NOTE: It has become necessary to note that this piece was posted way back in May of 2012 and things can sometimes change over time. Please bear that in mind when making any decisions about visits.
You all have watched while Anna and I have moved in and restored the old adobe home which would become our gallery (see the previous post Anna Karin Gallery: Before and After which shows how we converted an old adobe home into an art gallery step by step). Starting a gallery up here on the High Road to Taos is a bit different than what most of you would face in other areas. For one thing the High Road is famous to art tourists, so a certain amount of high caliber traffic is built in. Lucky us. That is really the first thing to consider: location, location, location. If there is a well established art district in your town, find a building there.
The next consideration, of course, is cost. You must plan on few sales in your first several years. So your rent and utilities have to be as low as possible to accommodate that. And it wouldn’t hurt to have another source of income. Most of us on the High Road do. We piece together our livings which is one of the ways we make it through the thin times.
And most of us are showing and selling our own work. That way 100% of the sale comes directly to us. That helps.
But then we come to the less quantifiable measures—the more ethereal aspects of opening a gallery. I, personally, think the only way to successfully start a gallery is to do it with heart, love and creativity. It must become a living, breathing part of your life—a rather large and complex “work in progress.” One that brings you joy and to which you bring vast enthusiasm. If you’re not starting with this there’s just no point in even beginning. Because it will be a ton of work. And it will be discouraging—A LOT. You need a built-in belief in what you’re doing or you simply won’t be able to see it through. Seriously.
Anna and I went to Taos again the other day to buy the rest of the flowers for the gallery pots. This is what I mean. We’ve been planning these planters and their plantings for months now. None of this just happens. You need to make it happen. We are “creating” the gallery all the time. Because we love it. Because we have to.
So we borrowed Bill Loyd’s big truck (mostly because we were picking up our gallery couch that we’d put on layaway earlier–see previous post How Many Artists Does it Take…) and headed down the mountain to Taos. Anna drove which gave me a chance to shoot some pics as we moved through the mountains and valleys.
We arrived at Petree’s Nursery (see previous post Petree’s Nursery and Greenhouses, Taos, NM) just as the sky opened up and it started to rain. GORGEOUS! We love the rain here in the high desert of northern New Mexico. Anna already had in mind what we were going to buy, but we wandered through the greenhouses picking out our plants.
We’d already packed the giant couch in the back of the truck and tied it closed so we had to fit everything else in the extended cab (and on my lap). It was a pretty happy truck I want to tell you—filled with all those lovely growing things.
Will was our server once again, which always makes for a lovely time.
We shared the special salad which included a roasted avocado. Yummy!
Anna ordered the braised tuna.
And I had the linguini with lobster sauce, salmon and shrimp. Simply divine.
Our meals done, we couldn’t help ourselves. We HAD to have the Napoleon for desert. Trust me, if you get to the Trading Post Cafe, you MUST order this. It is exquisite!
And then we headed back up the mountain to our wonderful village of Truchas and to the gallery we share. I suppose that’s the other thing about opening a gallery: take a partner if you can. Do your gallery with a friend you enjoy; someone whose vision is in keeping with your own. Anna and I are very lucky in this. We share the work, we shore each other up when the going gets tough, and we relish the good times together. It is satisfying to create something as rich and vibrant as an art gallery. And it is wonderful to have someone by your side who knows just how much you’ve accomplished; and how much more there is to gain.
Love to you all,