On your mark, get ready, set, go! Sprint into 2017! We are racing into another creative year. Everyone including artists should take the time to turn around and look back at our experiences from 2016, figure out what went well and what went south. Time to analyze and make changes, if necessary, with your art activities or business! Think about the following…
I know of several artist co-ops, none directly in Bangor area, but in towns nearby. I am a member of Southwest Harbor Artisan Gallery in Southwest Harbor. When the giant cruise ships came chugging into MDI, there were days that 100 people or more came into our little shop! Accordingly, for an artist to become a member of an Art Co-Op, the artist submits and application with images of work. January is the time when these co-ops are seeking artists! Usually, there is a limited number of full “memberships” offered at each co-op. After the application, artists are “juried” or voted into the gallery by the other members. Some co-ops have an interview with a presentation of work, when members can ask questions to the perspective artist. Joining requires a membership fee, plus a percentage is taken by the gallery when a piece of art sells; anywhere between 35% to 15%. Also, at co-ops, the members must staff the shop. That is the artist members are required to work a certain number of days as the cashier/person running the gallery. These days can be as few as 1-2-3 or as many as 15.
When you get selected to be in a co-op, people have to decide four things:
- How far is the co-op from where you live? What will the commute be like when you work? Will you have to stay over-night somewhere to work consecutive days? ( the commute for me to SWH from Orono 1 hour and 15 min non summer!)
- How Many days are you required to work in the shop?
- Does your art “fit” with the rest of the items offered? (think of number and types of jewelry makers, or painters, that are represented, etc)
- How expensive is the membership fee? Then compare this fee with the prices of your pieces and try to figure how much you would need to sell to make it worthwhile.
Here is a list of a few Artist co-ops that I know. All are seasonal, during the winter they are closed.Please share more Co-Ops in the comment section! Southwest Harbor Artisan Gallery, Southwest Harbor, 207-244-5107; Art Space, Rockland, 207-594-8784; Saltwater Gallery, New Harbor, 207-832-6657;Eastport Gallery/Eastport Arts Center, Eastport, 2017-853-4166 or www.eastportartscenter.org
A member gallery is one that artist can join for a smaller yearly fee, (between $30 -$70 per year). Plus, this type of gallery holds different exhibits throughout the year and artists pay an entrance fee for each show;(higher fees for non-members). A higher percentage of art sales is charged by these member galleries, about 35%. These shows are juried and there is a limited amount of work a person can submit, usually 1-3 pieces. Normally, each gallery holds a members’ show every year and there are no entrance fees charged for these! Members’ galleries do not require mandatory work days, but they do ask for volunteers to help hang art, etc. I am currently, in the “Black and White Show” at the River Arts Gallery in Damariscotta. My two 6″ x 6″ oil paintings done on sterling silver enameled birch cradled panels are for sale there! (seen below)
Here’s a list of member galleries nearby, and please if anyone knows another please share!!! Harlow Gallery, Hallowell, www.harlowgallery.org; River Arts Gallery, Damariscotta, www.riverartsme.org ; Boothbay Region Arts Foundation, Boothbay Harbor, www.boothbayartists.org; Lighthouse Arts Center, Bucksport, www.lighthouseartscenter.com
Privately owned Galleries
These galleries are numerous and several are in Bangor! The Sohn’s Gallery in the Rock & Art Shop, 36 Central St, a family business run by Annette and Chris Dodd. Annette is the talented artist who painted the mural of the vintage postcard of Bangor on the corner of Hammond and Main Street! They have shows periodically through out the year. Currently, they are holding a bird themed silent art auction for charity! Here are my entries:
I will discuss other Bangor galleries and galleries located in nearby towns for another blog edition.
Therefore it is prudent, to gather all the facts from galleries, co-ops and member galleries. Plan where you will place your art from this information this month! I will explain museum shows, art festivals and paint-outs in future blogs so tune in next week!!!
Lastly, we were ecstatic to attend a joyous event this evening; witnessing the matrimony of my husband’s twin brother in Waterville. For their wedding gift, we gave Ron and Liza my painting of a special secret spot deep in the wilderness north of the Forks on Spencer Lake. Many memories were made and treasured there. Our family is deeply grateful for the generosity of one dear man, Doc Marshall, who took us there and shared his paradise. Happy life to Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Joseph and their son Matt!