Check Out Highlights from Artexpo NY p. 30
TOP 40 ARTISTS TO WATCH
THINGS TO KNOW
Before Signing a Studio Lease
Art’s Role in the
TECH REVOLUTION: Artist-in-Residence Programs at Silicon Valley Companies
Business Tips and Tricks from Pease Pedestals
Use Daily-Deal Sites to Attract New Customers Framing Industry Innovations
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A Song in the Heaven Acrylic on canvas 39”x59” 2015
Ginger Anne Sandell
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WHERE HIGH ART MEETS HIGH-TECH
Artist-in-residence programs at tech companies spark innovation
BY MELISSA HART
ARTEXPO RECAP Highlights from this year’s Artexpo New York
BY LINDA MARIANO
A profile of a unique pediatrician turned impressionist painter
INSIDE THE FRAME
News and notes from the art world Art teacher Melanie Blood talks about inspiring young people BY MEREDITH QUINN
20 CANVASSING THE LAW Things to know when signing your art studio lease
T OP 40 ARTISTS TO WATCH
ABN honors our favorite artists of the moment
PERSPECTIVES BY ERIC SMITH
BY JACK HAMANN
COLUMNS & DEPTS.
BY AL A N E . K AT Z
P OWER OF THE PIN
BY L A N C E E VA N S
Using Pinterest to drive sales
Check out the DECOR section on p. 55. On the Cover: “Brimming,” Patricia Coulter. This page: “Sea 2,” Inam 4
PERSPECTIVES SUMMER’S INSPIRATION
hh, summer! As the mid-year months beckon, life has a certain ease to it, an air of lazy enjoyment that—no matter how busy our days are with work, graduations, or maybe even a move—compels us to make time for poolside barbecues, trips to the beach, and family vacations. Summer also means a multitude of industry events, although that wasn’t always the case. Not too long ago, the art and framing business was a seasonal industry, with trade shows only cropping up in the spring and fall. Not anymore! Industry happenings take place year-round, as technology pushes the industry forward at hyper-speed and there is a prevalent desire to keep up with the proverbial Joneses. So what’s an art-and-framing retailer to do? Stay on your toes. Break out of your day-to-day routine and get out and about. Take a day or two away from your gallery or frame shop to attend an industry event you’ve never attended before, or take a class on something you’ve always been interested in learning. The only way to expand your horizons (not to mention the reach of your business) is to remain open to inspiration. Get out of your comfort zone and you’ll be surprised at the short-term and longterm rewards. Continuing to learn new skills, meet new people, and see art and design with a fresh set of eyes can only be beneficial. Not only will it help keep you abreast of industry trends, but it could also put you in a position to become a trendsetter yourself. Speaking of trendsetters, make sure to check out our Top 40 Artists to Watch list on page 40. This issue also explores some fantastic artist-in-residence programs at tech companies (see page 24), and offers tips on how to negotiate an art studio lease (see page 20). In your travels this summer, be sure to check out ArtHamptons in Bridgehampton, New York, July 2-5, and ART Santa Fe, July 9-12. The biggest event on our calendar is DECOR Expo Atlanta in September, featuring free classes and seminars for all attendees. Our other upcoming shows are ART SAN DIEGO in November, SPECTRUM Miami in December, and our newest addition to the lineup, ART COACHELLA, in March 2016. Then we’ll be right back to Artexpo New York come next April. It’s a busy year to come, and one that we couldn’t be more excited about. Enjoy the summer sunshine,
Summer 2015 Phone: 800-768-6020 Email: email@example.com Web: artbusinessnews.com CEO/Publisher Eric Smith Editor-in-Chief Megan Kaplon Managing Editor Linda Mariano Copy Editors Nina Benjamin, Fran Granville Contributors Lance Evans, Jack Hamann, Melissa Hart, Alan E. Katz, Meredith Quinn Editorial inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director Mike O’Leary Graphic Designer Lizz Anderson Advertising Rick Barnett Managing Director, Exhibitions & Media Sales Email: email@example.com Phone: 831-747-0112 Ashley Tedesco Director of Media Marketing Sales, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 831-970-5611 Rosana Rader Director of Sales & Exhibitions Email: email@example.com Phone: 831-840-4444 Operations and Finance Finance Director Geoff Fox Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Administration Laura Finamore Email: email@example.com Subscriptions Subscriptions to Art Business News are available to U.S. subscribers for $20 for one year (4 issues). Call 855-881-5861 or visit us online at artbusinessnews.com. Art Business News is published four times per year by Madavor Media. The name “Art Business News” is a registered trademark of Redwood Media Group. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form whatsoever without express written consent of publisher. SUMMER 2015
Copyright © 2015
A DV E R T O R I A L
ENitsua Fine Art (by artist Katherine Austin), is a gallery of original fine artwork by artist Katherine Austin. Katherine’s artwork is based on the use of vibrant, bold tonality as a way to create a sense of urgency and immediacy. Self-taught, she is drawn to the works of Picasso and Chagall. Her abstract realist style captures the viewer, leaving the works open to individual interpretation. Katherine’s abstract realism and hidden objects in her paintings garnered her The People’s Choice Award at the Temecula Valley Art Competition as a first time entry and contracted term representation at Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in New York, among other notable accolades. Katherine’s artwork gives her the platform to express herself in a unique way, which links people from different backgrounds together. The link that her art creates gives her a sense of fulfillment to the path that she believes God has given her, which is to bring people together whether they come from a world of art, a world of faith, or various other backgrounds. Her creativity has allowed her to partner with various charities, such as Doctors Without Borders, Art With No Borders, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital to name a few. The youngest of 12, Katherine Austin is a Midwestern girl of Cherokee and American decent. A child of the 70s, Katherine was highly influenced by the vibrant, bold prints and colors of the era. She began seriously painting while still in elementary school at the encouragement of a neighbor. Never formally trained, Katherine went on to pursue an education in psychology, but never abandon her first love. Throughout the years her art has evolved with one consistent aspect—her love of color and spirituality. Katherine currently splits her time between South Korea, Europe and the United Sates where she enjoys fine cuisine and travel to gain inspiration for her latest works.
For 2015-2016, Katherine will participate in a US national tour, including Art San Diego, November 5-8; SPECTRUM Miami, December 2-5; and Artexpo New York, April 14-17 2016. Katherine’s will also exhibit her works in an international tour to include Dubai, London, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Switzerland. For more information on Katherine Austin, her artwork and events, please visit www.enitsuafineart.co ENitsua Foundation for the Arts
CONTRIBUTORS Jack Hamann is a
Alan E. Katz is a part-
writer and documen-
ner in the New York
tary producer. He is the
City law firm Greenfield
author of On American
Stein & Senior, LLP,
Soil and a frequent
where he specializes in
contributor to The
art law, real estate law,
and software licensing.
Lance Evans' art world
Eugene, Oregon, writer
Meredith Quinn is a
life began as a New
and teacher Melissa
York art student. He
Hart is the author of
and editor and a
has now written reviews
Wild Within: How
graduate of New
for the New York Times,
Rescuing Owls Inspired
York Universityâ€™s jour-
NBC, and other media
a Family (Lyons, 2014).
and been a master
Her website is
printer for artists like
ErtĂŠ and McKnight.
â€œI believe the purpose of my work is to bring peace and serenity into a world where chaos has become the norm.â€?
www.louisecutlerstudio.com 719 213 3115
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Thomas Frontini Website:ThomasFrontini.com E-mail: Thomas@ThomasFrontini.com
Lone Boulder, Oil on Panel, 12” x 16”
INSIDE THE FRAME
Experience the Summer of Color
“Eden’s Love,” by Stephanie Paige, mixed-media “Seaside,” by Suzanne Wallace Mears, kiln-formed glass vessel Both to be featured in Pippin Contemporary’s exhibition The Art and Soul of Color, which takes place June 17 through July 1.
NEW APP FOR GALLERY OWNERS A NEW APP from developer MEA Mobile allows artists and gallery owners to easily show clients what a piece would look like in their home or business. The app, iArtView, superimposes a piece of art onto a photograph of a wall space, showing a to-scale version of the art in a client’s space. This app saves gallery owners from manually scaling and positioning the artwork on a photo of their clients’ residences or businesses. The app can change the lighting, perspective, framing, and color of the wall for an optimal viewing experience.
Galleries can also create their own branded apps, which clients can download from the iTunes App Store. The app allows clients to browse the gallery’s collection, photograph various wall spaces in their homes or businesses, and try out many pieces in different rooms before deciding to purchase the art.
Pasternak Named Brooklyn Art Museum Director
Javier Gonzales, the mayor of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has dubbed summer 2015 the Summer of Color. The arts-andculture initiative will feature museum and gallery exhibitions that explore colors and their role in design. Six Museum Hill institutions will feature exhibitions correlating with a color: turquoise at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, red at the Museum of International Folk Art, indigo at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts, silver at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, orange at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, and green at the International Folk Art Market. A few miles north in downtown Santa Fe, the New Mexico History Museum, New Mexico Museum of Art, and Georgia O’Keeffe Museum will also feature Summer of Color-themed programs. More than 75 other galleries and restaurants have also joined the fun. Rainbow-colored cocktails, dinner shows, and menus are just a few attractions that visitors can expect. For a calendar of events and a full listing of participating galleries, events, and restaurants, visit summerofcolorsantafe.org.
The Brooklyn Art Museum recently tapped Anne Pasternak to be its next director. Pasternak previously served as the leader of Creative Time, an arts organization that hosts free arts events in New York City. Pasternak, who holds a master’s degree in art history from Hunter College, will take over for Arnold L. Lehman, who retired in June after nearly 18 years at the helm.
A DV E R TO R I A L
Daniel Marin Daniel Marin is a Spanish-German artist whose biography is full of interesting circumstances and experiences that can clearly be seen in the way he expresses himself through his paintings. Born in Wolffenbüttel, Lower Saxony, Germany, Daniel’s parents were Spanish immigrants fleeing from General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship after the Spanish Civil War. Being German born but raised with Spanish values, he had somewhat of a double identity and a strong desire to someday return to the country of his ancestors. He started painting at the age of 16 when he received a painting kit and an instruction book as a gift. It was the beginning of a long career. Daniel remembers being completely absorbed by painting and loved expressing his feelings, fears, thoughts, and anxieties with his brushstrokes and mixtures of colors. A year later, with Spanish democracy well established, Daniel and his family returned to Spain. They settled in the Murcia province, on the Mediterranean coast of southeastern Spain. Adaptation to the new country was difficult; Daniel had no acquaintances, and the country was very different from what he knew before. Nonetheless, the new climate and atmosphere, the local traditions, the outdoor life, and the vibrant pace of a Mediterranean city were inspiring for Daniel’s personal development. He alternated the cultural life of the city with his home in the tiny town of Casillas where he painted surrounded by the typical lemon trees of the region. The region exposed Daniel to a rich cultural heritage and history: Arabic castles and baths, Gothic cathedrals, hundreds of Baroque churches and palaces, and the Ancient Roman monuments of Cartagena. Classical culture inspired Daniel with the mythological figures of the muses— providing youth and beauty for his artistic creativity. After obtaining his degree in English from the University of Murcia, Daniel studied Gemology at the University of Barcelona. His large collection of minerals and fossils not only satisfied his curiosities about the history and soul the Earth, but also gave Daniel a spiritual meaning. In the artist’s own words: “Amethyst transmutes negative energy and emerald awards power.” His unsatisfied desire for new experiences
and spirituality took Daniel to the jungles of Brazil to find minerals. Throughout all of his studies and adventures, he never abandoned the task of painting with whatever he could found, frequently using minerals in his compositions. After a period of figurative painting, Daniel chose an abstract style as the best way to express his complex inner world and mystical feelings. Daniel’s search for spirituality made him explore different religions—including Judaism, Christianity and Islam—and those explorations have inspired many of his paintings. His will to become familiar with other religions made him spend a period in India to know directly other forms of spirituality through the Hindu religion. More recently, the artist has found in alchemy a source of inspiration, and he is currently preparing a collection on the subject. With a long history that goes back to Ancient Greece, alchemy combines Daniel’s interest in minerals, gems, and spirituality. Because one of the most important requisites for an alchemist is to create a philosopher’s stone that guarantees youth, revitalization, and purity of spirit, alchemy might be considered a universal religion. Daniel’s goal is similar to an alchemist, since he tries to spread his knowledge and search for spirituality through an abstract style of painting based on the same minerals that ancient alchemists used to create the philosopher’s stone.
Daniel’s paintings have been compared with some of the 20th century’s most prominent artists including Gorki, Pollock, Twombly, and Jasper Johns. Nonetheless, Daniel’s art is genuine and unique; his paintings portray a wide array of experiences, interests, and feelings as complex as Daniel’s life path has been. Daniel has had exhibitions all over the world—in Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Venice, Salvador de Bahia (Brazil), Belgrade, Stuttgart, and many other cities. In April 2014, Daniel exhibited his work in the United States for the first time at Artexpo New York, selling 29 original paintings. He then had a solo exhibition in the penthouse of New York’s Trump World Tower. In just 10 days, he sold all 111 original paintings he had brought to New York, taking no paintings back to Spain. Tatyana Enkin is his exclusive representative for his large format originals in the United States, helping Daniel create great success in the American market. The Ai Bo Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut, handles the distribution of his smaller paintings (less than 60 inches). In June and July 2015, Daniel will continue to explore the American audience and exhibit his paintings once again at the penthouse of the Trump World Tower on June 23-24 and at the ArtHamptons Fine Art Fair in Bridgehampton, New York, July 2-5.
Contact for paintings 60 inches and larger: Tatyana Enkin email@example.com
Official contacts for USA: Ai Bo Gallery • Glenn Aber aibogallery.com • firstname.lastname@example.org Gallery- 27 Bowman Drive • Greenwich, CT 06831 914-251-0169 • 914-263-7500 (cell)
15 MINUTES BY MEREDITH QUINN
EDUCATOR & CREATOR HIGH SCHOOL ART TEACHER MELANIE BLOOD INSPIRES STUDENTS, WHO IN TURN INSPIRE HER OWN WORK
rt is often one of the first programs on the chopping block for many public school districts. But four-year high school art teacher Melanie Blood reveals that the skills students acquire while talking about their own art and critiquing the work of their peers are among the most helpful and fundamental elements students learn in any classroom. While a student at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), Blood found her niche in ceramics and mixed media, incorporating materials that others may view as less than beautiful, such as assorted fibers, pieces of cast-off wood, and broken fences. Though she loved showcasing her work, Blood felt unfulfilled and, on a whim, applied to Tufts University, which offers an intensive social justice and art education graduate program in partnership with the School of The Museum of Fine Arts. After the program opened her eyes to different cultures that she had no exposure to at her all-white high school in a small town, Blood decided
to pay it forward and devote her career to art education while continuing her own artistic endeavors. As an art educator at Brockton High School, 30 minutes south of Boston, Blood has found that, as much as her students look up to her for inspiration and mentorship, their stories and spirit inspire her art as well. Blood recently talked to Art Business News about the role of art in childhood development, the balance she strikes between personal and professional creativity, and how learning art can turn out to be just as practical as learning math. ART BUSINESS NEWS: Tell me a little about your personal art and inspiration. MELANIE BLOOD: I started out in college doing primarily ceramics, and, as it developed, I started messing around with firing other materials in a kiln and seeing what would happen. Once I left school, I didn’t have access to kilns, so now I’m doing more unfired clay and working with materials that you wouldn’t necessarily put together.
ABN: Why did you decide to pursue teaching? MB: In high school, I was going through tough times, and I had an art teacher who inspired me and worked with me nonstop. I wanted to be that person for someone else. In college, opportunities came up to [exhibit my art] here and there, and I loved it, and I loved making work, but I felt like something was missing. I felt like it was almost selfish. I don’t mean that artists are selfish. I mean that, for me, it wasn’t fulfilling enough to just put my work out there. I wanted to be able to inspire kids to do the same thing. When I started learning about education—who it targets and who is being repressed and not considered when talking about curriculum, I knew I wanted to teach in a city. I wanted the
Photos courtesy Melanie Blood
challenge of working with kids that don’t have everything super easy and that need someone to motivate them. ABN: What’s the best thing about being an art teacher? MB: Knowing that you’re making a huge difference in kids’ lives. It’s not always easy, but then you realize: Even if it’s one kid who wants to come to school just to do art, that’s the most rewarding thing. ABN: Do your students inspire your art? MB: Yeah, for sure. I feel like I’m a guidance counselor, a teacher, a parent, a friend. I have a lot of different roles, because the kids don’t have a lot of resources. Some of them have strong family bonds, and some are going
Clockwise from left: One of Melanie Blood’s sculptures; A piece of art created in Blood’s class; A student works with clay; Blood and her students in the classroom.
through the worst things you could possibly think of. You build relationships and work with them one-on-one, and you realize [these things are] coming out in their art. Those relationships I build with them, the struggles that I face in talking to them, the challenges of trying to be that mentor and trying to help them put that into their art is what my work is about now. It has shifted from being about family connections to connections between me and my students and connections that I see between them and in their community. You can have very, very strong kids, but you don’t really understand what’s going on in their lives and see that they’re really these fragile kids that have to maintain this structure but
are also on the verge of falling apart. It’s interesting [to see] how resilient they are in trying to overcome different boundaries and hardships. So my work has become strong, geometric shapes but also things that are very fragile, showing that dichotomy of strength and weakness and allowing the viewer to make that decision and that connection. My last piece was in the MassArt show, and, on the way home, it completely fell apart. That’s part of the process. It just exists for a little while. Now I have these fragments. How can I put them back together to make the next piece? That’s where I want to go with my work—taking fragments and creating something beautiful with them. I’ve
Melanie Blood’s students stand next to their “Once Upon a Time” sculpture.
ABN: What do you say to those people who think that art is not essential in school? MB: In this day and age, when people are being taught in a way that teaches to take a test, you [only] need to be able to regurgitate information, whereas in art and in music and especially in visual arts, you’re being critical of other students’ work. You’re talking about your work. You need to defend why you’re making things. My kids ask, “Why are we in ceramics? Why does this even matter?” I tell them, “What do we do every day? We look at things; we solve problems. How is this any different from math?” I give my kids prompts [and ask], “How are you going to tackle it?” Don’t you have to think about it in a critical and creative way? That’s what I have my kids do. They explain why they are making this [piece], why it is important, what inspired it. They have to look at other kids’ art and say what they think. Art helps kids think. Kids who don’t connect to math and science have art, and that’s what keeps them going. Maybe that inspires them to do better in other classes or come to school in general. ABN: Can art change a child’s life? MB: We have a lot of kids that would be lost if they didn’t have art in their lives. Kids that are struggling with family issues, are gay or transgender, or are dealing with culture shock are able to express that in their art. It’s so important because, in math or science, you don’t have that outlet. There’s a lot of violence in the city, and if they have something they connect to—whether it’s sports or drama or art—then it actually is saving their lives. Sometimes I feel like they would stay in my room until 7 at night if they could.
Photo courtesy Melanie Blood
[also] saved some fragments of some kids’ work, and I’ll try to use some of those within my work.
“What do we do every day? We look at things; we solve problems. How is this any different from math?” ABN: Tell me more about your students’ involvement in the Attleboro Arts Museum’s High Art show. MB: Last year was the first year that we did it, [and] the theme was tape art. The kids had trouble coming up with something in common, and [then] they started talking about the Brockton Fair, which is something important in their city that they all remember. So they did this interactive installation— tickets flowing, popcorn, an elephant trunk, balloons hanging from the ceiling—all out of colored duct tape. They wanted people to have this feeling of childhood. We went into it thinking we’d just do it for fun, but we ended up placing third. This year’s theme was text as imagery. We were talking about all of these big topics, but they said, "We don't want to do something that's so serious. We're a community and we get along." They started talking about fairy tales,
and how the imagery tells a story on its own. They [created] a dragon crawling up a mountain and made a book out of wood and other papers. They wanted people to look at it and make up their own stories. ABN: Is being an art teacher what you thought it would be? MB: I can’t think of a better job than being in a school, inspiring kids, making work that is so meaningful to them and powerful in so many ways. I remember being in high school, going through tough times and wanting to do nothing but art all day long. A lot of these kids have so much on their plates, and that’s what they want to do. They want to come in, and they want to make art. We have kids who don’t necessarily do well in other classes and have told me, “If it weren’t for your class, I wouldn’t come to school.” So, I’m doing the right thing. ABN
G A L I N A B A C H M A N O VA w w w. M a g i c V i b e s A r t . co m
24”x 30” Acrylic on Canvas
email@example.com • kimelleryart.com 401-578-7605 • facebook.com/kim.elleryartist ARTBUSINESSNEWS.COM
CANVASSING THE LAW BY ALAN E. KATZ, ESQ.
NEGOTIATING AN ART STUDIO LEASE WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE
fter months or years of searching, you have finally found the ideal studio space. The location, light, and rent all meet your criteria. The only thing between you and your ability to move in and start creating art is the dreaded lease. Negotiating an art studio lease presents many unique challenges. The first of these challenges is the “use clause,” which defines the purposes for which the tenant can use the premises. Few landlords object to a gallery use, but some might find it disturbing that paint and other flammable materials will be on the premises. Thus, if you need more than just a retail space, the use clause must clearly stipulate that the lessee has the right to use the premises for creating art in addition to using it as a gallery. However, your problems do not end there. The fine print of the lease often contains numerous clauses that might thwart the intended use of the space. Most leases stipulate that the tenant may not use or occupy the premises in violation of the building’s Certificate of Occupancy or local zoning or environmental laws. Accordingly, your attorney must review the Certificate of Occupancy for the building and the zoning laws to ensure that the proposed use is permitted, even if you have overcome the hurdle of spelling it out in the use clause. Most leases contain a hazardous-materials provision, which prohibits the tenant from keeping any hazardous or
flammable materials on the premises. Moreover, the tenant is generally liable for the cost of removal of any such materials, for the cost of any remedial action incurred by any governmental authority, and for personal injury or property damage arising from any violation of this provision. Leases are complex instruments. You may think you have agreed upon the rent, but you will soon find out that the rent figure is only a base number, because the rent is often subject to annual percentage increases or increases based on the Consumer Price Index. The tenant often must pay a pro rata share of real estate tax increases and, depending on the location of the premises, a pro rata share of common area charges over a base year. Other items that are quick to add up include electricity, water, sewer, insurance, garbage removal, snow removal, and extermination services. You should immediately ascertain their cost so that you can determine whether the deal is still financially feasible for you. If you default on a lease that you personally signed, you may face a huge amount of personal liability, which may equal the amount of the unpaid rent and other financial obligations for the remainder of the term of the lease. This amount of liability varies, depending on the state in which the property is located. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that the tenant be a limited-liability company (LLC) or a corporation. The cost of organizing either entity is minimal, especially compared to the potential liability you would face
©iStock/Alessandro Di Noia
Leases are complex instruments. You may think you have agreed upon the rent, but you will soon find out that the rent figure is only a base number. if the lease were in your name. On the other hand, landlords may still want a personal guarantee because they recognize that LLCs and corporations have limited or no assets from which to recover damages in the event of a default. If the landlord requests a personal guarantee, it is generally limited to a “good-guy” guarantee, which means that if the tenant knows that he or she will be unable to pay the rent and wants to return the premises to the landlord, then the tenant must give the landlord notice of his or her intention to vacate the premises and pay all of the rent and other charges due through the date set in the “notice to vacate.” The length of the notice to vacate is subject to negotiation, but is generally 90 days. The tenant must also deliver the premises in “broom clean” condition or in any other condition that the lease stipulates and must hand the keys to the landlord. If the
tenant meets all of these conditions under a good-guy guarantee, the guarantor is no longer liable for obligations arising after the vacate date. However, the LLC or the corporation is still liable for the obligations under the lease for the balance of the term or until the landlord finds another tenant. Most leases stipulate that the tenant is in default and can face lease termination if he or she is late in the payment of rent or if he or she fails to comply with any other lease provision. Hence, it is important to negotiate a “notice clause,” which states that the landlord must give the tenant some number of days’ notice and the opportunity to cure the default before the landlord’s right to terminate the lease comes into existence. The typical recommendation is 10 days’ notice for monetary defaults and 30 days’ notice for nonmonetary defaults. To seal the deal, a landlord will often agree to give a tenant either some period of rent abatement or a cash allowance to make improvements to the premises. Otherwise, the landlord might decide to make some improvements, such as painting, electrical work, and lighting, before the commencement of the lease term. In short, negotiating a studio lease can be a daunting task for an artist. Having an experienced attorney representing you in structuring the deal before signing a term sheet or a letter of intent and negotiating the lease is as important as priming your canvas with a good gesso. ABN
ABN 2015 Quarter pg ad.indd 1
17/5/15 1:50:22 PM
HIGH-TECH GETS ARTSY ALONGSIDE SILICON VALLEY ENGINEERS AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS, ARTISTS EXPLORE NEW TECHNOLOGIES BY MELISSA HART
Photos courtesy Autodesk
his May, artist Andrea Blum wandered through the woods of Marin County collecting plants, insects, and lichen. Then, she headed for Autodesk’s steel-and-glass Pier 9 studio in San Francisco to cook the natural materials into a dye, which she’d later use to color pieces of felt. She cut the felt according to a design she’d made with the company’s 123D Make software and layered the purple, brown, and gold squares between wood that she’d cut and milled in the studio. Finally, she used an Omax water-jet cutter with 55,000 psi of water to cut the layers into circles and cake-like wedges. “They’re ecosystem-based cake stands—color maps of specific places and ecosystems where I tend to forage for certain foods,” Blum explains of her creation. “[The ecosystem] is very much a part of my philosophy around the table and cooking—that is, ecosystem eating and really knowing where your food comes from.” Autodesk, a multinational software corporation, inspires Blum, who is also a chef and food entrepreneur, to think beyond hand-crafting objects and to consider using machines to do things she can’t do with her hands. “Machines push your imagination further,” she explains. Blum is an artist in residence at Autodesk, one of several artists and fabrica-
Clockwise from opposite page: Autodesk’s Pier 9 studio
tors who receive a monthly stispace; Andrea Blum’s ecosystem-based cake stands; pend to create side by side with An Autodesk workspace featuring 3-D printers and programmers and engineers water-jet cutters; An Autodesk employee creates. at the Pier 9 workshop on the instructables.com. At the end of their San Francisco waterfront. In the past few years, high-tech companies all across Sili- residencies, they present their projects to a crowd of as many as 100 people con Valley have recognized the creativity who pack the Pier 9 office space. and collaboration that emerge when they Staff and supporters flocked to see, invite visual artists to use cutting-edge software and machines such as 3-D print- for example, artist Wei Li’s “Dangerous Popsicle” project. Li created silicone ers and water-jet cutters. Vanessa Sigurdson, Autodesk’s Artists models in Rhino 3-D computer graphics and computer-assisted-design applicain Residence program manager, apprecition software; printed them on a Stratasys ates the mutual inspiration that occurs Objet 3D printer; and then produced when tech meets art. “We’re all about frozen desserts in the shape of cacti and inspiring others to make things and ask questions and share their work,” she says. viruses, including MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), influenza, and HIV. A video on Vimeo shows grinInnovation at All Levels ning participants taking cautious licks Autodesk offers four-month residenof the colorful popsicles in a decidedly cies to artists and fabricators who celebratory atmosphere. want to take advantage of the digital“The staff is incredibly knowledgefabrication workshops with high-tech able,” Blum says of her Autodesk cohorts. equipment and cutting-edge software. “There are electrical and mechanical Some residents arrive with a project in engineers, rocket scientists, all kinds of mind, and others explore the tools and people. [The company has] one of the then begin creating new work. They biggest and most pristine machine shops meet other artists and staff at company-hosted dinners and take classes in the country—a place in which you can really push your boundaries.” on how to use the tools. Once they’ve Employees at Autodesk, in turn, taken those classes, Sigurdson says, they can get to work. Artists document find themselves challenged. By working with artists who use the software and their process along the way and post machines in innovative ways, they’re photos of their work on the website
Kelli Hall, courtesy Minted
inspired to extend the boundaries of the software they’re developing. Artist in residence Andreas Bastian came to Autodesk to create work on a metal-laser-printing machine and became one of the company’s 3-D printing research scientists. Bastian is also involved with e-NABLE, an online community that creates low-cost 3-D-printed prosthetics for children. “The residency took him to a place that allowed him to explore what he’s passionate about,” Sigurdson says. “He gets to work on this project that helps a lot of people.” Blum says that Autodesk employees often come by Pier 9’s commercial test kitchen or the water jet to offer highfives and to watch her progress on the ecosystem-based cake stands. “People get excited about what I’m doing,” she says. “It’s an amazing creative process.” Blum is thriving as an artist in Autodesk’s collaborative learning environment, informed by San Francisco’s “maker” culture. (The Maker Faire that occurs each May attracts approximately 65,000 people.) “Innovation happens at all levels,” she says. “It’s not just from the top down. All of us make stuff. It’s fantastic to be in an atmosphere that celebrates those who make things, and then you share your knowledge so that people can take it further.” Creativity in Corporate Culture Blum discovered Autodesk’s Pier 9 program through an artist she met at
another residency—this one through the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California. Montalvo, which offers five studios and a gallery on 175 acres in the heart of Silicon Valley, offers one- to three-month fellowships to 60 artists a year. Fellows may find themselves working in collaboration with professionals at Sun Microsystems and other local high-tech companies. “They have lots of opportunities to meet people at companies interested in this spark of creativity, and [who are] looking for how to bring it back into their corporate culture,” says Kelly Sicat, director of the Lucas Artists Residency Program at Montalvo. She mentions new-media artist Daniel Canogar, who worked as a Montalvo fellow and connected with Palo Alto, California, venture capital group The Hive to become part of the group’s think tank. The company is also supporting another fellow who’s doing a residency program with the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute—a nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to exploring and explaining the origin and nature of life in the universe. SETI artists work with scientists to investigate how humans think and communicate. “There are a lot of ways in which artists can become a conduit for information and understanding between tech and science, between the academic sector and your average citizen,” Sicat says.
Art in the Workspace Artist and illustrator Forest Stearns has set his sights on space. He decorates shoebox-sized satellites that Planet Labs in San Francisco releases into orbit. Stearns became the first artist in residence at the company, which is working to create a constellation of Earth-observing satellites that the company hopes will generate imagery that will enable innovative new approaches to agriculture and environmental monitoring. Stearns met one of the founders of Planet Labs at a venture capital camp. “His satellite was really ugly,” he says. “I asked him if he’d seen the World War II bombers with girls painted on them and said, ‘Let’s paint on your satellite.’” Instead of pinup girls, Stearns painted black-and-white illustrations of interwoven migratory animals. “There’s an octopus wrapped around the horns of a caribou and a penguin and a bald eagle,” says Stearns. “These satellites … fly around the world and take pictures and look for changes in large organic matter, [and they are] covered in animals that watch and hope that people will make better decisions. I wanted to have the first art show in space to be about respect and responsibility.” The Planet Labs residency program’s directors look for artists who find inspiration in scientific exploration, artists who—like those in residence at Autodesk—like to collaborate with creators in the technology industry. They’re encouraged to work onsite in
From left: Andrea Blum’s kombucha fabric, grown from black tea, sugar, and microbes; A photo from Kelli Hall’s wedding shoot for Minted.
a studio space in the company’s office and conduct hands-on workshops. They exhibit their completed work in the Planet Labs office space. “If you’re a serious company, you have to tap into markets where people are being visually overwhelmed by their devices all the time,” Stearns says about the vitality of art in the workspace. “You’d better be able to resonate on a personal level with your team and make sure your company is more valuable than the app they’re using. Humans are a markmaking species. It’s how we communicate. Art is about creating community and people feeling like they’re valued. When there’s big, beautiful artwork on our walls, it makes everyone feel good.” Creativity with a Business Angle The staff and artists at Minted believe that art should appear on walls, paper, greeting cards, buttons, and home decor. Differing from traditional resident-artist programs, the company invites designers from around the world to propose artwork and collaborate on products online. Mariam Naficy is founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based company. She says that inviting outside artists to participate in Minted’s mission offers a fresh, continually evolving perspective on product design. “People never feel threatened when an outsider comes in,” she explains. “The internal creative team likes having someone new to brainstorm with and provide inspiration.” Typically, artists interested in working with Minted enter a virtual competition to propose their designs. Community members vote, and competition winners earn a virtual store in which they can exhibit and sell their designs. Georgia-based painter and creative stylist Kelli Hall initially channeled her creativity toward stationery and art before transitioning into a deeper relationship with the company. Minted created a stylist/photographer role for Hall and provided her with
the technology and studio space to style photo shoots that display the company’s products. Her work has influenced the internal styling and design staff. “People want to learn from other talented, creative people,” says Naficy. “It’s been very successful and makes us want to extend this opportunity to more artists.” It’s an opportunity that Hall never expected to have when she graduated with a degree in fine art. “I thought I was destined to atrophy and make stuff and not find a real application for it,” she says. “Then I connected with Minted and started to realize this new platform. It’s reshaped the way that I think of opportunities for artists.” Last summer, Hall styled a wedding shoot in an art gallery, pulling pieces of fine art into the scene and pairing them with watercolors and marbled papers that she’d made. “I collaborated a lot with creative directors at Minted and worked closely with the people making their products to make sure I was using them in a creative way,” she says. The ability to bring her creative vision to life has been a unique experience. “It’s a rare thing to have this idea and be able to collaborate creatively from a business angle,” she says. “They give you the tools and resources to pull it off; it’s just amazing.” New Ideas, Projects & Identities Back at Autodesk’s Pier 9 commercial kitchen, Blum stays late into the night working on her ecosystem-based cake stands and growing fabric from bacteria, yeast, and tea. She’s collaborating with a fashion designer from Denmark on a project involving the resulting sienna-colored material festooned with a pattern that looks like cells under a microscope. Her residency at Pier 9, she says, makes her ask questions about her identity, as well as how her work represents who she is. Blum is currently working on a proposal that would allow her to stay longer at Autodesk. “They’ve really opened me up to new ideas and projects,” she said. “I hope I never have to leave.” ABN
A Sampling of Artist-in-Residence Programs in Silicon Valley AUTODESK PIER 9 ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM autodesk.com/artist-in-residence/home Autodesk’s 4-month residency allows artists to work flexible hours at the Pier 9 location in San Francisco and offers a monthly stipend of $1,500. FACEBOOK ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM facebook.com/artistinresidence Artists are offered flexible residencies in various locations with a stipend. MINTED minted.com The company solicits artists year-round to submit designs to be sold on the website. Artists receive a portion of each sale and receive a virtual store in which they can launch and sell their designs. MONTALVO ARTS CENTER LUCAS ARTISTS RESIDENCY PROGRAM montalvoarts.org/programs/residency The center offers one- to three-month residencies at Montalvo’s Saratoga, California, location. Artists receive a one-time stipend of $1,500. PLANET LABS ARTIST IN RESIDENCY PROGRAM planet.com Two- to three-month residencies require artists to work three days a week in the studio at Planet Labs’ office space in San Francisco. Artists receive a monthly stipend of $1,000. THE SETI INSTITUTE’S ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM seti.org/artist-in-residence The Institute offers two-year terms with flexible locations. Artists must generate their own funding. ZERO1 FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM zero1.org/programs/fellowship The program offers flexible residencies in various locations with a stipend.
ARTEXPO CELEBRATES ANOTHER BANNER YEAR
Artexpo New York, now in its 37th year, is the world’s largest fine art trade show. From April 23–26, 2015, AENY brought nearly 28,000 attendees to Pier 94 for a weekend of extraordinary art, parties, seminars, and more. PHOTOS BY ROBERT J. HIBBS UNLESS OTHERWISE CREDITED
Jordan Matter Photography
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A dancer leaps for photographer Jordan Matter outside the show; [SOLO] Award Winner Rajvi Dedhia Unadkat; Redwood Media Group President Eric Smith addresses exhibitors on opening day; Sculpture “We Two Together” by [SOLO] exhibitor Michael Alfano of Alfano Sculpture.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Poster Challenge winner Joëlle Blouin with her winning artwork, “Without Hesitation”; A Plamen Yordanov sculpture display; Artist Tom Venning treats the crowds to a live demonstration; [SOLO] exhibitor M.M. Ciciovan chats with attendees; The romantic artwork of Anna Art Publishing; Morris Hills High School students work on their [SYNERGY] Art Project. ARTBUSINESSNEWS.COM
Barbara Tyler Ahlﬁeld
“Pose of the Pacific”, 60x36”, oil on canvas, 2014 Top Emerging Artist- Art Business News www.fashionillustrationandmore.com
Eye of the Storm
Wheels of Change
Mountains Crumble to the Sea
THE HOMELAND OF HER YOUTH VALERIE COLLYMORE FINDS ARTISTIC INSPIRATION FROM HER UNIQUE CHILDHOOD IN FRANCE
B Y JAC K H A M A N N
t the age of 9, Valerie Harmon was the only African-American—and, in fact, the only American—at her first day of school at Lycée de Jeunes Filles in Nice, France. She didn’t know a soul, and she didn’t speak French. Her teacher, Mme. Hémard, began the semester’s first lesson speaking only in French. Scanning the room, she noticed Valerie, her head bowed as she furtively paged through a small French-English dictionary beneath her desk. Valerie should have been terrified, but she wasn’t.
“All of a sudden, this hand dived down and pulled up my hand,” she recalls. “At first, she had a severe look. She had no idea [that I couldn’t] understand a word she’d been saying, and she kept speaking French.” Any other 9-year-old might have melted—but not young Valerie. “I remember thinking, ‘This is hysterical. It isn’t something frightening. It’s a challenge.’ That’s just how I’m wired.” Now 59 and living in Bellevue, Washington, Valerie (now Valerie Collymore) remains differently wired from others. An accomplished full-time artist, she is a former pediatrician, a former
“Chapel in the morning sun, Bevons in Haute Provence, near Sisteron,” Valerie Collymore
athlete, the mother of two highachieving young women, and the daughter of a unique bon vivant. This story begins with that one-of-a-kind mother. In 1965, Sylvia Harmon was a 39-year-old widowed nurse and the mother of 9-year-old Valerie and 12-year-old David. Good jobs and white families were fleeing her Camden, New Jersey, neighborhood. Vacations often meant visiting restaurants and motels that refused service because of the color of her family’s skin. She wrote increasingly radical
Above: Valerie Collymore as a child with her best friend Jane Lepage (leaning forward) and Jane’s younger siblings. Right: A recent photo of Collymore.
“Fishing Bateau,” Valerie Collymore
poetry about racial politics and was arrested after refusing to leave a segregated hat shop. “She was horrified by what was happening in America,” says Collymore. After a series of sleepless, chain-smoking nights, Harmon shocked friends and siblings by announcing plans for a European Grand Tour with her kids. Despite pleas from her six brothers, Harmon and her children set sail for Amsterdam. For several months, they camped in a Volkswagen van while seeing the sights of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. Arriving in Nice, Harmon fell in love with the French Riviera and decided to stay. Weeks later, Valerie found herself in Hémard’s classroom. Once Hémard realized that her new student couldn’t speak French, she took a liking to her, as did most of the girls in the class. They helped her learn the language, and she soon found success in a range of subjects. “I think it was a world-class education at that time, including art.” Collymore says. “I still have a folder from elementary school. They were doing a lot of color theory and values, and we were, like, 10 and 11. I was the kid that was always drawing.” As her peers back in America came of age in the tumultuous ’60s, Collymore experienced an idyllic childhood in an alternate
universe. “We had lots of freedom,” she says. “My best friend Jane and I regularly explored neighboring villages. I was immersed in this amazing culture with so much art. I walked past the Matisse Museum every day on the way to school. I studied concert piano across the street from the Chagall Museum.” Every school holiday, Harmon packed the kids into the car and drove to Rome, Athens, Paris, and beyond. “In her mind, that was the best education,” says Collymore. The American military had a big presence in Europe, including a popular USO in Villefranche-sur-Mer, a picturesque port adjacent to Nice. While visiting there, Harmon met a general’s wife who was interested in plein air painting, and Harmon volunteered to drive her to scenic locations. Appreciating Harmon’s eye and education, the general’s wife insisted that they learn to paint together. Combining talent with passion, Harmon became an insatiable student, taking classes whenever she could. She learned acrylics, oils, aquatints, and metallic prints, and she ultimately excelled in watercolors. Her landscapes were eventually exhibited in Monte Carlo and elsewhere. “As she became an artist, my mother started seeing color,” says Collymore. On long drives through the French countryside, Harmon would sing songs designed to draw her daughter’s attention to the subtle hues that she noticed. Lavender clouds. Turquoise ponds. “The French Riviera has brilliant light—colors like nowhere else in the world—and intensity of color that’s just unparalleled,” Collymore says. When she entered high school, Collymore displayed a talent of her own: athleticism. Her track-team sprint times were so fast that she was offered a chance to compete for the French National Team, on the condition that she become a naturalized French citizen. But her mother had other ideas. All along, she was determined that both her children would return to America and enroll in top colleges. Despite Valerie’s athletic
talents and affinity for art, Harmon wanted her daughter to study for a degree in pre-med. As the widow of a veteran, Harmon paid most of her bills with Social Security and Veterans Affairs (then Veterans Administration) benefits. Her late husband had started a college fund for his children, money that Harmon had instead spent exposing her children to art and history during those trips throughout Europe. But her time around military brass and other well-connected American expatriates paid off. Many had attended prestigious colleges and were willing to open doors to contacts at their alma maters, especially those looking for talented applicants who would also help those schools become more diverse. Collymore was accepted at Radcliffe College, but her mother insisted on Brown University, which offered an experimental seven-year medical program. Providence, Rhode Island, however, proved too provincial for Collymore. She says that Brown’s white professors had low, racially skewed expectations of her and that fellow black students ostracized her for her unusual upbringing. “I didn’t even know who Stevie Wonder was,” she admits. Fed up, she transferred to Columbia, where she flourished in the bright lights of New York. While in med school, she met—and eventually married—fellow student Victor Collymore. After graduation, the two young doctors moved west, eventually landing in the Seattle area, where they raised two daughters. Both girls excelled in school, became collegiate volleyball All-Americans, and spent time competing on the U.S. National Volleyball Team. Each gravitated to her own corner of the art world—Jane to music and Jill to filmmaking. For 30 years, Collymore put aside her own art. By 2008, both daughters had graduated from college. Now an empty-nester and no longer practicing medicine, Collymore reluctantly accepted a good friend’s invitation to a Seattle Women’s University Club art class. “I thought, ‘Valerie, you’re a grown-up. A couple of classes aren’t going to kill you.’” But sitting in front of a blank canvas was intimidating— troubling, even. At the first class, she couldn’t even pick up a brush. “Something was confusing. There was some unresolved emotion around painting.” A second class produced more anxiety. At a third session, however, her inhibition melted. “When the brush touched the canvas, something hap-
pened, which scared me. I thought, ‘I’m a physician, not an artist; this is ridiculous.’” For the next year and a half, she felt haunted “by a huge magnetic attraction that this was something I was supposed to do.” She continued taking classes. Paintings poured out. Patrons and admirers purchased several of them. She sought out—and studied under—master artists. By 2010, she decided she was ready to call herself a fulltime artist. Collymore is an impressionist; her medium is oil. Although her works include still lifes, her focus is landscapes. Most of her paintings are of the French countryside, particularly the Riviera and Provence. “The places I paint today … were places I walked,” she says. “These were places [where] I was a happy child. These are places we went to with my mom. These are all places that are very meaningful.” Every year, she spends as much time as she can afford—usually a couple of weeks—in France. On some trips, she visits sites where Van Gogh, Cézanne, and Renoir painted. She heads out alone in the early morning, experiencing and absorbing color and light. Because she can’t yet spend enough time to paint an entire exhibition while visiting, she takes thousands of photographs. “They are a reference, but photos lie,” she admits. “They never capture exactly what is there. So I really soak it up. I do a lot of looking, sitting in the fields, experiencing. I want to be able to remember what it felt like—what the colors looked like.” There is never enough time. Collymore’s childhood friend Jane still lives there, and each visit includes a whirlwind of meals, memories, and long walks with old friends, including a former classmate or two from Hémard’s schoolroom. A favorite novelist, Marcel Pagnol, penned a line that she holds dear: “France is the homeland of my youth.” And art now offers the most meaningful way to embrace those happy memories. Collymore’s unique mother, who had exposed her children to the world of art at an early age, repatriated from France to remain close to her children. At Collymore’s urging, Harmon remarried at 79. Six months later, she died of heart failure—peacefully, just as she would have wanted, says Collymore. ABN
“The French Riviera has brilliant
light—colors like nowhere else in the world—and intensity of color that’s just unparalleled.”
For more samples of Collymore’s work and a schedule of her exhibitions, please visit valeriecollymore.com.
Motu Homie – Chop Chop, 2014, Mixed Media Screenprint, Sheet Size 19.5” x 44”
Motu Homie – Snoop Dogg, 2014, Mixed Media Screenprint, Sheet Size 19.5” x 44”
Motu Homie – The 6:45 to Bora, 2014, Mixed Media Screenprint, Sheet Size 19.5” x 44”
Motu Homie – Twinkle Twinkle, 2014, Mixed Media Screenprint, Sheet Size 19.5” x 44”
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Ashley Andrews u ashleychaseandrews.com “I’m working on minimalist found-object sculpture and painting. The trademark of my work is the idea of mark-making. I incorporate images; marks with references to other artists; personal references; and colors from Mexico, the Caribbean, California, Africa, and Europe—all places dear to me.”
TOP 40 TO WATCH Here at ABN, we’re always discovering new artists to love. With this list of top 40 artists to watch, we are thrilled to introduce you to our current obsessions. This group includes painters, sculptors, and photographers with already flourishing careers, as well as those just bursting onto the art scene.
p Andy Baird bairdstudios.com “My paintings are unique in that they are finely rendered subjects done by dripping paint instead of the traditional methods of ‘medium and brush.’ That’s the eye-catcher. If you look at my body of work as a whole, you realize that my genre is pop in nature. My subjects are from the commercial world and its infatuation with beauty.”
Ted Asnis u tedasnis.com “For a long time, I have had the desire to paint in an abstract mode, and in the past few years I have been applying all I learned from my landscape painting to this new effort. The work has slowly migrated from total abstraction to an abstraction of my beloved Hamptons settings.” qJoëlle Blouin joelleblouin.com “Imperfection and abstraction are present in my work to show that aesthetic beauty can emerge from a simple environment. At times chaotic, serene, or mysterious, each of my works should be viewed differently. The moment my painting catches your eye, a new journey has begun and beauty shall prevail.”
q Ken Bonner kenbonner.com “I love to combine an abstract with figurative work. The inspiration for this comes from the world around me; for instance, going on a hike will produce many ideas for me. No photos or drawings are used. I allow all of the aspects of nature to be absorbed in the moment into my being and imagination. The composition evolves from these sensory experiences, internalized visions, scenes, and creatures.”
q Roy and Amanda Clark clarkartstudio.com “The trademark of our work is the process of sculpted fine art. To our knowledge and from what has been confirmed by art professors from around the world, we are the only ones painting on solid sheets of brass and then sculpting the paint off with a grinder to reveal the metal underneath, creating an illusion of texture, depth, and movement.”
t Christian Charrière christiancharriere.com “In my portraits’ frontal, oversize compositions, I mine the same kind of crackling energy that I find in comic book panels. Texture is an essential component, especially in the different kinds of hair: short stubble, groomed eyebrows, and luxurious long curls. Because there is no background or even body in many of the images, the viewer must wring all the information possible from small details like the sitter’s hair and grooming habits.”
q Patricia Coulter patriciacoulter.com “The most challenging part about establishing myself in the art world is finding the right connection for promoting my art. My art belongs in places where people need to be energized and uplifted, and I hope to make connections with the right partners to facilitate that.”
p Andres Conde andrescondeart.com “My work is a mix of modern pop imagery with a classical expressionist style. My goal is to create an emotion which leaves the viewer feeling as though the passing of time has no relevance. I always want the work to speak for itself, to have its own storyline.”
p Jeanne Dana paperandstone.com “We both grew up studying music in the ’60s and ’70s, but Jeanne also designed greeting cards, and Dana had experience in photography and printmaking. Together we created silk-screened greeting cards and sold them at fairs and festivals. With the development of the Internet in the late ’90s, the demand for greeting cards declined, so we built a small paper mill, making paper, envelopes, and cast-paper sculpture with recycled glass.”
q Nancy Egan nancyegan.com “My trademark today is my Museum Scapes [series]. These paintings capture who is looking at what art—everyday scenes recording details of our culture.”
p Mamuka Didebashvili mamukadidebashvili.com “Much of the emotional charge of my paintings is drawn from their color palettes. When painting a background, I guard against it taking away from the main statement of the canvas. When I paint people, I strive to depict them so that their essence is comprehensible by hinting at their occupation and descent and featuring their personal accessories because they are informative and add to our ability to understand and interpret the characters.”
p Joe Fenton joefentonart.com “All artists now have the opportunity to present their work to a large audience through the Internet. Especially for artists like myself that do not fit into any particular box that may have been defined by the fine art world, the Internet has become a necessity in order to survive and make a living from my artwork due to the fan base I’ve managed to have gained.”
Sandra Fuka u sandrafuka.com “My trademark in art is the women. I try to paint them in their different moods and characters: sensible, sensual, delicate, joyful, seductive, or powerful. Sometimes I paint them alone; sometimes [I paint them] with a partner who supports them, like in a dance, or protects them in the form of an animal. With my paintings, I like to bring positive energy into places and to awake something new in the observer.”
qChristine Hähner Murdock christine.exto.org “I have done a lot of black and white recently. I am going for bigger sizes, more color, and easier-to-read paintings. So the obvious is more obvious without letting go of the hidden layers. That’s for my entertainment and for [that of] the buyer to be.”
t Brian Goodman briangoodmanphotography.com “I’m often asked if the images in my ‘Solace of Space’ series are watercolors, or even oil paintings. While many of the photographs start out as landscapes, I use a variety of techniques to create an otherworldly experience for the viewer. I don’t want people to analyze my art, I want them to feel it.”
Inam u inamgallery.com “I usually don’t plan things; I just let my feelings loose and my soul wanders around until that specific moment emerges from nowhere. When this moment embraces me, I feel the energy. Then I immediately start. It is a beautiful world, though temporary, that this energy establishes for me.”
t Gina Piccirilli Hayden ginapiccirillihayden.com “My vision is to achieve common ground with emotional connections through my art. History repeats, and our interpretation of the circumstances are what’s unique. I am a clay sculptor who tells stories. My empathy dictates the story. I use the symbolism of nature because it is the oldest form of communication.”
t Jean Leclercqz flyingmachines.be “The basis of my work is a hand drawing on a large sheet of white paper with a continuous line that I compare to writing. When I start drawing, or ‘writing,’ flying machines, it is a constant discovery. At the beginning of the drawing, I never know what the final shape of the flying object will be.” p Brett Lethbridge lethbridgegallery.com “My secret, if there is one, is to always base my search for subject matter on my own emotional experiences and the things that have significance to me. The drape was in fact the sheet I shared with my future wife while she was studying in Europe for 5 years, and the perfume bottles were the gifts I bought her when I would go and visit. These deeply personal emotions I have toward these objects … breathe life into them as the subjects of my paintings.”
q Iryna Lialko larkgalleryonline.com “Art requires an exacerbation of feelings, the heightening of all senses leading to the shedding of my own skin, which is very difficult to do when exposed to the cold, piercing winds of life. My main inner struggle in the world of art is my struggle to find time I can devote to pure art without hustle.”
p Cathy Locke cathylocke.com “I like to capture behavior that is unique to a child, whether it is the joy of twirling in circles, hiding in a secret place, or creating a puppet show out of an old box. My figures are painted in the method of the old masters, where I build up thin layers of paint over an extended period of time. I also like to combine oil and cold wax to create a rich surface for the backgrounds.”
p Arrington Magny arringtonart.com “One of the most challenging aspects of establishing oneself in the art world is simultaneously one of the most liberating: There are no rules—at least none etched in stone. There are no straight, direct paths. Seeking to further one’s career as an artist is certainly not as easy as 1, 2, 3. There is quite a bit of trial and error, experimenting, failing. But it is an adventure!” t Peter Maier impossiblyreal.net “My passion for creating art and for making a mark within the fine art world has been one wild ride. The journey to me is everything. Let it continue.”
Jason Matias u jasonmatias.com “There is something quiet and pensive, something solemn and secretly stirring about my photographs. My work has veiled energy and subjective drama. I try to create images that give the audience room to travel and find themselves in their own unique space. I see life as a patchy blanket of individual happenings. Regardless of the world’s connectivity, our experiences seem more and more singular.”
q Darian Rodriguez Mederos condecontemporary.com “First and foremost, I’m looking to please myself with the visual results of my work. I want to get to my perfection. Every centimeter of the canvas has a secret, a richness. I want to feel like a god in front of the canvas, creating a completely habitable world.” q Todd Monk toddmonk.com “I have a background in graphic design and have worked as a digital retoucher for many years. I use these skills in my pre-visualization process and my roughs. When you see my art, you get the impression that it’s somehow digital, but it’s not. My work is a marriage of vector, pixel, and digital art—all rendered traditionally.”
Kat Moser u katmoser.com “These amalgamations are an extension of my evolution from image taker to image maker. There are no longer any bad photos, merely unfinished images waiting to be manipulated or layered with another that together make a more compelling statement than either image would on their own.”
t John Napoli johnnapolifineart.com “What distinguishes my work is the way in which it depicts the positive energy in the world around us, particularly the life energy of nature. My paintings and pastels are colorful, exuberant, and rhythmic. Capturing nature’s beauty, the changing light of day, and the passing of time, the art depicts flow and movement.”
Rigo Peralta u rigoperalta.com “I’m working on a series of black-and-white paintings entitled ‘Nothing is black and white; there is some gray in between.’ The basis of this is differences in human race. I’ll be showing that, if there is no pigmentation on our skin (in the paintings), then we are all the same.”
t Christopher Rimmer christopherrimmer.com “A Zen-like calm is revealed in my work as I seek out a visual representation of the polar opposite to what I experienced growing up in South Africa during the Apartheid era. My childhood was dark, chaotic, and tragic. I have never been able to completely release myself from my experiences as a child in South Africa; thus, as an artist, I have felt compelled to constantly return in an attempt to articulate what I feel.”
p James Paterson jdpaterson.com “A trademark of my work is the use of kinetic, handdriven motion as a compositional element in the art pieces themselves. I like that the viewer must engage in a tactile way to get the full effect of the art. I want the work I create to be beautiful to look at, invite reflection, stimulate ideas, and then further spark the imagination when you touch it and it moves.”
Susan Schmidt u susanschmidtart.com “My continuing ‘Seaburbia’ series explores the cultural memory and heritage of the beachfront homes of Australia. Painted in acrylic and oil, patterned, layered, rubbed back, and glazed, the works achieve a weatherworn texture recalling the erosion of matter overtime and the exquisite residues of nostalgia and decay.”
pRichard Riverin labelleimage.org “I had to develop a personal style. I had to paint in a way nobody else ever had. I knew that my paintings had to look great in a living room or a dining room. It was not enough to do a very artistic work; it had to be cherished and loved by the buyer. It had to have a great and comforting presence in a home.”
qOk Seo okseo.see.me “I have tried to apply a scientific approach for art. This approach applied in my art seems to be significantly different from [that of] other artists. Whenever I start to work on a new work, I always consider two aspects: Is this a new and important question for me and others at the same time, and is this a new methodology? This scientific approach seems to be related to the geometric property of my work.”
t Waqian Sun waqiansunart.com “We are living in the 21st century, really overwhelmed by a multitude of different art forms: modern, contemporary, pop, classic, abstract. If I were just to crawl behind some masters who are my idols, imitating their styles, I could never become a real artist on my own. I must be completely free in my spirit, following my heart and mind and inspiration to offer to the world what I really feel and see.” Rajvi Dedhia Unadkat u rajvidu.wix.com/ rajvidu “I take deep inspiration from ongoing transitions in life, and I strive to portray these inspirations on canvas, which gives me immense joy. Constant change brings challenges. I strive hard to convert challenges into new opportunities.” Kenneth Ray Wilson u kennethraywilson.com “Big, bold, simplistic images of pristine nature have been a passion of mine throughout my career as a professional fine artist. My most recent series of birch and aspen trees has brought a surprising reaction from the public. My ‘portraits’ of birch and aspen trees are like faces; they are all interestingly different.”
Anna Voloshko u artvoloshko.com “A human life, and especially the life of an artist, is full of events, impressions, and achievements. Since my first steps in art, I was doing something I really enjoyed. The sculpture is the most important thing in my life. When I create, I am happy and I live.”
t Martin Wittfooth martinwittfooth.com “My work is most recognized for exploring the confused relationship between our species and the rest of the natural world, depicted in animal allegories. This is an issue that weighs heavily on our times and is one that I feel compelled to process through my work.” ABN
MARKET YOUR GALLERY ON
HOW VISUAL SOCIAL MEDIA CAN INCREASE SALES AND PROMOTE YOUR BRAND B Y L A N C E E V A N S
o matter how old-school your marketing style, you must be aware of how social media has become the preeminent way to reach many consumer markets. Facebook is the granddaddy of social media, but there are many other significant players in the field, including Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Pinterest uses the analogy of an oldfashioned bulletin board, on which users “pin” items of interest to various boards. You can also think of it as the modern day equivalent of creating collages from torn-out magazine pages. This system has found great success not only with consumers, but also with marketing and public relations professionals. DISTINCTIONS IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD Simple ideas make a social media site successful, but the social media market is anything but straightforward. The things that differentiate one social site from another are often the same elements that attract—or repel—one market segment to or from a platform. Social media can be a fickle sport. For example, the attraction of Facebook for many consumer markets has simply been its ubiquity. Knowing that “everyone” is on it makes it an appealing one-stop shop for many users who
are looking for easy solutions. As Facebook has become ubiquitous, however, many of its users have jumped ship to other sites, especially younger users who didn’t want to be on the same platform as their parents. Every social media site has its own raison d’être—a twist or gimmick that sets it apart from other sites. Twitter’s twist is that it enables users to communicate in short bursts. Instagram, on the other hand, finds success by enabling users to communicate via imagery. Many a network’s claim to fame has been simply that they were the newest— or, momentarily, the trendiest—one on the block. Most of those networks have come and gone. Only a handful have had the staying power to join the small list of social media icons we recognize on websites. Pinterest has had that staying power, thanks to the way in which it allows users to employ its tools. ON PINTEREST The average Pinterest user’s intent is to find elements that they then incorporate, or “curate,” into their own boards. In the same way they use a search engine, users can search Pinterest for specific subjects and content. They can then create visually appealing boards by pinning and grouping the content they discover in ways that make the most sense for their needs.
For example, users can create and name many boards and then organize pinned elements onto them. Each pin is a link to the original website on which the image appeared, and, as such, the pins are more than just photos; they often include bits of information as well. Users can assemble items of personal interest, recipes, and how-tos onto reference boards. Because of such flexibility, Pinterest’s platform has experienced significant growth since its creation in 2010. In a recent news item, one of Pinterest’s cofounders told Business Insider that the company’s most recent round of fundraising brought the company up to $1.3 billion of investment. This amount might seem like a lot, but the company is valued at $11 billion—not bad for a 5-yearold start-up (though with a piggy bank that size, Pinterest is as much a start-up as a Weinstein film is independent). On the street, all of those billions translate into a website whose user base and viewership has had an off-thecharts growth rate. It reached 10 million unique visitors a month more quickly than any other website to date. Demographically, the site is more popular with women. According to data from 2012, 83 percent of its user base is female—except in England, where 56 percent of Pinterest users are male. Pinterest’s age distribution closely matches
Pinterest users place a great emphasis on home decoration, do-it-yourself projects, and home improvement. People interested in these topics are often also interested in art.
that of Internet users on the whole. Thus, it reaches a broad range of users. From the vantage point of artists and dealers, this demographic could represent a huge opportunity because these Pinterest users place a great emphasis on home decoration, do-it-yourself projects, and home improvement. People interested in these topics are often also interested in art. Pinterest is a thriving platform on which to focus many types of artmarketing efforts. This fact is important for both the marketer and the platform. Pinterest has put great effort into helping business users get on board. SETTING UP YOUR FIRST PINTEREST ACCOUNT 1. Choose to log in through Facebook or to create a unique Pinterest account. Logging in through Facebook is an increasingly popular option, and there may be some good reasons for choosing this option, but I prefer to control my accounts individually and create a unique account for each social media platform. 2. Decide whether to create a personal account or a business one. As always, there are pluses for both options. Pinterest states: “If you’re using Pinterest as part of how you make a living, whether by driving traffic to a blog that makes
you some money or to build your personal brand to find customers for your products or services, you should sign up for a business account.” As an artist or an art dealer, you want to show the world your personal talents or those of the people you represent. In that case, a business account is best. Because the casual user won’t see significant differences between a personal account and a business one, choosing a business account won’t forgo the homespun image that a personal account sometimes projects to the world. Note that if you already have a personal Pinterest account that you have been using for business, you can now convert it into a business listing if you want. 3. Select five interests. Gallery owners, artists, and agents can start by simply typing the word “art” into the search box at top. A nice selection of art-related topics from which to choose will pop up. 4. Choose whether to add a Pinterest browser button. This browser extension allows you to easily pin items to your boards. 5. Once you’ve completed Step 3, the system chugs away to install the plugin and create your Pinterest page, drawing from the elements of each of the chosen topics. The accompanying graphic
shows the default screen for the fictitious Acme Art Gallery account. 6. Verify your business website. DOING BUSINESS Obviously, doing business on a social media site entails more work than being a regular consumer on it. Although a business account on Pinterest won’t look obviously different from the consumer’s point of view, it does give the user access to many things designed just for businesses. One of the most useful applications of a business account is the access to Pinterest’s analytics. The analytics display your average daily impressions, daily viewership, monthly viewership, and monthly engaged followers. They also allow you to figure out what people love most from your Pinterest profile and your website, which pins drive traffic back to your site, who your Pinterest audience is—including gender, location, and interests—and how adding the Pin It button to your website leads to referral traffic from Pinterest. Another benefit of a business account is the ability to use Rich Pins. Rich Pins are a step above Standard Pins. They enable you to automatically add extra details, including pricing information and a direct link to your website. Rich Pins should thus become more useful to users and result in more traffic to your site.
Rich Pins include selections for movies, recipes, articles, products, and places. If you sell products, note that Product Pins include real-time pricing information, and anyone who has pinned them will get a notification of a decrease in price. This feature can easily apply to art items. Sellers of art should also consider taking advantage of Article and Place Pins. You can use these to create valueadded information that draws in potential customers. Article Pins can be stories from your blog and items about your artists; Place Pins can be items about regional artists you may represent. Be creative and find ways to make the best use of these tools. You aren’t required to create Rich Pins on a business account, but if you have an online store, it’s definitely worth the extra effort. However, setting up Rich Pins involves steps that may require the help of your web developer. If you don’t create Rich Pins, you can still include a product’s price in a Standard Pin’s description. Another creative way to use a Pinterest account is by hosting a contest. Contests are fun and are a great way to attract a bigger audience and drive engagement in your Pinterest account. Your contest can require entrants to pin an image from your website, follow your account, pin a photo of them with one of your products, or create a specifically themed board. Contests are also a great way to collect email addresses.
OPTIMIZE YOUR ACCOUNT PROFILE Carefully choose your profile image to help people recognize your business. If you have a logo, use it. However, make sure your logo is square, because that’s how your profile will display. If your logo is not square, ask your designer to make a square version of it. On the other hand, if you “are” your brand—for example, as an artist—then use a nice photo of yourself on your Pinterest profile. If you’re active on other social networks, use the same profile picture across your platforms so that your followers on one network will instantly recognize you on others. Name your account appropriately. Use your company name if that’s what you typically promote. If the name of your product is more popular than your company name, however, use the product name. Choose a username that makes sense. Your username becomes part of the custom URL of your Pinterest profile (i.e., pinterest.com/username), so make it the same as your business name. In the About You section, write a conversational description of who you are, naturally weaving in your target keywords. Also provide and verify the URL of your website. This step is necessary if you want your hyperlinked URL to show up on your profile—and you do. Pinterest provides step-by-step instructions for accomplishing this task.
Now start pinning! You can easily pin items while surfing the web. Just install the Pin It button to your browser, and you can pin images from anywhere on the web to one of your boards without leaving the webpage. Businesses should seriously consider installing the Pin It widget and one or more of Pinterest’s other buttons—including Follow, Profile, and Board—to their websites to allow visitors to easily share content from the site. You can find the Pin It button and other buttons and widgets on the Button and Widget Builder page. To find this page, visit the Goodies page in the About section of Pinterest’s website. SOCIAL MEDIA: IT’S A PROCESS Like all other marketing efforts, social media is a process that will not change your business overnight. It takes a commitment from businesses to become parts of the fabric of the social media network into which they put themselves. If you apply these steps with real commitment and over a period of time, the returns can be tremendous. Keep in mind one thing: consistency. Don’t set your goals or commitments too high. Decide how many hours a month you might want to commit to the effort and stick with it. Consistently putting in five hours a month will yield better long-term results than dedicating 20 hours a month a few times a year. ABN
DOMINIQUE BOUTAUD Artist Painter
Mission Statement: "As abstract artist painter, I create artwork for a quest of meaning, authenticity and expression of hope, serenity, peace and happiness for me and others for our future. In my heart, painting is a way of living honestly and having a role as protecting peace and defending human rights in the world."
gryphonfabricators.com SUMMER 2015
L ARISSA ROMANOVA
S A N D R A F U K A
one of 2015’s “Top Emerging Artists” presents “women”.
63 x 55 inch, acrylic on canvas, firstname.lastname@example.org +393483610176
Nikolay Kuk Frozen Time * 88” x 56”* Oil on Canvas *1960 Kuk Studio Art Expo NY, Solo Pavilion – Booth #112 212-480-7685 Englewood Cliffs, NJ www.kuk-art.net ARTBUSINESSNEWS.COM
1. 1. T. Stroganov: 2.15X1.60 m; Canvas, Acrylic 2. T. Stroganov: 4.15X2.13 m; Canvas, Acrylic Portfolio: http://kulikovich-photo.com/en-EN/gallery/album/65 3. S. Aliyev-Kovyka: 4.00X2.15 m; Canvas,Acrylic,Oil Portfolio: http://kulikovich-photo.com/en-EN/gallery/album/67
MODERN UKRAINIAN EXPRESSIONISM
YURIY KULIKOVICH COLLECTION email@example.com, www.kulikovich-photo.com
Lift Up Your Business
With Wisdom from Pease Pedestals
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
The Finishing Touch
Framing for a Redesigned Space
Could a Daily Deal Boost Your Sales?
The Plague of Wall-Mounted TVs
BY TARA CRIGHTON
BY ED GOWDA
BY PAUL CASCIO
Team Notes SUMMER 2015 Each issue, our Team Notes column will offer an inside look at real-life design, featuring stories and recommendations from members of the Redwood Media Group team. This issue, inspired by the interview with Pease Pedestals on page 68, we’re discussing favorite ways to display art at home. Whether it’s a specific custom-framed piece, a sculpture garden, or a gallery wall that they’re most fond of, these members of RMG share their display stories with pride. “We created a gallery hall in our new home by adding additional width to the hallway, creating an exhibition-style presentation that greets our guests as they enter. Each piece features a unique frame, the selection of which became as important to our collection as the artwork itself. One of our favorite paintings is a landscape by Ron Rencher that can be seen at the end of the gallery hall.” — Rick Barnett, Managing Director of Exhibitions & Media Sales “We have a collection of blown glass pieces that are amazing, including our latest addition of glass cherries from Donald Carson. We love displaying them in different locations on tables and stands, and the lighting my husband has created for them marvelously highlights the translucence and depth of each piece.” — Linda Mariano, Managing Director of Marketing “I love eclectic decorating—displaying artwork with different textures, colors, and shapes, mixing old with new, pairing vibrant with neutral. It really tells a story and gives instant personality to a room. In our dining room we have a colorful, abstract gallery-wrapped painting next to a triptych of antique Japanese lacquer wall panels, all hung on an ombre painted wall. Makes for a high-impact, lively room!” — Stacy Dalton, Creative Director “I love to collect sports memorabilia. Some of my best memories are of attending sporting events with my father, brother, or son. As a result, I have a small but exciting sports photography collection that is nicely framed and hung in my office. Each piece unlocks a moment in history that can never be recreated.” — Geoff Fox, COO/CFO
D E CO R M AG A Z I N E .CO M
SUMMER 2015 decormagazine.com firstname.lastname@example.org ______ CEO/Publisher: Eric Smith Editor-in-Chief: Megan Kaplon Managing Editor: Linda Mariano Copy Editors: Nina Benjamin, Fran Granville Contributing Editors: Paul Cascio, Tara Crichton Art Director: Stacy Dalton Graphic Designer: Lizz Anderson ________ Advertising Rick Barnett Managing Director, Exhibitions & Media Sales email@example.com 831-747-0112 Ashley Tedesco Director of Media Marketing Sales firstname.lastname@example.org 831-970-5611 Rosana Rader Director of Sales & Exhibitions email@example.com 831-840-4444 _______ Operations & Finance Geoff Fox firstname.lastname@example.org ____ Subscriptions Visit decormagazine.com for subscription information. _________ DECOR serves all segments of the art and framing market, including art and framing retailers; picture framers; interior decorators; artists; home-furnishing providers; OEM/volume framers; gift retailers; photo studios; suppliers; distributors; and manufacturers. The magazine features articles and columns from longtime and well-known industry experts and top art and framing retailers.
PRODUCTS & GOODS TO
Elevate Your Framing Game GO BIG WITH PERCEPTION
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Specialty Matboard’s Britain Series reflects the texture and aesthetics of true linen fabric. This series allows framers to achieve the classic look of linen without the additional steps required when using fabric. The Specialty Matboard series comes in a wide variety of colors including natural creams, whites, browns, and blues. All colors and styles are available in 32" x 40" and a few select styles are available in 40" x 60". ➤ specialtymatboard.com COMPLETELY CUSTOMIZABLE
http://www.jacquarts/cadredart/+/popal.multi email@example.com 58
Prisma Frames by Bella Moulding allows consumers to get exactly what they want from a frame, from size to color, pattern, and finish. You can create and preview your design using the online visualization software available on the Bella Moulding website and then place your order. You can even upload an image of your chosen artwork to see how it will look inside your custom frame. ➤ prismaframes.com D E CO R M AG A Z I N E .CO M
pease pedestals custom art display For over 30 years Pease Plastics has manufactured the highest quality acrylic furniture, home accessories and art display. Each piece is custom handcrafted in the USA. • custom furniture • residential & commercial • sculpture • custom pedestals • display cases
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Barbara Moore BOLD Beautiful COLOR Fine Art Photography
APRIL 23-26, 2015 | NYC | PIER 94
Dramatic Landscapes Natural Beauty Mystical Abstracts Power Of Nature Funky & Unusual Abstracts … and more ...
SUMMER 2015 EDITION
THE ART OF FRAMING
Finishing With Style In many renovations, framed art is often at the bottom of the design budget. A designer asks that a client purchase the key elements first: flooring, furniture, rugs, window dressing, and decorative mouldings for the walls. These big-ticket items anchor the design aspects of the room and constitute the basis for all future metamorphoses of the room. Most prevalent design strategies propose that these investment pieces be of good quality and as design-neutral as possible. The items that comprise the trendy and fashionable aspect of the design plan are usually cheaper and deliberately interchangeable for seasonal variety. This situation puts custom framing in an awkward middle position, as it is neither cheap nor interchangeable. Properly custom-framed art is expensive and aligns more closely with furniture than with pillows, throws, and other accessories. Framed art that is cheap, interchangeable, and ready-made, on the other hand, requires frequent replacement due to its poor construction and general absence of real artistic value. Yet the framer still must often handle the tail end of dwindling resources for customers who show them paint chips and carpet swatches and expect things to match. When you face this situation, all you can do is take a deep breath and dive in. As with most other situations, preparation is key. After bellying up to your counter, what the customer sees first are your frame samples. I like to arrange mine according to finish and size. My customers don’t know or care what company supplied them, so arranging them by supplier would be unnecessarily confusing. By keeping all my similarly colored frame samples together, I ensure that my customers can see at a glance what kind of selection I offer. I cannot overstate how necessary it is to have the right samples on display. You must have samples that reflect current styles and trends—not because you want to create trendy and fashionable framed art, but because you want to represent yourself as knowledgeable of current design trends and as a credible source of design advice. People’s tastes change. Recently, there has been a noticeable movement toward a simpler design aesthetic. Empty-nesters are 60
By Tara Crichton
getting rid of all their heavy wood “investment” furniture and decorating with an eye for clean lines and simple shapes. Furniture retailers will tell you that white is the most common color choice for leather furniture. You will not sell anything to this customer if all the samples they see when they walk in your store are mahogany or barn-board blue. Your frame supplier is the best resource for keeping your frame samples current. Your sales rep shows you carefully considered frame samples that coordinate with what your customers have seen in interior-design magazines. Keep an open mind when viewing samples from a frame supplier—don’t assume that your customer won’t like what you don’t like. When I was a sales rep and first went out to galleries showing them a new line of brightly colored lacquer frames, most framers were visibly repulsed. Those sweet little frames brought up all kinds of unpleasant memories of bad lacquers gone by. The framers brave enough to put those samples out were thoroughly surprised to find that their customers did not share their feelings. Clients were more than ready for some color and shine in their framing projects. Sales were so good that some colors ended up on backorder due to the unexpectedly rapid depletion of stock. Pay attention to what your customers are asking for. Customers were asking me for wenge frames long before I carried anything with a wenge veneer. They were asking for white gallery frames long before I had the right matte white and tall stem shape that such frames required. They were asking for floater frames before I even knew what a floater frame was. We framers get caught up in the day-to-day operation of our businesses and our busy lives, and we can lose track of the dynamic nature of our customers’ desires. But this changing nature is the lifeblood of our business, so you must change along with it. Properly implemented custom framing is a craft. It has all the attributes of fine furniture, and, like fine furniture, it is expensive. Education is the only approach to customers’ resistance to your price point. Be knowledgeable about your product and be willing to share that information. People pay more when they understand what they are purchasing. Fine Italian wood veneers look different from foils. Real metallic leafing looks different from a metallic spray D E CO R M AG A Z I N E .CO M
finish. Acid-free mats won’t fade and discolor as paper mats will. I but be warned: Gold is coming back. don’t offer paper mats, and I don’t use any materials in my gallery The espresso wood trend is sticking around due to its total that are substandard, because I know that the product my gallery domination of the furniture world. Because people have invested produces is my representation in the world. It so much money in espresso-finished floorThe items that is the best advertising I will ever do, and it has ing, furniture, and cabinetry, I don’t expect to show the quality and design expertise that comprise the trendy the trend to disappear for a long time. my clients have every right to expect. There has been a lot more conversation and fashionable aspect Do not hesitate to charge properly for about color forecasting and Pantone’s Color of the design plan your work. If you are proud of your work, of the Year in the media this year than I are usually cheaper you should be paid accordingly. There will remember from years past. I find that, for and deliberately always be someone willing to do it for less, me, this forecast is of personal interest but of but do not let that fact affect you. Good cuslimited use in my framing projects. A change interchangeable for tomer service and a superior product always from Radiant Orchid to Marsala in the color seasonal variety. win in the end. Great design is priceless. schemes of mass-market production will People are obsessed with trends and all things trending in never influence the directions I give my customers concerning popular culture. The trends are unavoidable and, if you keep them frames and mats. in mind as reference points, rather than the full objective, they When customers come in for the final finishing touches on are useful tools. their newly renovated space, be confident and ready. With prepaFor example, I have recently noticed the re-emergence of gold ration and design savvy, you will have exactly the right tools to in interior-design compilations. It is the brassy, true-to-life gold ensure that those last pieces of their design puzzle will be exactly that hasn’t been in the hardware palette in a long time. For as long what they need to finish the project off with style.® as I can remember, silver has been the metallic finish of choice. The trend started with bright silver leaf, which slowly shifted into Tara Crichton has worked in the framing industry for more than 24 nickel and then into darker silvers with patinated finishes. Gold years and is a graduate of University of Guelph with a double major was the color of “Grandma’s framing,” and designers and their in fine arts. She has worked in every aspect of the framing industry, clients avoided it like the plague. The new gold is modern, sharply including retail, wholesale distribution, OEM, and art direction. She angular, narrow, and delicately textured. It will be a slow process, now owns and operates a gallery just north of Toronto. SUMMER 2015 EDITION
THE GUERRILLA FRAMER
WHY I HATE
n the past decade, the art and framing industry has faced a number of significant challenges. It has experienced the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the crash of the housing market, and the proliferation of big-box craft stores. All of these factors have affected the sales and profitability of small independent frame shops and galleries. Yet, through ingenuity and perseverance, they’ve managed to survive, and art and framing sales are now experiencing a resurgence in sales. This situation is especially true for independent framers, who are starting to gain market share as more and more consumers recognize that 70 percent off a grossly inflated price is not such a great deal for a frame design showing a lack of professional design skills. Just as handing someone a paint set doesn’t make them an artist, giving someone a title and showing them how to use a
By Paul Cascio cash register doesn’t suddenly endow them with the skills they need to be a professional frame designer. It’s taken years, but consumers have finally begun to recognize that the real value of custom framing is in the enduring beauty of the results, not in the inexpensive frames they see in newspaper ads. The industry today is smarter, bolder, and more profitable than it has been at any other time in the past decade. However, despite this increase in prosperity, framers have yet to overcome one obstacle: the widespread, misguided, and illogical placement of flat-screen televisions on walls, instead of in entertainment centers or on furniture. This trend in consumer behavior has caused the framing market to shrink, robbed it of millions of sales opportunities, and generated a tremendous amount of human pain and suffering. Despite its widespread and devastating consequences to art and framing merchants and to consumers,
the problem has gone mostly unnoticed and almost completely ignored, and it has grown to pandemic proportions. And it’s got me hoppin’ mad. Flat screens have taken over valuable vertical real estate that was once the domain of artists, photographers, and framers. Paintings, prints, photographs, needlework, and lots of frames—your frames and my frames—belong on walls. What does not belong on walls are rectangular black holes of nothingness. And it’s all the Jetsons’ fault—George, Jane, Judy, and even little Elroy. They started it. They were the first perpetrators of this mess. They’re the ones who made us yearn for the advent of wall-mounted TVs. And now we’ve got ’em. But the Jetsons were wrong. TVs do not belong on walls. They surely don’t belong in the corner near a ceiling. And they have absolutely no business being mounted above a fireplace.
D E CO R M AG A Z I N E .CO M
Flat screens have taken over valuable vertical real estate that was once the domain of artists, photographers, and framers. Just because your customers can mount their Samsungs and Vizios on their walls doesn’t mean they should. In fact, mounting a TV on a wall isn’t just a bad idea from the perspective of a custom framer, it’s also a bad idea for your health. Historically, as you may recall, people placed TVs at eye level. Because most people watch television from a seated position, TVs were once much closer to the floor. This placement provided a viewing experience similar to what one enjoys when sitting in the center of a movie theater. Earlier generations of TVs were in their own cabinets or consoles; placed on stands; or tucked into entertainment centers, which have doors to hide the rectangular black hole when it is not in use. Today’s
SUMMER 2015 EDITION
TVs are much lighter and flatter than those of yesteryear. They rarely exceed a thickness of more than 5 to 6 inches, making wall mounting possible. But almost every wall-mounted TV is positioned much higher on the wall than is optimal for comfortable viewing from a sofa or an easy chair. These viewing angles can produce stiff necks, sore shoulders, and aching backs. If you don’t believe it, ask a chiropractor. Most will tell you that wallmounted TVs are great for their business. Any adult who has ever had the unfortunate experience of sitting in the first few rows of a movie theater should know better than to mount a TV so high up on a wall. Sure, it was cool to sit in the front row of the theater when you were 10 years old, but
no adult ever willingly sits that close to the screen. Long before the movie is over, your neck is certain to feel like a PEZ dispenser locked in the tilted-back position. Wall-mounted TVs rob custom framers of potential sales, and they need to do something about it. They need to take back what belongs to them. Unfortunately, this trend is not likely to go away anytime soon, and there’s little framers can do about it. However, you might consider educating your customers by providing literature about the potential health problems—and letting them know why they don’t want to emulate the Jetsons.® Paul Cascio is the lead instructor for The American Picture Framing Academy (pictureframingschool.com). Cascio also provides business and sales training and consulting. Contact Cascio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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FOR MARKETING THROUGH DAILY-DEAL WEBSITES By Ed Gowda
Marketing framing services through daily-deal companies is not for every business, but for those that are thinking about giving it a try, here are a few suggestions. Over the last several years, my shops have used daily-deal marketing to great advantage, and the following list contains some of my companyâ€™s success strategies. Daily-deal websites include Groupon, Amazon Local, and Living Social. These companies promote special discount deals; sell vouchers to their customers; and pay them for the sales, minus commissions and fees. New customers then bring these vouchers to your company. The daily-deal websites collect no money from you upfront. They get paid only if the offer to your customers is successful; if they donâ€™t sell a deal, you pay nothing.
Here are five more things to keep in mind when you first try out a daily deal.
BE AWARE OF THE TYPES OF CUSTOMER A DAILY DEAL ATTRACTS You will attract a few people who want something for nothing. One of the great advantages of these programs is that if customers are unsatisfied with your offer, they can easily return their voucher for a refund. This approach keeps you from getting negative online reviews. Most customers, however, understand what they are buying and are just looking for an incentive to spend money in your shop.
KNOW YOUR PRICING Get a good idea of how much your average customer spends per order. Make sure that the total value of the deal you are making is well below that average. This tactic ensures that the 50-percent-off deal that the daily-deal
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Get a good idea of how much your average customer spends per order. Make sure that the total value of the deal you are making is well below that average. site presents costs you only about 20 to 25 percent on average. Potential customers don’t see this approach as a trick. They generally understand that framing is far more expensive than the amount that the deal offers. If they do not understand this concept and feel that you are overcharging them, suggest that they return the voucher for a refund. This approach will generally defuse a potentially tense situation and prevent any bad online reviews.
CAREFULLY WORD YOUR DEAL Do not in any way imply that the amount offered will cover an entire framing order unless you are offering a package deal. Offers generally set certain limits, such as “$50 for $100 toward custom framing.” Also be sure to include important specifications, such as “limit: one voucher per frame,” “limit: three vouchers per customer,” and “voucher must be used in its entirety; there will be no refund or credit issued for unused amounts.”
GET AS MUCH INFORMATION FROM YOUR NEW CUSTOMER AS POSSIBLE When customers redeem their vouchers, make sure to get their contact information, especially their email addresses. Email is a preferred and effective method for these customers to receive future offers from you. Second, most of the daily-deal sites do not make a repeat offer to the same customer from the same merchant, so it is up to you to bring that customer back into the shop. Finally, email is the easiest and cheapest way to keep in contact with your customer base.
KNOW WHETHER DAILY DEALS ARE NOT FOR YOU Daily deals may not be the type of marketing that will work with your business model. If your shop cuts margins close so that you can offer your customers the best possible price, you have no room for an advertising budget. Therefore, this approach is not for you. However, when you use them properly, daily-deal sites can help bring new
customers into your shop. So, if you’re looking for a new marketing strategy, come up with a plan that makes sense for your business and give it a try. ® With three Framing Palace locations in Maryland, Ed Gowda has specialized in custom framing for over 25 years. One of his passions is to share information and ideas within the industry. framingpalace.com
By Linda Mariano
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During recent trips to my favorite art gallery and an amazing museum exhibition, I was reminded of how important an artwork’s display is to the overall effect of the art. As I viewed the sculpture collections at this gallery and museum, I noticed how the pedestals on which the artwork rested enhanced my experience of each piece. If you’ve had a similar experience and wondered how you can achieve the same display and appreciation for your treasured sculpture pieces, look no further than Pease Pedestals. Celebrating 20 years of creating beautiful acrylic fabrication, Pease Pedestals has established itself as a premier U.S. manufacturer of high-end acrylic furniture, fixtures, and accessories. Founder Patrick Pease and new owner Scott Gordon reveal how the company started, what drives its development, where it is headed today with Gordon at the helm, and—perhaps most important—what Pease Pedestals can do to inspire success in your business. DECOR Magazine: How was Pease Pedestals founded? Pease Pedestals: Patrick Pease began working with acrylic in 1979 as co-owner of Carmichael Designs in Palm Springs, California. Carmichael specialized in acrylic furniture design and fabrication. Patrick sold that business in 1995 and returned to his hometown in the Chicago area to raise his family. There, he opened Pease Plastics, again focusing on acrylic fabrication and creating a variety of furniture, display fixtures, accessories, and artwork. In 1997, Patrick exhibited his spectacular colored acrylic sculptures at Artexpo New York, and he realized that his pedestals were generating as much interest as his artwork. As a result, he created a full line of pedestals, and Pease Pedestals was born.
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DM: How did you develop your careers and come into this business? PP: With a background in art, Patrick was drawn to the techniques and creative possibilities of acrylic fabrication. His first and most celebrated pieces were layers of laminated colored acrylic forming magical prismatic sculptures. Needing a way to display the sculptures he created, Patrick made coordinating display pedestals. Galleries began ordering the display pedestals for their artwork, and Patrick soon realized that he could expand beyond the sculptures. The addition of high-end furniture—dining tables, side tables, chairs, barstools, benches, and more—gave the company a full range of products to enhance any decor. After 35 years of running a successful business, Patrick decided to scale back his involvement and find someone to buy into his business who would continue— and, he hoped, expand on—the legacy that he had built. Scott has always had a passion for working with his hands. By the age of 10, he had discovered Guillow’s wooden airplane kits—basically a set of plans with a couple of flat sheets of balsa wood from which he could build a fairly complex 3-D airplane that could actually fly. Over time, he expanded and refined his skills, building furniture and remodeling his home. A passion for art led him to open two art galleries in the 1990s, but, with a successful career in film and television, all of these remained merely hobbies—that is, until 2013, when Scott decided to start a second career and do what he loved. He looked for a successful business to buy into that would allow him to be creative and make things with his own hands. Luckily, he found Pease Pedestals just as Patrick was looking to make a move in his career. Today, Scott and Patrick work side by side, with Scott running all aspects of the business and Patrick advising when
needed and occasionally working on a sculpture commission. DM: What is your vision for the company and the motivation and inspiration behind your product lines? PP: Our vision is to make Pease Pedestals and its sister company, Pease Plastics, the premier U.S. manufacturers of high-end acrylic furniture, fixtures, and accessories. Pease has developed a solid reputation over the years, focusing on innovative design, quality, and service for the most discerning customers. The company wants that legacy to continue. The challenge is to keep all of those attributes at the highest level while scaling up to meet the demand. Deploying the latest technology—laser cutters, engravers, and computer-numericalcontrol (CNC) routers—certainly helps, but it is our exceptional craftsmen who ultimately maintain our high quality and make innovation happen. The pedestals are intended to be functional and beautiful yet not overpowering. Because they were originally developed to showcase Patrick’s acrylic art, many of them incorporated lighting, along with motors and turntables. The original designs have evolved over the years to our current line. We also create custom designs, and popular custom features often migrate to our standard line. We are continuing to develop new designs, inspired by the latest trends in art and architecture. DM: What materials and components do you use in your products? What innovations and product features differentiate you from competitors? PP: At Pease, we use a variety of methods in our construction. Many are common knowledge and similar to woodworking techniques, but we do have a few proprietary methods that set us apart from other acrylic fabricators. In particular, we are known for making beautiful, strong,
crystal-clear joints in thick acrylic. Industry professionals constantly compliment us on our joinery, and we have even acted as subcontractors for other acrylic manufacturers to provide them with our high-quality joints. We’ve also developed unique ways of using our laser to build jigs for cutting and shaping, allowing us to make items most acrylic fabricators would only tackle with a CNC. DM: What are your customers like? Do you have any great customer stories? PP: Our customers vary quite a bit. Most are galleries or furniture retailers who are in turn dealing with their retail customers. We provide them with all of our resources so that they can offer custom, high-end pedestals as if they were the manufacturers themselves. We work very closely with galleries; they are actually our primary sales force. We also supply a variety of designers and decorators, as well as a few of our own retail customers. We cater to a high-end, discerning clientele, but we also provide a full range of pedestals, including simple boxes and display cases. One of our favorite stories involves a designer who was so pleased with the acrylic furniture and decorative items that we had made for her that she sent us a very generous gift. In most companies it works the other way around! Somehow, we’ve managed to attract the most amazing, appreciative, and loyal clientele. Who could ask for more?
DM: How many people do you employ? PP: We have 27 employees, and every one of them counts. We believe in taking very good care of our staff; they are our most important asset. Each is an expert at what he or she does, and is valued by everyone within the company. We’re very proud to provide them with good wages, paid vacation and sick time, a health plan, life insurance, and a 401(k) plan with matching funds. In addition, we support the community where we all live and work. Many of our regular customers are local, so their causes often become our causes. We donate money, goods, and services to local charities. We’re also members of the local chamber of commerce and some neighboring towns’ chambers of commerce. We think this completes a circle of taking care and giving back, and we have been rewarded with loyal employees and loyal customers. DM: What can you tell us about product development? What’s on the drawing board? PP: Our customer base includes many leading designers and decorators, so we’re always participating in the latest trends. The development of new products at Pease Pedestals is constant and ongoing. Some designs begin as modifications to existing pedestals, and others are completely new creations. Inspiration comes from a variety of sources—perhaps an amazing work of art or a bold example of architecture. Inspiration can also come from new
technology. For example, although we have no specific plans to introduce any new models in the coming year, it’s quite possible that our ongoing migration from halogenand fluorescent-light sources to LEDs could result in new designs. Our growing use of lasers and CNC routers also opens up new possibilities beyond what we could do with traditional tools. We’re not only able to manufacture in a better way, we’re also often able to add new aspects to the design. DM: Do you have anything else to tell our readers? PP: Even after all these years, it’s great to see the business growing and thriving. We do it through building partnerships internally and externally: with our staff, our customers, our community, our industry, every point of contact. We’re excited about what we have. What we see in our customers is love for what we do and how we do it. How can you beat that? ® For more about Pease Pedestals, visit peasepedestals.com. With a career that spans 30 years, DECOR Managing Editor Linda Mariano is a leader in marketing, brand management, e-commerce, and promotion initiatives. Mariano’s expertise in the art and licensing industries has made her readily recognized for her strategic approach to integrated brand and business strategies. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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“Magical” 40" x 60" Oil on canvas
Sze King Lau Solo Booth: S413
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Aysel Gozubuyuk Gallery
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DECOR Expo Atlanta 2015
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SUMMER 2015 EDITION
PARTING SHOT Masterworks Fine Art Gallery Victor Vasarely, “Encelade,” c. 1960. Unique original gouache on paper
Masterworks Fine Art Gallery services private collectors, dealers, and museums all over the world. Known internationally for its specialization in 16th to 20th Century Masters, an important aspect of Masterworks’ continued success is that its clients are treated as family with full access to Masterworks’ market expertise, curatorial knowledge, and excellent staff service. Featuring over 500 works on display in its gallery, Masterworks hosts private viewings and special events, taking pride in being one of the most extensive and diverse art galleries in the world. With a wide range of masters, styles, and mediums, Masterworks’ exceptional gallery of international artists includes Agam, Appel, Braque, Brueghel the Elder, Chagall, Degas, Dürer, Léger, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picasso, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rouault, Toulouse-Lautrec, van Dyck, Vasarely, Vlaminck, Warhol, and Yvaral. Masterworks Fine Art Gallery 510-777-9970 masterworksfineart.com email@example.com 72