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Artists need an outlet

West Ashley Artists' Co-op anyone"?

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.

Michael Kaynard is a West Ashley Photographer.  Go to http://kaynardphotography.webs.com to view his work.  He can be reached at mkaynard@gmail.com or 843-412-2299

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Kris Rife March 17, 2012 at 08:52 PM
As the owner of an art supply store in Mt Pleasant, this is a frequent topic of discussion with our customers. One option many have chosen is collaborating with coffe shops and restaurants seeking wall decor (with your price tag on it). Win-Win
Michael Kaynard March 17, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Thanks for you comment Kris. I am doing all of those things myself. I have prints on the walls of Juanita Greenberg's, Bluerose Cafe, Graze, etc. What ai was hoping for was more of an art mart where a lot of artists could be represented and not have to pay a large rent up front. Or, some type of "farmer's market" type set up for West Ashley. Your suggestion is a good one and works for some. I just happen to know that space in these businesses is limited and some may not know how to get into such places or feel awkward asking. I would just like to see more people being able to sell their work.

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