Happy 10th Anniversary Hunter-Wolff Gallery! It sounds strange to hear these words, because when I started on this journey I thought being in the art business for few years would be fun. There were so many unknowns at the time Hunter-Wolff Gallery opened its doors. With only corporate business experience, I felt like I landed in a “foreign country”. It was hard to think beyond what was important on any given day or week but I wanted to do something challenging and fun for a few years. Well, the fun kept coming and the challenges became less so.
Taking responsibility for my own business has been one of the most demanding, yet rewarding, endeavors in my life. This was a challenge that would affect so many people, an entire community. I knew from the start this is where I belonged. Ten years later, I still enjoy what I do, even on the less than perfect days.
Because Hunter-Wolff Gallery has represented as many as 40 artists in a given year, we made a lot of friends. Some artists come and some go; just like any other business. But I leave you with this reminder, do what you love, do it well, and the rewards will always be there for you.
Check out our monthly newsletters and learn about our featured artists and exhibits. Be sure to add to your calendar Friday, November 6 to meet dozens of fine artists and to help us celebrate this wonderful milestone.
Taking time to build an art collection that reflect your taste and fits your style is worth every effort. You have to explore and discover what you like about each piece you encounter.
The best place to start your search for fine art is at a reputable gallery. Galleries are specialists and have relationships with many artists working in many different styles. They know about trends and are eager to help. When working with a gallery, you will gain knowledge about the art you are drawn to from the gallery personnel. Even if you are accustomed to shopping online, take time to visit a gallery and give them a chance to show you what they offer and learn what they know about their artists. If you have a good experience, you know you are working with the right experts.
When you start working with an art gallery and they don’t respond to your needs, let them know you are disappointed in their service and move on to another gallery. Galleries don’t just sell art, they are there to share their expertise, to educate, to enlighten, to inspire, and to offer ideas and suggestions. At Hunter-Wolff Gallery, we believe our role is to offer our knowledge. The more our customers know about art, techniques, styles and options, the more satisfying the relationship.
We always suggest that when buying art–especially if you are unsure, ask if you can take a piece home before you commit. Take a day or two to live with your new piece and make sure it makes you feel good. Sometimes you need to see it in your own space and test it in your own lighting. Natural light and artificial light will make your piece look different and checking the effects of day and night light are equally important.
Tip: Be sure to write down measurements of your space or of pieces you want for the wall, shelves, tables, and niches. Your favorite gallery will be better able to help you when you have specific sizes and details about your space.
At Hunter-Wolff Gallery, you can expect our staff to always be helpful. If you need extra help, Hunter-Wolff Gallery can send an expert to your home to help with more complex projects.
Happy Art Hunting
Whether you are hungry or not, it’s hard to resist a sumptuous smorgasbord. Normally, Hunter-Wolff Gallery doesn’t serve food (except during ArtWalk) but you will find a tempting smorgasbord of art to sample.
Can’t decide what to sample first? With dozens of award-winning artists’ artwork to indulge in, expect a full course meal of art ranging from giftware to heirloom collectibles. Can you imagine dozens of chefs whipping up your smorgasbord? Visitors always find something appealing to their unique tastes. Soup to nuts, you can pick from a variety of two- and three-dimensional art confined to an area not much bigger than a volley ball court. In spite of limited space, the curator displays and interprets the gallery’s collections to help inform, educate and inspire every visitor.
Not familiar with Raku? Drusy? Burl? Then you are in for a treat, because the staff is prepared to share as much detail as you want and have handouts to help you learn more about the pieces you find interesting.
Hunter-Wolff Gallery has a dozen painters, each with their own unique style and appeal. Before stepping away from the buffet of paintings, consider the three-dimensional art made from wood, glass, bronze, clay and more. For extra sweet treats, the jewelry cases are filled with beautifully designed and fabricated silver pieces and necklaces, bracelets and earrings in colorful gemstones, pearls, etc., to satisfy today’s contemporary woman.
Hunter-Wolff Gallery has one extra bonus. No calories! And, when you can’t find what you want from this smorgasbord of delights, ask the staff to check its sources to find what you’re craving. Hunter-Wolff Gallery’s artists are happy to whip up a new recipe to satisfy your hunger for art. What are you craving?
Art-lovers collect art because of choice. Pieces collected can be priceless regardless of the monetary value. With every decision to select a piece from millions of options, collectors make the choice because it is special to them and represents that person. That is why caring for your collection properly is so important. It extends beyond maintaining the physical condition.
It is important to keep records and a collection history. This will be invaluable for insurance purposes in case of theft or a catastrophic event. At Hunter-Wolff Gallery we recommend documenting your collection history with individual folders or a binder with tabs for each item in your collection but the best option is to keep your data on a flash drive or some other backup device with the following details:
- color photographs of your artwork, with a full-view and close up details—front, back, framed, unframed. Photograph multiple views of three-dimensional art.
- purchase date, price, and title of work (receipt) from vendor or gallery
- artist/maker information (biography)
- detailed description of object’s subject matter or type of work
- dimensions—framed and unframed for two-dimensional works. Overall and base measurements for three-dimensional works.
- media and support data detailed description of object—include location of scratches, losses, dents, abrasions, etc., that may not be visible in photographs.
- copies of all conservation and appraisal reports, text of inscriptions, markings, and labels
- provenance – ownership history
- bibliographic information if your work is cited in any exhibition catalogues, auction catalogues, exhibition history.
Most of the information you need should be available on your sales receipt or available through the vendor or gallery. Take a few minutes today to update your list.
When we have great news about a new artist, it is simply impossible not to tell everyone we know. It’s like finding out you are having a baby. You just can’t keep it a secret.
This past January, I found Vicki Grant’s wonderful work in another gallery when I was vacationing in Florida. Remember her name because you will be seeing and hearing a lot about her and her work. Although we would love to have you meet her soon, it will likely be the fall when she can travel to Colorado. Keep checking our posts and website for information about her visit.
Where does she get such creative ideas? First, her background includes having studied Architecture at the University of Maryland School of Architecture. With more than 25 years experience as an architect and artist, she naturally creates a visual experience that engages the viewer both intellectually and emotionally. When you see her work in person, you will understand what this means. She says, she “always felt that the most amazing forms, structure, color and textures are found within nature and that exposure to these elements have been her inspiration and teacher”.
When she sits down to start a new work of art and her idea is in place, she transforms clay with her hands and tools to reflect the original conceptual thought. After firing the clay, oil pigments are hand applied, layer after layer, until the final patina of rich hues is achieved. She then embellishes her shapes with porcupine quills, fossils, stones, feathers, wood and shells. The results are always unique and truly engaging.
When you want something incredibly stimulating to add to your art collection, consider Vicki Grant’s colorful shapes on slate. Hunter-Wolff Gallery currently carries two sizes, 12×12 and 6×6. They are filled with surprises and textures inviting your touch.
Janelle Cox is Never Satisfied with The Status Quo and always brings new subject matter and fresh ideas to her canvas
How do you change status quo to get the most out of life? Do you look for new challenges? New adventures? Push the envelope a little?
In a recent conversation with a local Artist, he reminded me that he knows he isn’t improving or growing as an artist unless he brings new ideas to the forefront by challenging himself. He feels he isn’t doing his best work unless he sees improvement and the status quo never works for him. Ever.
In 1991, Ronald Regan said, “Status quo, you know, that is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.” If you don’t really like the “mess” you’re in, change it. Don’t settle for status quo.
I believe we all have the power to make change, to challenge ourselves, to improve our current state of affairs. I like to believe that collecting art is part of that process. It enriches our lives. It makes us see the world with different eyes and feel a closer connection to world we live in. Art transfers positive energy to our personal lives.
Case in point: After returning from being away for a period, I experienced with fresh eyes what visitors see when they walk through Hunter-Wolff Gallery’s door. It was reassuring to feel a much needed escape from the status quo and so much positive charge among our collections. I couldn’t have been more pleased to see new artwork that arrived while I as gone by Greg Custer, Janelle Cox, Fred Lunger and other dedicated artists.
It was a wonderful reminder that HWG continues to offer what is important and needed in our lives to stay uplifted and positive about the future. Stop in soon and see the new work now hanging by these fine artists–work that is always charged with energy, aesthetically appealing with a fresh contemporary flair and the perfect antidote for the status quo.
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow ~ Albert Einstein
Miniature Bronze Pike
Recently one of my kids asked my opinion about tiny homes on wheels, where the entire house is several hundred square feet (or less). I started laughing because I can’t seem to find enough room in my current home, which is substantially larger, for all my art. I am an art lover afterall and need space to enjoy it.
The small house movement (also known as the “tiny house movement”) is a popular description for the architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes. I love the idea but am not sure it works for me personally at this point in my life. For most art collectors this type of living could pose a problem, especially if you are an active collector and adding new works of art to your collection–to your living space.
One solution for the tiny home dweller is to continue to collect but go for those collectibles that are miniatures or smaller than the norm. For example Fred Lunger, a bronze sculptor at Hunter-Wolff Gallery, sculpts miniature bronzes that are typically between 2 inches and 5 inches in height or width. With miniatures, you often have a “miniature” price tag too! Hunter-Wolff Gallery has many options for ideal “small” art for those with limited space and want to continue collecting. Call 719-520-9494 or visit www.hunterwolffgallery.com for help with original art for your space.
My adult children often quote their Dad who wisely pointed out, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” — one of his favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson. He would urge our children and friends to enjoy life’s journey regardless of outcome even when they experienced a disappointment.
Collecting art is a journey too. Sometimes we are afraid of what we don’t know and don’t trust our instincts. As an art collector and gallery owner, I have often seen the look in someone’s eyes, even tears, when a special work of art triggers an emotion. But too often they walk away empty handed because of their lack of experience or understanding of a particular art form. They fail to experience the wonderful gift of art as part of their personal journey.
Like anything one does in life, it is important to be confident and trust ones instincts when considering art. A meaningful work of art in our life adds a new dimension to the person we can be. It connects us to the world we live in similar to other art forms such as a beautiful song or memorable stage performance or award-winning literature. These experiences make us who we are, a more fulfilled and interesting being.
How often have you purchased tickets for a show and walked out disappointed? Started a book everyone raved about, and put it down out of boredom? You might even purchase a piece of art that you are less than enchanted with later, but does that mean that you can’t enjoy art … or read another book or go to another performance? Taking tiny steps, on your journey of life, allows you to grow and smell the roses along the way. As you get more confident with your own tastes and spend a little time exploring what types of art speak to you, you will find the perfect gem to make your life sweeter.
Start today. Take a step toward the journey of collecting. It is fascinating and exciting. In closing, I share another Emerson quote that happens to be one of my favorites: “It is not the length of life, but the depth.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
The decision to approach a gallery for representation is followed by hard work and too often 7 common mistakes. Making these mistakes can create disappointment, waste time, impede financial opportunity and, more importantly, could permanently hurt the chance to secure the best representation for your work.
These few steps can increase chances for representation with a gallery. It may be surprising how many doors will open when following some simple guidelines. Just like applying for any job in the marketplace, one needs to be prepared and follow common etiquette. Don’t fall short on these areas:
- Appointment – First, visit a gallery in person. Study as much as possible about the gallery from their website or speak with some of the resident artists. Set up an appointment with the owner or hiring manager for discussion purposes. Never show up without an appointment if you want to be taken seriously.
- Follow-Up – Timing is always a factor. Follow-up with a second call if you are not successful the first time. After a call or meeting with a gallery, regardless of the outcome, be courteous and follow-up with a thank you for their time, words of encouragement or anything else that you took away from your meeting. Don’t be shy about asking if you can follow-up with the gallery in 3-6 months if you think it is a good match but maybe the timing is not right. It may not turnout the way you want but following up later may be the perfect time to be invited back.
- Answers – Like any job interview, be prepared to answer questions about your track record and demonstrate you are a reliable artist who is prepared to deliver what the gallery needs when they need it. They will want to know about your experience, sales history and commitment. Be ready to discuss how you might contribute to their bottom-line.
- Portfolio – Leave your work at home or in your car until you are asked for it. Deliver a portfolio of images of your best work and formatted in a binder and on a CD. The CD will be appreciated by the busy gallery owner. Label each image with a title, size, and medium and format large enough (4×5) to be clearly viewed. Busy galleries don’t have time to look at your life’s work; 15 examples are sufficient to determine a good fit. Keep it concise, consistent, informative and relevant and make it easy for review.
- Consistency – Each portfolio should exhibit a meaningful body of work. Illustrate your uniqueness, technique, style, and appeal, but be consistent. If you are an oil painter and excel at landscapes, showing pencil sketches of nudes or abstract watercolors because you enjoy that too aren’t necessarily helpful. Show only your most recent body of work and your best work. Include sold work to show you have a track record. Artists who work in different mediums should develop a portfolio based on one medium only. Create multiple portfolios but format each as a series of work based on only one medium. Be consistent–don’t confuse the gallery with your different styles and different mediums.
- Inventory – An artist with half a dozen pieces of work isn’t likely to be accepted into an active gallery. A viable partnership starts with a volume of work that allows galleries to swap out or replace work on a moment’s notice. Many successful artists have as many as 75 or more pieces in their inventory and are constantly creating fresh work. The gallery can’t sell what you don’t have. If you only create a few pieces a month, you may not be ready for a gallery relationship.
- Self-Esteem – Successful artists are confident in their artistic ability, marketability and the salability of their work. If you have a positive attitude, high self-esteem and confidence in your work, you will have a better chance to advance beyond your first meeting.
Lastly, for artists with a special talent, getting a foot in the gallery door should be the easiest step to an exciting career. There are many circumstances that may prevent an invitation initially; such as, timing, space availability, genre fit, etc. An unprepared artist, however, can turn a perfect opportunity into a disappointment. There is no short-cut to securing good representation. But, the artist who prepares has the best chance of enjoying a long and rewarding relationship with the best representatives for their work.
Tired of that black ring around your neck from sterling silver? Tarnish is natural when silver oxidizes but it can make a black mark on your skin. Good news for silver lovers who want their silver to stay shiny and not blacken. A brand called Argentium® Sterling is an alloy or mixture of silver containing 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper or other metals. Sterling silver is usually alloyed with copper to give it strength, durability and beauty. But sterling silver tarnishes and needs regular polishing to keep it from darkening or turning black.
Argentium® is a welcomed discovery by Peter Johns in 1996, a professor of silversmith at the Art and Design Research Institute (ADRI), School of Art & Design, Middlesex University in England. The project began in 1990 with research on the effects of germanium additions to silver alloys. Johns discovered that by reducing the copper content in traditional silver and adding germanium (discovered in Germany nearly 100 year earlier) to silver, it stays bright and beautiful. Can you imagine silver jewelry that rarely needs polishing? Argentium forms a clear oxide reducing the tarnishing and contains 92.5% silver and no nickel. If you love the look of shiny silver that only needs an occasional wipe with a soft cloth to remove a smudge or finger mark, look no further.
For thousands of years, we’ve worn sterling silver bracelets, earrings, cuffs, rings, and necklaces. This shimmery white metal can be worn day or night and is a very popular in everyday jewelry. Sterling silver jewelry is far more affordable than white gold or platinum. Hunter-Wolff Gallery offers Argentium sterling silver in designs by DKC Jewelry which are very durable and easy to clean. Even better, if you have a nickel allergy, you can wear sterling silver earrings and other pieces made with Argentium because there is no nickel. Made by hand in Colorado, Argentium sterling silver jewelry is designed for everyday wear.