friends for the first time... we must make plans to travel again! Any reason will do!