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Caroline Henry Art Blog

Local Galleries

by Caroline , February 13, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: art, inspiration, organization

Whenever I travel, of course I visit the galleries and museums of art. It is inspiring to see the best of modern and ancient works. However, I also have a special fondness for small local galleries.

I love seeing the people who have taken the brave step of opening their own studio/galleries. Often they have recently taken the step of trying to live by their art alone, with an edgy optimism, flying without a net. Others have counted out the number of days they have to work at another job to make sure of the rent, substituting schools, waiting tables, or whatever--and the open sign hangs out the rest of the month.

Then there are the local non-profits or co-ops where groups work together to keep the place going and give one another mutual support, encouragement, critiques,and friendship. Here you often see experienced artists passing on hard won wisdom to newcomers, and the young providing a new breath of inspiration to the older artist. When I visit these galleries, I often find myself in conversations about the nitty-gritty of how they operate. After all, I belong to such a group myself. You never know what you will find. Brilliant work, beginning work, a corner set aside for student work from the local schools, a painting by a 90-something year old who continues to produce, perhaps kept young by her creative passion.

Last July, my own art group had to close our previous gallery, the one shown here in continuous line ink drawing with watercolor wash. the lease was eating up our reserves. We have finally found an affordable replacement, with the bonus of additional space, and will be moving in soon. That happenstance provided the impetus for this particular blog. My good wishes go out to art groups everywhere, with sympathy for your struggles, appreciation for the community you provide to your artists, and awareness of the asset you are to your locale.



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