OWCA Meeting Minutes May 29, 2013 KNOW-HOW: Galleries Choose Artists
May 29, 2013 // By:owca // No Comment
Those attending: Lily Ye, Katie Bretsch, Emily Lux and Orsen, Ikie Kressel, Shirley MacGregor, Kerri Evonuk, Carolyne Landon, Nancy Carr, Susan L. Russell, Tammy Wilson, Cynthia Mooney, Harriet Levi, Chris Brown, Karen Swallow
Three panelists: Martha Lee from Laura Russo Gallery
Merridawn Duckler from Blackfish Gallery
Gina Lane from Lane Art Gallery
1. Martha Lee: 14 years at Laura Russo. Had secretarial Degree, had been Administrative
Assistant. Been in Wall Street Banking. After Arlene Shnitzer’s Fountain Gallery closed,
Martha came to Laura Russo Gallery.
*Emphasis is on contemporary NW Artists.
*Rarely a day goes by when an Artist (represented by the gallery) doesn’t come in.
*Philosophy: Pro-active. She makes a lot of calls to collectors and institutions to
develop a strong broad audience. Has engaging clientele.
*Runs a professional business with attention to details. 50% take of sold work.
*Selection: Already booked through 2014.
Does get submissions but rarely accepts new artists.
Chooses works that resonate to her. Responds to high quality work. Looks at the
larger picture. Each artist is unique and special and needs to appeal to
Review Show of young artists/ funded by a Foundation Fund. 35 years or under.
New Views will be the First Thur. of June. Try these new artists out.
Looks for artists at PNCA/Lewis & Clark graduates; Milepost 5 for example.
*Promotes with public calls,/huge expense.
*Has considered Art Fairs but they are very expensive i.e. Seattle or San Fran.,
Had Fair in Miami in 2008. Have to make commitment 2 years in advance.
*Each artist represented shows each 18 months to 2 years.
2. Merridawn Duckler: Blackfish is oldest cooperative gallery – 35 years.
She is a writer/ play director in Alaska. Now doing conceptual art.
Ritual is her show First Thurs. June 6.
*30 members. Each must mount/ determine topic and install all the work.
*Selection: How many accepted and when, fluctuates. Applicant goes to the committee which goes through many opinionated artists.
* Portfolio: look for certain level of work and serious artists, willing to take on monthly meetings. Photos of work must be good.
* Hands-on approach and a lot of control are the benefits.
* First cut goes to all the members. Very diverse group =every attitude/genre.
Lots of discussions and opinions/ basket goes around for enough “Yeahs”.
*New artists considered as to their understanding of cooperative attitude.
*Core is still there + Barbara Black and Paul Missall. Like a family.
*Gravitate to seriousness of the art work – level of craft, not age or gender.
* Application can be all year. Takes months – about 3 months to get accepted.
* Five or six spots open in a year. Fluctuates.
*Recent MFA students pay less fee.
*Responsibilities: Gallery sit monthly/ Meetings to attend/ Exclusive Oregon.
Monthly fee= $85. Paid Gallery Director (few hours).
*Blackfish takes %age of sales. Not always sales, but brings people to the gallery.
3. Gila Lane: Was professional portrait photographer in LA. Does mixed media.
*Has moveable walls and provides area to hang her own art and create work.
*One year in present location. It has morphed. Gallery is Salon style with multiple
artists each month based on a theme. Example: Oregon Humane Society
benefited by promoting adoption of animals.
*Artists cooperate to hang and take down.
*First Friday Reception artist must be there. Free wine, Compote (her daughter’s
Enterprise at 21 and SE Clinton) donates food.
*Selection: Chooses art that she would hang in her own home.
Price point and work tailored to community and not tourists.
Not over $500 and not large in size as to accommodate multiple artists (9-15).
*Chooses cooperative artists. Those who are prolific. Finds artists at shows.
*Promotes on FB, mailings, postcards, community events, SE Examiner, Oregonian
Art Source, radio, posters.
*Has community and civic participation at music events, Division St. & Clinton
St. Fairs, neighborhood meetings.
*Likes to see art in person. Hears about from friends.
*Has a Website that explains how to show and apply.
*No fee to submit. Goes to artist website.
*First Friday. June 7, By the Sea.
1. Difference between Jurors and Curators.
Jurors choose the work. Curators choose the work and hang the show.
2. Body of Work. Do galleries look for consistency in work, so that it all looks like one artist?
In most Galleries, yes.
Blackfish, the work is consistent at first. Once you are in, they don’t care. Artists change
mediums and that is OK.
Laura Russo keeps pieces in the back of each artist, so clients can see different styles of work.
3. Do critics write about the shows? Sore spot for everyone. No dedicated Oregon writer
any longer. Only 2 stringers. DK not writing any more for art related events.
There are some Blogs. Art Media is in crisis. Not as visible in Portland.
Other cities have the same problem.
4. What to look for to fit in? Laura Russo has strong relations with museums (large and small). Publications/Collectors/ Curators, like at the Halli Ford Museum in Salem. Open communication. Contract.
Lane is person to person.
*Walk in to research.
*Use a resource. Talk to other artists.
*Don’t walk in with your work. Make submission on line or CD is easier.
*Look at Gallery websites.
*Make appointments, call or email to start conversation.
5. What is experience with Women in the Arts?
*Russo Gallery has equal representation by women. Has not detected bias from collectors.
* Museums traditionally have fewer women represented. Need to fill out COMMENT
CARD to express your opinion. Is a historical problem. In past more men were
Artists, but as it changes there will be more women in the more recent works.
5. How to become more Professional? How to help our members become more
Need to help build skills. Has to be framed right and well. Photos have to represent you
well. Resume should be strong.
6. Should one not show at churches, coffee houses? Will that not look good on the Resume?
Do work that is important to you.
If goal is to get into gallery, then too many coffee shop shows is not as favorable.
Real “red-flag” is if you go back and forth about the issue.
Depends on how ambitious you are.
Do you create for yourself or for an audience? (Readers- in case of a writer).
Doing service to an organization (i.e. OWCA) to attract Gallery Owners.
Having Juried shows will provide OWCA with more members and establish quality work.
Notes submitted by Karen Swallow, Programing Committee Chair and Board Member