Mock interview with myself including questions people have asked me:
So how long have you been here?
I have been here three years this June.
How come I'm just hearing about you now?
Well, frankly, because I've chosen to slowly grow the gallery.
When I first signed the lease, I was facing significant life changing circumstances that demanded my attention. Had I reached out and begun to grow the gallery too fast, I would have hurt myself-physically hurt myself, and it would have impacted my family in a negative way.
I was happy with the (square) turtle's pace. I made some great connections during those slower times and found my way around the business side of things. I was incubating, creating experiences for myself to learn from and grow. I am a new gallery owner. I don't hide this from anyone. At some point, every gallery owner was a new gallery owner.
Since my involvement with LynnArts began four years ago, I have been lucky to work under Susan Halter, a very confident woman who has the fantastic ability to see both sides of things and wears an administrative hat well. I have seen Rep. Steve Walsh in action - how dedicated he is to the community, and how one person truly can make a huge difference. I also had the luck of exhibiting Donna Dodson's and Sand T's work - tireless women who I absolutely love, and who deserve credit for helping me get off the ground. Through Donna' salons and community building, I found inspiration to pull my feet out of the cement and keep going. Through Sand I learned more than I can articulate here. I am now ready to grow the business and that is why you are hearing about the gallery now.
But if I may, to those artists who showed up in the beginning, I am forever grateful to you. I follow their careers even if they don't know that I do, and I advocate for them whenever I can.
What was in the space before?
A latin music school.
So why did you open this gallery?
Isadora Duncan wrote in her autobiography, "I don't know why if a person wants to do a thing, they shouldn't" (paraphrased). I wanted to do it. I wanted to have creative control of an exhibit space to explore ideas. I love what I do. Being surrounded by ideas, and by people with ideas, and getting people together to talk about art, talk about life, is a passion.
I think it's important for artists to have a place to exhibit work that is comfortable and welcoming. This isn't the only welcoming gallery, it's another one. I think there should be more. That being said, I am not taking proposals right now and don't accept all of the work that is entered into the exhibits. I'm nice, but I am running a business.
"Don't mistake my kindness for blindness." - Arrested Development....
So are you an artist too?
Yes. I'm a photographer, and I work in fibers.
What are you working on now?
Right now I have ten years worth of photos that I am wading through. I've spent the past ten years learning about non-profit management, marketing, educating myself, and my art has taken a back seat from time to time - like now. I have some sketches for self-portrait work that I am working out in my head. They have to do with my hair. I'm also working with my husband on a series of photographs, but I'm keeping that project to myself for a bit. Check back with me. Right now my work time is focused on the current exhibit.
Another piece I've been working on for a while is a rug of all of the men in my family's pants. It's a conceptual piece.
Do you make money from this?
While I find this question kind of personal, I am asked quite a bit. The answer is no, I don't take a salary from the gallery, not yet. I have seen profits, but just about every penny I've made selling my own work, working as a consultant, gallery sales and fees, etc. has gone back into the gallery in one way or another. This past summer I used some money to send my kids to summer camp for a week. They deserved it. They had a blast. Some day, yes, I hope to be able to pay for my son's braces and get my husband a really, really nice gift... I figure the smarter I work, the more success the gallery artists will have, the better off we all are.
On that note, I think it's about time people start investing in real art work for their homes. Although I try to support local businesses as much as possible, I do love Target as much as the next person. I can buy diapers, a new bra, a bag of Doritos and a scooter at the same time- but if I hang something on a wall in my house- it's genuine, unless it's a print I buy directly from the artist. I'm proud of my collection and that I have contributed to other artists' pursuits. Buy original art from living artists. Monet doesn't see a dime of his calendar sales. That's my bumper sticker slogan for the day.
Is there anything I can do to help?
Yes. Spread the word. Trade an hour watching tv for an hour in a gallery- any gallery. It's usually free. And support your local artists and arts organizations.