Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another Gallery closes

In 2004, I had a painting exhibit in Prescott, AZ featuring my work created in Oaxaca, Mexico. While there I asked around for recommendations of gallery representation and was encouraged to make my way to Marshall Way, Scottsdale where the "best galleries" were. When I entered through the archway of Textures, I was intrigued, and my silk scarves were "just what they were looking for", I felt I had found my match. Indeed, business continued to thrive for several years. This piece was part of the show when I was a featured artist there for a March Art Walk (2006) Well, yesterday my work came back to me in the mail with 2 checks for work sold in May and August and one piece missing. I made the call to the gallery and was fortunate to be speaking with Shirley who was sparked by my work from the beginning. She was near tears as she reported how bad this past year has been...down 75%, 3 artists asking for representation to every customer through the door, and those customers "only looking" or buying the 12x12 of the 48x48 they would hope for. The gallery has been supported by sales on ebay of the antique jewelry they had acquired and then by estate pieces. How they pay the remaining accounts, of which my piece is in the pile, is a question. Resolutely, Shirley said they would do this. She said more than 10 galleries had closed "in the district" in Scottsdale and probably another 7 would be gone by September. This is a crisis for artists and gallery owners. How can we reach the .7% of the people who have all the money? Or must we go into service? Is selling on Ebay something to really consider? Gratefully our gallery in Montpelier, which I help to run with 5 others, owned by nobody, is able to balance its incoming/outgoing with careful considerations and a community of support of many years. Artisans Hand Gallery was again nominated for Top Retailer by Niche Magazine. We are committed to continuance and excellence.

4 comments:

Kelly said...

Hi Maggie,
We met at the Artist colony meet. Just found your blog! I should have guessed you'd be a fellow blogger. Good to have met you!

janetvanfleet said...

Sad story, Maggie. It's a bad economy. Art was never a good seller, and now it is going to be pretty hopeless for awhile, I fear...

Candy Barr said...

Hi Maggie, I too left my Scottsdale Gallery, they seem to still be in business as I write, but for last year they charged artists an "administration fee" of $200/month to remain, or they waive it if you sell over $2000/month. Sayonara

Maggie Neale said...

How did the art scene seem in Scottsdale this year? Art walks still? My gallery said the tourist just weren't coming and those that came didn't have money to buy.