We have Lowell showing up after the Barack Obama interview with CNN at the tail end of the recent Unity Convention in Chicago's McCormick Place to exhibit his work and make contacts with the working press. I trust we will get updates on this from L.T.
Turtel, you have created your own way for years, doing the comic book convention and more.
ARC, an alternative space in Chicago that has been around for about 34 years, established for and operated collectively by women to exhibit, educate and promote mainly women artists. Nancy Charak (a regular commenter) is a member.
I am a member of Sapphire and Crystals, a collective that has been nomadic for the past 20 years and put on our own exhibitions in spaces where we are invited. Our goal is to promote professional African American women artists. Twice we were featured during Chicago Artists Month.
Traditionally artist salons were hosted in the homes of collectors. We know about Gertrude and Leo Stein, for example.
Open studios are routine for many artists. Artists have been rejected from major venues and made their own way for at least 150 years, sometimes coming out on top!
Do we really need the cachet some high end galleries afford us?
STUDIO SHOW: If I show my work in my studio it might sell at one price point to a friend or acquaintance. If I show it in a reputable, established gallery, it might sell at a different price point to someone I don't know, and get a review.
GALLERY SHOW: Same work, why not the same authority? Because of human nature. Some people want to be assured that they have good taste. Not quite mob action, but similar. EVERYBODY loves ...fill in the blank. Could be the thing everybody loves is actually the BEST thing. Could be everybody was kinda brainwashed. Could be many people don't trust their own taste. That's one reason Martha Stewart, Oprah and others have become rich, telling people what they should like. People need someone to tell them what is GOOD. HOW about an art guru TV program? Art offers all the stuff Oprah offers and lasts a lot longer, I bet!
TRUST: Collectors trust June Kelly, George and Jumaane N'Namdi, Norman Parrish, Mary Boone, Susan Woodson, Isobel Neal, Ann Nathan and other gallerists in Chicago and around the country. Collectors believe these folks assure the work has guaranteed value. Critics believe these galleries have the education and experience to select the best artists for their reviews. I insist my student study artists on line by seeking out websites that are not the artists'.
ART DEALERS: Paul Klein, who no longer operates a standing gallery, has more clout than just about anybody else in Chicago through his Artletter, preceded by his extensive experience with art and artists. (click on Paul's name to hear a recent "Hello Beautiful" interview.) So, if Klein or Madeline Rabb like your work, neither of whom run a traditional gallery space, but both of whom are often asked to place art in major collections, you could have it made in the shade. Well, sort of. You may have to do abstract art to get into most collections or be such a big name that they are buying your signature as much as your art.
painting above by Joyce Owens