Monday, February 16, 2009

Inaugural Exhibition: Still Point I - Thoughts About the Exhibition

As visual artists, most of us bring something to stillness through our art. As a photographer, I am very aware that this is happening. Landscapes, skyscapes, flora, portraits, street photography...a photo captures a moment in time. Whatever is before me when I take a picture, whatever is happening in that moment...is caught and held still. With the slight movement of my finger and the audible click of the shutter, I feel the action of capture. What I capture with my camera and later print on paper is literally a moment frozen in time...a moment brought to stillness.

The same is true of artists who draw, paint, weave, or sculpt...working plein air or in the studio, creating realistic, impressionistic, or abstract pieces. The pencil scratches on the paper, the brush glides over the canvas, or the hands work with the clay. No matter the medium, the end result is a work of art through which something is brought to stillness.

Perhaps because our lives are so often in motion, the artist has learned that his or her joy and contentment are found in being aware at some level of bringing moments to stillness. Perhaps this is why an artist has no choice but to make art; that desire for joy and contentment is so strong. And why are so many drawn to look at art, enjoy it, own it, collect it? Can we say that both the artist and those drawn to art to enjoy it do so to seek and find the Still Point?

These are some of the thoughts behind the theme of this inaugural exhibition.

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
February 16, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Vision for Still Point Art Gallery

Recently I've had some online and offline conversations with people about what possibly makes Still Point Art Gallery unique and how I plan to promote the gallery to bring in both artists and buyers. Well, turns out, these two things are related.

E-commerce is a fact of today’s life. I personally do a lot of my shopping online. I make a point to support the shops in the small town in which I live when I buy clothes, jewelry, gourmet foods, gifts, and other items that are locally available. But I don't have time to travel to the big city to shop for items that I can't get nearby. So, I buy a lot of things online - photography equipment and supplies, shoes, vitamins, books. I also do my banking online, write checks online, and check online to see how little my mutual funds are worth on any given day. Now that I have an iphone, I can be practically anywhere to do these things.

Along with being a gallery owner, I am a fine art photographer (oh, and yes, I still have a day job). I show art fairly regularly in a few local galleries and have also had pieces exhibited in galleries outside of New England. Occasionally I sell a piece of art, and, like all artists, would love to sell more art. Could I or others sell more art by selling online? I’ve been to web marketing workshops for artists, and I've read a number of articles about the topic. (Check out http://www.emptyeasel.com.) It IS possible to sell art online! People are buying art online! Why not? People buy everything else online.

I have been wary of online galleries, especially the ones that sponsor thousands of artists and have what seem like millions of pieces of art, of varying levels of quality. I’m also wary of the online galleries (or any gallery) that make no mention of selling art, only showing the art. So,...

My plan at Still Point Art Gallery is to come as close as possible to the experience of visiting a physical gallery. We will not have thousands of artists online at once, nor will we have millions of art pieces accessible through a search engine. A relatively small number of artists will have their work online at any one time, and there will be space for artist statements and interviews. Viewers will be able to browse art pieces on uncluttered space.

My plan at Still Point Art Gallery is to showcase art that fits a particular theme or idea, rather than to showcase art in general. The idea is to attract both artists and buyers by that idea. This year we are holding three exhibitions - Still Point I, Dwellings, and Autumnal Colors. Is a generic online art gallery as likely to attract artists and buyers as an online art gallery showing an exhibition called "Autumnal Colors?" I would tend to gravitate toward the latter, at least initially.

My plan at Still Point Art Gallery is to think differently about marketing. An online gallery is going to require a different way to reach both artists and buyers. Who buys art? Well, interior designers, design consultants, art enthusiasts, artists, ...actually, everybody buys art. We're utilizing listservs, online publications for artists, social networking sites, contact lists, and online advertising. We also are not excluding print advertising. The goal is to circulate the name of the Gallery as widely as possible.

So, I think I've expressed the vision for my Gallery. I'm excited about this new adventure! I'm very excited about the wonderful art I will show and the great artists who will work with me!

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
February 13, 2009