Sunday, September 23, 2012

I'm Leaving The Gallery

My space at Ten Women Gallery on Montana
It's been just about 4 years since I joined Ten Women.  We were located on Abbot Kinney in Venice when I started with them and I loved it.  Part of the excitement was because we were located in Venice and at the time, it was just starting to develop into what it is today. 
If you googled it, you would read that it's the hottest spot in Los Angeles.  The place to go to walk the 6 or 7 blocks of wonderful clothes, art, eateries, antiques, galleries, etc. etc, that just keeps expanding and enticing people to want to experience it.  It just keeps evolving into this developing area where celebrities go and probably own half the real estate because they are, I guess, the only people who could afford the properties or rent at the moment for that matter...which is why Ten Women had to leave.

The new gallery location on Montana in Santa Monica, is a very nice area where there are a variety of stores along the avenue, some decent restaurants and was, at one time, a lovely place to take a stroll, shop and have lunch.  It went through a hard time of recent years when lots of the stores closed due to lack of customers, etc.  For some odd reason, it just went South.  It's just starting to change during the past few years, so my guess is that it's a good place to be, with giving it some time to develop and pick up business again.  This is not why I'm leaving the gallery.

Ten Women is a womans artist cooperative where the art is juried in, the artist pays their rent for the space they are given and once a week, does a shift at the gallery, joins a committee and attends as many meetings as possible.   The meetings are held once a month unless there are urgent issues, there is an agenda to follow where the current issues are discussed and voted on and/or anything else that a member may want to discuss on a personal matter.  For the most part, this works out quite well.  Every one gets a say, a vote is taken and things get decided based on the majority.  No one is suppose to be in charge......Not True! It's also a pain staking process to get a group of women to decide on lots of issues.  We all think we are right after all and things that are not decided on get put off till the next meeting...and so on.  Could take months, maybe never, to get a final vote.

Without getting into who did what, who said what and what I think is terribly wrong with some of the "rules" and "strong opinions" of some members, suffice it to say that I am not happy with the negative and limited mentality of some of the senior members. 

I believe I have just out grown the venue and feel held back.  For the most part, I've done very well in Venice and am 7th in sales on Montana.  There are 23 artists at present so that is doing pretty well I have to admit.  I mostly make my rent each month ($200) plus, and my shift is an opening shift on a Thursday morning for 2 1/2 hours which works out well for my busy schedule.

Why not stay? might ask...  The decision was made based on my passion, my dream to have my own and to experience freedom in what I sell and how much I sell.  I do not have that potential at Ten Women.   I was originally juried in for my mixed media art, then I started making a lot of jewelry and was juried in for it, but I can only exhibit 10 pieces in my space at a time.  These are the rules and they do not want to change the rules as they do not want to be known as a jewelry store.  There are only 3 jewelers allowed at any one time except for this limited amount another artist may want to sell.  The truth is, jewelry sells and brings in customers.  However, this is not an issue that the members want to discuss as they are tired of me bringing it up.  I stopped.

In any case, this is just one obstacle I've encountered and I am no long willing to experience the frustration of being held back.  I truly believe that when one door closes, another opens.  I also believe I am ready to fulfill my dream.

Today, I saw the modest gallery/studio space I believe is meant to be mine.  I've inquired by leaving a message and hopefully, I will find out more details tomorrow.  So, with that said, this story will continue....

Wish me luck ;-)


Jane Farr said...

Sending you best wishes, Renee. Hope you hear back about the studio space and that it is an open door to new and wonderful opportunities for you! xo

Lisa Holtzman said...

You always do well when you follow your passion and trust your instincts. I'm sure bigger and better things to fulfill your dreams are in your immediate future!

Gwen Buchanan said...

The scenario, you describe, must be fairly common because I felt you just described what has taken place in our village. It certainly is clear then when it is time to make a stand for yourself. Congratulations and the Best of Luck.