It’s been an emotional and exhausting week.
As many may know, we announced the impending closure of the rek Gallery, scheduled at the end of March. Since that time, however, we have done some restructuring, reformulating, reimagining and re-dreaming. In doing so, we have come up with a model of running an art gallery which, we hope, will allow us to continue forward. If you are interested, please read on.
What Went Wrong?
The short, honest answer is, we ran out of operating money. Not only that but our channels for potentially acquiring more operating funds went dry. It’s the thing that kills so many startup companies before they can really get moving ahead. During this time, we also noticed a reduction in gallery visitors, which only made the problem worse. When that happens to a business, it usually means it’s time to increase your advertising but we didn’t have the budget to do so. Additionally, we were trying to move forward in obtaining a lighted exterior sign for the gallery and couldn’t do so with no funds. With the monthly bills piling up, all avenues were leading to us closing our doors. That’s what we regrettably decided to do.
None of us wanted to shut down so we began several hours of “what if” brainstorm sessions. We still had no funds available but we examined every way we could to keep the gallery open, keep the level of art quality high and try to make a profit. Eventually we began mapping out a new business model for the rek Gallery and ended up with something we think can keep us operating and be even better than what we were doing before. So we’re going to give it everything we can. The rek Gallery will survive at least a bit longer and maybe even more.
What’s Going To Be Different?
The rek Gallery will become more of an artist collective than simply a fine art gallery. This will have many benefits and affect the gallery in several ways. The main thing you will notice about the gallery itself will be in the curation. Before, we curated all of the art pieces. It’s how we worked to keep the art interesting and distinctive. We will now be shifting the duties of art curation to the artists themselves. We will jury the artists in the gallery, they will curate the art they show. The gallery will be set up to allow artists to show their art on specific walls or other areas of the gallery. For instance, all of my own work will now be located in my own “rek” section of the gallery. Each artist in the collective will have their own space for their own works to present how they wish. If they want to sell prints, small works or large pieces, it will be up to the artist. Additionally, the gallery will make its income from renting space so we will be able to take much less commission that what we were splitting with the artists before. This will allow all of the artists to offer smaller and more affordable works of art, which we all benefit from, and the gallery will still be able to pay our bills. The artists will be able to show and sell more art and they can bring in new works any time they want. It allows for more art, more new art and more affordable art to consistently be coming into the gallery. Artists didn’t have this much control in the gallery previously, so we think this will be a very welcome and transforming change to their experience. The art customers benefit tremendously as well.
The next major change is that the space which previously served as my on-site studio will become a classroom/workshop/lecture space available for any artist or organization to rent by the hour in order to teach classes, hold meetings, conduct workshops, have artist talks, etc. this space will be available for use by artists in the collective, but also by anyone in the community who needs space. Regular classes will be held in the space as well as single event workshops and whatever a creative person needs to use it for. This brings a new opportunity to serve the local community in advancing art and creativity.
Our “featured exhibition” space will remain just that and we will continue bringing in new featured works to inspire and challenge our patrons. However, this space will also be a way for artists in our collective to show more of their artworks and to feature pieces you may not have the opportunity to see in their regular gallery space.
What Do We Need?
At this point, we need your continued support. Please come see our current pop art exhibition if you haven’t, and purchase art if you can. The new transition at first will be a little bumpy but we do believe you are going to love the gallery in full bloom. You will recognize some of the artists in the collective but you will see some works you may have never seen before. You’ll also discover many new artists. We’re finally going to get that sign out in front of our gallery so the thousands of vehicles which pass in front of us every day will notice we are here! We’ll be sending out more postcards and newsletters so you can stay informed of what is happening at the gallery. Most of all, we need you to keep popping in to see art. There will be lots of new art to see, lots of more affordable art to add to your collection and lots of reasons to keep coming back. Please do so.
If you are an artist who would be interested in joining our collective, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Spaces are limited and are already going fast. Take advantage of the opportunity while you have it. In the next day or so, a form will be added to our website where you can apply for space. If you don’t want to wait, contact us at email@example.com to inquire about joining us.
If you are an artist or group in need of a regular space to teach a class or workshop, please contact us. We have the perfect place.
Thanks to everyone for being patient while we work out all of these kinks. We want to stay and serve the local art community and hope to create a gallery space we can all be proud of and inspired by.