An Art Town
I’ve been a long-time subscriber to American Art Collector Magazine. This magazine is published out of Scottsdale, AZ and features the artists and galleries of this area in print at least once a year. I was fortunate enough to have been featured in this prestigious publication in May, 2011 with the Grand Bohemian Gallery.
Life is a Journey
Over the years of reading Art Collector, I longed to visit Scottsdale’s Art Gallery district. Scottsdale is just outside of Phoenix, (the city you have to fly into to get to Sedona) so this trip I decided to take a day to discover it. My first stop was Xanadu Gallery. Having read Jason Horejs’ book Starving to Successful: The Fine Artists Guide to Getting into Galleries and Selling More Art, and receiving his blog posts, I figured I’d stop by and and say hello.
In his book, Jason suggests that you pop in on the gallery with portfolio in hand, don’t make an appointment, don’t tell them you are coming. I reminded him of this as we spoke :). I asked Jason how he chose his artists and he told me that before he wrote the book and the blog he used to have a more difficult time finding good artists to represent. These days he told me that gets traffic all day long of artists who took his “just pop in” advice.
“Do you ever regret writing the book?” I asked him tongue in cheek. He replied that he did not, in fact he was happy to be able to have met and helped so many diverse artists, both emerging or established in their career. He said that when he gets emails from people who say “Jason! I did it, I took your advice and got into a gallery that is now selling my work.” It makes it all worthwhile.
I didn’t bring Jason a portfolio to review, but I did give him my card and I’ll follow up with a note, thanking him for his time. He made mention that he’s currently booking shows into 2016. That would give me time to put some things together. You never know.
For the Love of It
It was very slow and quiet on Monday afternoon in the middle of April. Scottsdale has a season for gallery hopping and summer is not it.
Melanie at Tilt Gallery told me that since you could see steam coming up off the sidewalks, people were not coming back to Scottsdale until winter. She said that being a new gallery on the block last year, she stayed open all summer to gain a presence. But, she told me, she will close along with many other galleries for the summer this season. Their current show by Casebeer and Randal Wilson is a collaboration between two artist partners. I very much enjoyed the work.
I was impressed with the diversity of style and subject matter in Scottsdale, something for everyone. One of my favorite galleries for the work was the Gallery Russia. Scott Eubanks told me all about how every bit of the work is from the countries of the former Soviet Union. He explained that they purchase the work up front from the artists, have it shipped over as rolled canvas, then stretch and frame it on their end at their expense. He said that with the advent of digital photography, he’s not been over there since 1999 to choose artwork, he simply checks his email box. My favorite pieces were by Victoria Kalaichi, her use of light and color was stunning.
Across the way at Altamira Fine Art I found the work of R Tom Gilleon and his series Fire Within. Boy does this guy love color! Stunning imagery of Native Americans in large format covered the walls of this wide open gallery space. I was drawn into his work like a bug to the light.
Overland Gallery took the cake for the most beautiful and richly colored space on E. Main St. Although most of the work was too traditional in style for me, there was one artist who’s work made me zoom in for a closer look. Joseph Lorusso’s use of color, texture and light combined with loose brush work and beautiful composition was wonderful.
Oh! If I only had a spare 10K (or much more) laying around, I’d be a happy shopping camper. I was very encouraged to see the price points for fine art in Scottsdale were high and that the gallery district was so concentrated. This is good news for those of us making a living from fine art.
There is definitely something for every taste and budget here in Old Town, even if it’s just a light lunch and an afternoon speaking with gallery owners, appreciating and enjoying the diverse artists they represent.
for being part of my