Trying to break into the art scene is fairly difficult whether you are doing it as a hobby or a full-time profession. I am finding out it an expensive endeavor. I am in the first year cycle of learning the ropes. I have talked to various artists and galleries to find any short cuts possible. Obviously, one way is to open your own gallery in a high traffic area such as King Street downtown. That makes sense if you have deep pockets.
Once your gallery is established and has a following you can afford the high rents. My first experience with a downtown gallery was eye-opening. They were glad to show and sell my work for a mere 50% cut. Others want you to pay rent in advance each month. Some want between $185-195 per month.
Other options are to find gift shops willing to sell your work or setting up a booth at the Market or at festivals. Having a web site is a must. It is a great way to get your "virtual gallery" available to everyone with a computer. Charleston has Second Sunday and Summerville has Third Thursday. These are options but may not be for everyone.
I could go on and on but the bottom line is...selling your art can be somewhat difficult and expensive. So what is the solution to this problem.
West Ashley needs a venue for artists to sell their work for a rerasonable amount. Perhaps we need to band together and set up our own West Ashley Artists' Co-op. Hopefully, there is a business owner with space available who would see the value (and potential profit) in setting one up. This could fill up empty space and provide a place for artists to gather and sell their work. It could be a win, win situation. Perhaps a buasiness will allow artists to set up tables in their parking lot. There are many options.
We can make West Ashley the go to place in the Lowcountry if we all band together and find a way to show and sell our art.
I welcome any comments and/or suggestions on how this can be done. What i would really like to see is a business owner, who is a patron of the arts, to step up and make space available for the artist community of West Ashley.