This idea to open a gallery is clearly not a new phenomenon. Others exist in various forms. Thanks to the www we were able to do research near and far on other crazy (I mean like-minded) folks who blazed the trail ahead of us. In searching for successful models, we found a wealth of information and generous souls who were happy to share some pearls of wisdom and warning with us. Here are just a few of the valuable resources we’ve come across.
Close to home The Boston Sculptors Gallery (www.bostonsculptors.com) sets the bar high and proves it is possible for a group of artists to work together successfully and profitably. Both Bromfield (www.bromfieldgallery.com)and Kingston Galleries (www.kingstongallery.com) also provide us with examples of long term coop success stories. A neighbor to the west, North Adams Artists’Co-Op Gallery (www.naacogallery.org) is a relative newcomer, formed in 2008 as a seasonal destination, already grown to a year round venue.
Farther west still Spark Gallery (http://www.sparkgallery.com), in Denver CO, opened in 1978. Their members have been very helpful to us via email. Of course no gallery research would be complete without information from NYC. Got some great insights from the artist member point of view from a former member of the Bowery Gallery (http://www.bowerygallery.org/).
Jonanne Mattera offers a great article on the pros and cons of Artist Coop galleries- Well worth a read…http://joannemattera.blogspot.com/2010/07/marketing-mondays-co-op-galleries-yes.html
We’ve done our homework- We’ve read everything we can on the subject, and talked with numerous experts near to home and all over the country. If you know of any Coop Galleries we should talk with, or have your own gallery experiences to share, (positive or negative) we’d love to hear about it!