Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

Is Art Your Magic Pill?

January 1, 2017 in Art,Art Gallery,Artists,Color,Colorado,Development,expressionistic impressionism,Hunter-Wolff Gallery,Paintings | Comments (0)

It’s human nature to want more out of life. We strive to make life more meaningful and fulfilled. Hundreds of books and articles have been written about what to eat and drink for a healthier life and what exercises build stronger bodies for a longer life. Most hope to find the secret to having a more rewarding and happier life with less stress; magicpilland if there was a magic pill to achieve these things, we would all take it. But there is no magic pill but there is Art, which adds to a more enhanced and joyful life.

 

 

cavedrawingHow? First, consider that Art has a long history and is here to stay.  Since the first cave man etched in stone some 35,000 years ago, man has used the power of art for purposes beyond creativity, self-expression, and communication. Understanding that one aspect of art is that it does not discriminate against anyone. It allows young children who have a limited vocabulary to express themselves without words and doesn’t care about ones education, successes, religion, color, sexual preferences or how much money is in your bank account.

Art today is not just for the super-wealthy but is available to anyone who is interested and desires how ones life is more joyful with art in it. Art is the magic pill for many. It is here for anyone to engage in, using ones own abilities and for anyone to enjoy.  It can serve as therapy and can heal broken lives and broken hearts. Art affects us all in different ways and with a little curiosity and exploration one can determine its value.

Through art, we can learn the meaning of the joy of work too. Creating art is work, like any other profession and the idea of good work, personal fulfillment and recognition serves our society favorably. Work is one of the noblest expressions of the human spirit, and art is the visible evidence of work carried to the highest possible level. Art is the best way to learn the value of work and appreciate workmanship. It is impossible to experience art without experiencing values of home and family, work and play, the individual and community, nature and the environment, war and peace, beauty and ugliness, pain and love.  Hunter-Wolff Gallery brings you art that you can experience and value in your own special way.  We look forward to learning how Art affects your life and and if it is your magic pill.

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Gallery Representation: A Strong Relationship

April 8, 2014 in Art,art education,Art Gallery,Artists,Development,Hunter-Wolff Gallery,Personal Development | Comments (0)

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WherepiritDaVinciAs an art gallery entrepreneur, artists frequently ask what I expect from an artist. Getting your foot in the door is one thing, but after representation is offered, the difficulty many artists have is staying on course with the gallery.  Too few artists understand that their long-term success in a gallery depends on one thing – “building a strong relationship”.

When two people come together, one business and one creative, the expectations need to be clear from the start for the relationship to thrive. Much like marriage where opposites attract, the relationship becomes an opportunity to learn from one another and appreciate each other’s strengths.  

Entrepreneurs assess opportunities and weigh the risks. They are planners and have financial goals. A new artist is a risk but their potential is important to the gallery’s goals.  Depending on the artist’s potential, the gallery determines how much time, money and display space to invest.  The artist gains an advantage when he/she comes to the table not only with potential but with commitment, personal goals, and core values that align with the gallery.

There isn’t anything more disappointing than having invested in an artist who decides to leave shortly after arrival because they decide to promote their work in a different way or do something else with their lives. Research also shows that the absentee artist and one-hit wonders are disappointments that make galleries cringe.  Galleries are also super cautious about artists who are capable, but show signs of limitations, are unreliable, change style frequently, or simply behave unprofessionally.

From a business perspective, I appreciate artists who have some knowledge of business and recognize what a successful business partnership involves. Those lacking business experience need to show a willingness to learn and accept the terms of their new relationship. Everyone values artists who understand their role in the partnership, even in times of hardship or adversity. The relationship can only blossom when players are cooperative.

After an artist lands a position in a gallery, he/she cannot assume everything is peachy because time has passed without major issues.  An artist needs to be attentive because the gallery is ALWAYS looking at the future if they want to be in the future.  Being a silent partner does not make a good partner.  Relationships will continue to advance when responsibility is shared. Communicate with your gallery and take time to ask how to make improvements. There are artists out there as qualified as you and ready to take your spot, and galleries are ALWAYS looking for opportunities to improve their future. 

Successful partners share prosperity and enjoy a rewarding, long-term relationship.  It’s not just about getting along, but showing mutual respect for what each brings to the table. Frequently gallery owners describe their ideal business relationships with artists like friendships. Personalities have to match. “It’s easy to love great art work but when personalities clash, a business relationship will never work.” It doesn’t have to be a love-fest but partners do have to get along and have respect for one another.

Here’s a few tips to keep your gallery happy and forge a relationship that will stand the test of time:

  • Become familiar with the gallery’s history, plans, and philosophy.
  • Get acquainted with all staff members and help educate your representatives about your technique and background.  Stories sell art!
  • Make promotion of your work easy for the gallery.  Provide quality images and full descriptions, videos, schedule live demonstrations, and keep up with the gallery’s social networks.
  • Stay engaged!  It only takes minutes to call or send a text message and keep communications open.
  • Be flexible about pricing and willing to work with the gallery to make sales. Do not let someone else’s advice convince you to increase your prices.  Trust your gallery; they have knowledge that can guide your strategic plans. An inappropriate price increase can push your prices too high resulting in lost sales. Be aware that it is far better to sell everything at reasonable prices than nothing at unreasonable prices.
  • Ask your gallery what they need for their clientele.  Never deliver new work without approval or push work that is not wanted.
  • Keep requests to a minimum and never make demands. Remember, you are not the business owner and the owner is responsible for the bottom-line.
  • Keep in contact without overdoing it.  Ask the gallery how often makes sense to “check-in” if you are unsure.  Some might want to communicate every week while other gallery owners are comfortable with once a month.

Stay positive and remember to recognize all the work your gallery does on your behalf. Send us tips that work for you too and they will  be shared in a follow-up post.

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Gallery Representation: Invited! Now What?

April 6, 2014 in Art,art education,Artists,Development,Hunter-Wolff Gallery | Comments (0)

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DonnaSharonHiFi2-1Congratulations, you have been invited to join other professional artists in an art gallery of your choosing! Now what? 

Now the hard work begins for you and the art gallery.  Working together your goal is to sell as much art as possible and to keep your new gallery family happy. After you signed your contract, delivered your body of work, and hi-fived, you probably thought, “I’ve done it!  I can go home and create artwork.”  Not so fast!  There’s a lot of work ahead; your job isn’t that simple.  Delivering work and waiting to collect your commissions is hardly a big step.  In fact, the big step is yet to come.

Building a strong business relationship is your most critical step and requires constant attention, commitment and desire. Rather than tell  artists how to build a relationship, I will share what Hunter-Wolff Gallery’s most successful artists do to keep the business relationship growing, the commission checks flowing and ensure long-term success.  It’s one of the most important lessons to being a successful artist. Your relationship with your gallery is a collaborative effort. The gallery  is your advocate so it is beneficial to build a strong relationship.  The top selling, highest in demand artists are the hardest working artists I know.  These artists are not only passionate and driven, they work long hours perfecting quality art  and never settling for mediocrity. They are planners, people with goals, have integrity, good communication (listening) skills, business acumen (open-minds),  good organizational skills, team players, and confidence. Aside from excellent creative skills, the one skill that stands out from the rest is business acumen.  They keep lines of communication open by taking the initiative to share information with their representatives — about what is planned and other relevant information.  They take the time to educate about their techniques and processes so information and value can be accurately shared with patrons.  They visit their representatives regularly to ensure gallery expectations are being met and needs are fulfilled.  They are honest with themselves, set egos aside, and change with economic and  market conditions. They ask how they can help.

A successful artist is accountable and takes action to correct issues when  warranted. They  manage their time,  creative energy and resources. They balance the time to produce art and to market it. They gather feedback to make better business decisions. Whether they enjoy the business aspects of the art world or not, they do those tasks responsibly to be a better team player. Successful artists are serious about business and understand how partnerships work and what benefits of collaboration are.  These are not artists who make demands but artists who delight in their shared success with business partners. They have learned the most important lesson:  with success comes responsibility!

To make a gallery-artist relationship strong and long lasting, is to understand the gallery’s role and accept the terms and conditions of your relationship. Hunter-Wolff Gallery offers consultative assistance. Take the next step to be a successful artist; call for availability 719-520-9494

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Gallery Representation: Getting Your Foot In The Door

April 2, 2014 in Art Gallery,Artists,Development,Hunter-Wolff Gallery,Personal Development,Teaching | Comments (0)

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HWGshowroomHow does an artist find the best gallery representation? … Not perfect but best?  Like any relationship, it will be more satisfying if you search for the best scenario and not expect perfection. As a gallery owner, I advise artists to think about finding a gallery like looking for a job.  It is more productive to identify a few potential galleries and determine if you are a good match, then working hard to make it happen. If you have a good body of work and are ready, take the next step to make contact.

Keep in mind before taking that step, however, that there will be a time when things don’t go exactly as planned. Like any career, if you work long enough you will experience some downs with the ups—and may have to endure a difficult boss (or gallery) for a brief period. But I believe that the majority of time, business dealings are positive and that goes for gallery relationships too. It is counterproductive to let a few bad experiences color your beliefs and attitudes about gallery relationships—especially those rumored.  Remember, dealing with an art gallery is a business relationship and it takes two to tango! As in all cases, there are always two sides to a story so don’t put much stock into the tales (gossip) from a third party.  Some people are very good at pointing fingers and blaming others when things don’t work out.

You will benefit by taking time to scope out a gallery quietly.  Visit their website, read their newsletters, attend their events, talk to their artists and visit to observe how the staff conducts business.  You will learn a ton of information just by observing.  You want the gallery to work for you and the gallery wants you to work for them. Would you work for a company that was short on integrity or had a poor reputation?  Of course not. Nor would a gallery want “to hire” someone without integrity or commitment. Make sure your prospects are a good fit and your art could benefit or contribute to the gallery. Don’t overlook the fact that a gallery has its own personality and it should fit with yours. Then call or write for a personal interview with the decision maker (gallery owner). If you can’t find information on the gallery’s website about how their submission process works, be sure to ask.  Never show up without an appointment.  Be respectful of the gallery’s business hours and the staff’s time.

To prepare for your interview, be sure to complete your due diligence ahead of time and stick to the schedule the gallery sets up for your meeting. Be professional, dress appropriately and take examples of your best work or portfolio.  The gallery will have a list of questions for you, so you too should be prepared with answers about your track record and your own questions about their processes and programs.

If and when you are invited to join a gallery, work hard to meet the gallery’s expectation and don’t forget to ask them “what can I do?” to help with sales and promotion.  Like any relationship, it takes two working together to achieve a long and rewarding experience.

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A New Journey

April 14, 2013 in Art,art education,Art Gallery,Artists,Development,Hunter-Wolff Gallery,Paintings,Personal Development,Teaching | Comments (0)

Prairie Storm, 9 x 12, by Pamela Poll

My late husband always said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”  — one of his favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson was a wise man and so was my husband.  He would urge our children and friends to enjoy life’s journey regardless of outcome when they experienced a disappointment or failure with this quote.  Collecting art is a journey too.  Sometimes we are afraid of what we don’t know and don’t trust our instincts.  As a gallery owner, I have often seen the look in someone’s eyes, even tears, when a special painting triggers an emotion, but because of their lack of experience or understanding of a particular art form they walk away empty handed. They fail to experience the wonderful gift of art as part of their journey.

Like anything we do in life, it is important to trust our instincts when thinking about art.  Including meaningful works of art in our life changes who we are.  It adds a new dimension to the person we can be.  It connects us to the world we live in similiar 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 fullfilled 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 months down the road, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy art … or reading another book or going to another performance?  We all make mistakes. Taking tiny steps, on your journey of life, allows you to grow and … smell the roses along the way. As you get more familiar with your own interests, 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.  Take a step toward the journey of collecting.  It is fastinating 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
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Call for Student Artists: Cash Awards to Top Winners

February 24, 2013 in Art,Art Gallery,Artists,Award,Colorado,Development,Events,Honors,Hunter-Wolff Gallery,Oils,Paintings,Teaching | Comments (0)

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How often is a gifted art student given the opportunity to compete for cash awards outside of school and show-off their talent in an art gallery? Hunter-Wolff Gallery is offering that opportunity this June. A juried art competition limited to student artists between the ages of 14 and 22 are invited to apply for this opportunity. There is no limitation on where a student lives.  There is a limit to the number of students, however, who will be selected. Eligible students must apply by registering before April 30. Do it today and start planning now!

The intent of this program is to provide art students with real-world experience, competing in a fine art gallery venue. With the help of a professional artist mentor, students will benefit by learning the do’s and don’ts of submitting art work in a juried competition.  All applicants must submit a non-refundable application fee of $5 with a complete Registration form to Hunter-Wolff Gallery, 2510 W. Colorado Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80904.

Cash awards for winners of Setting the Stage are generously provided by sponsors such as Colorado Springs Style Magazine, Rick Lien at Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Todd Crystal at Crystal Capital Advisors, Tony & Marcelline Cerato, Glaser Frames of Denver,  and other anonymous supporters. More than $2,000 will be awarded at the Awards Ceremony to top winners on Friday, June 7 and the exhibit closes on June 15.

Tell your gifted friends who love the thrill of a competition and chance to win serious cash awards! Registration and requirements can be found on the Hunter-Wolff Gallery website. Contact Hunter-Wolff Gallery at 719-520-9494 or hunterwolffgallery@gmail.com with questions if something isn’t clear.  We look forward to helping set the stage for gifted young students who are interested in a future in the art world.

Good luck to each creative applicant!  We are as excited as you will be on June 7!

 

 

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You Want to be a What?

January 10, 2013 in Art,Art Gallery,Colorado,Development,Events,Hunter-Wolff Gallery,Old Colorado City,Paintings,Personal Development,Small Business,Teaching | Comments (0)

When you own a business, you are likely approached by job-seekers at some point in the day or week or month.  If you are lucky, the job opportunities you offer are well defined and responsibilities are clear.  Then there are the jobs like “curator” that isn’t always well-defined and the job seeker can’t clearly define what they are experienced at or the value of their skills.

People want to work.  People needs jobs and people need purpose.  When I ask ‘Job-Seeking Joe’ to describe to me what he thinks a curator does, the reply is often met with a blank stare or the comment, “I can hang pictures.”  Well, I am here to tell you a curator does more than that and the following is just the beginning.

What is a gallery curator and his responsibility? The curator is the overseer of the gallery art collection and the key responsibilities at the top of the list are generally managing the acquisition of art, handling delivery/returns, developing short- and long-term exhibit plans, and displaying a collection in order to inform, educate and inspire the public as well as provide proper exposure for the artist. The specific needs of a curator can vary from gallery to gallery, resulting in an opportunity for the job seeker to develop his/her own responsibilities.

In smaller galleries, the curator may also handle public relations, marketing, fundraising, and events. Curators prepare and manage budgets, train and manage staff, and build relationships with both internal and external partners, clients, and stakeholders.

Sounds like the curator is a business owner? Sometimes the entrepreneurial owner is the curator. It is not unusual to find galleries managed single-handedly or with few staff or sales personnel.  It’s a challenge that takes many talents, business skills and a level of expertise, and experience grows with time.  I’ve been curating for seven years and few would want my job . . . and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

 

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