You Need Galleries in More Than One City



Arlie Regier - Stainless Steel



Arlie Regier - Stainless Steel

When the sculptor Arlie Regier first came to me in 1994, he was as unknown an artist as I was a gallery owner.  But I instinctively realized that his works, some of them composed of 5000 pieces of stainless steel, would find a broad audience if I could just succeed at promoting him.  Man, did that take years of hard work for both him and me.  A new artist (he was 64 at the time) is always slow to be recognized.  But if you believe in the work and the artist… you stay with it no matter how many times you hear the word “No.”  And we heard it thousands of times.


When “No” is irrelevant

Nonetheless, I continued promoting him, deciding that the only way his career would broaden would be through placing the work in tourist Meccas.  I mean, I might have a well-respected gallery in Kansas City, but KC ain’t no tourist destination. 

So I put him with a gallery in San Francisco; they moved nothing.  Then I put him with a gallery in Aspen; they moved nothing.  Then I convinced Khourde Fine Art in Santa Fe to take him.  That was the right fit.  Over the years, they began outselling my gallery-which takes some doing. 

Eventually I placed Arlie with a gallery in Carmel, then another in Vail.  Finally, in 2007, The Museum of Fine Art, Boston, acquired one of his works for their permanent collection.  With the enormous credibility that gives him, I can now place him with galleries virtually anywhere I choose.

Then I went to Las Vegas and closed a deal with a gallery on The Strip.  Vegas?  An art town?  Well, not quite yet.  As you probably know, it specializes in kitsch.  But the tourists are there, and among all those tourists are certainly collectors.  We plan to work with that market.  Yet none of this would have happened if Arlie and I hadn’t persisted.

My point? 

If you’re having little success with galleries in your own region, don’t hesitate to try other regions.  Heck, try several.  Just stay with it.  Perseverance brings its own rewards. 

As for approaching galleries in other cities, I cover that in Living the Artist’s Life.  No, you don’t have to go out and buy the book.  Just go to a library.  I understand it’s with a great many now.

And don’t hesitate to learn from the professionals around you. I’m speaking at the smARTist Telesummit 2009 this year and I encourage you to check it out and see if it feels like a good fit. It just might help you with a whole lot more besides getting into galleries.

One Response to “You Need Galleries in More Than One City”

  1. Lynne Oakes says:

    I just wanted to validate you on being so tenacious in helping this wonderful sculptor make it. He was blessed to have you come into his life and I only wish more of us had someone like you to persist until the world sees the beauty we create.

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