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So today I went down to Kirkland to scout around the art galleries there. I hadn't been there in 3 years.

Three years ago there were more galleries there than I could count - today, there were six, most of which were small, cramped, and disorganized. Three years ago there was a significant variety in the styles, mediums, and price ranges of art being shown - today it was almost all nature photographs and impressionist landscapes, with prices between $3k-$12k (that may seem like a large range, but consider that even the low end puts the purchase way out of the reach of most individuals - forget the days of buying art because you like it.)

The only gallery which expressed any interest at all in my work was Parklane, the Kirkland co-op. Now don't get me wrong, co-ops are great - but I can only pay so many $XX/month membership fees, in the hope that I *might* sell some work in a scene that is very obviously dying.

The one place I'd hoped might be interested due to what I saw on their website said flat out that not only weren't they interested in surrealist work, they didn't know anybody in the entire Seattle area who would be. They get points for honesty, at least....

It's interesting. On the one hand, I could be disheartened that the art scene in Kirkland does appear to be dying, and that what is there is so mismatched with anything that I do. But I actually find myself encouraged, because this is very much what I expected (not the dying art scene so much, but that nothing "fit").

The next stop is probably Pioneer Square, but I'm not terribly hopeful - I wasn't very impressed by the stuff on the art walk I saw a couple months ago, and the online galleries are showing nothing but abstracts and impressionist landscapes.

Here's another interesting trend I'm noticing: when I lived here three years ago, there was exactly one co-op gallery in the greater Seattle area, and it was brand new. Now? There are at least four. That tells me that while the gallery scene may in fact be drifting towards bland, corporate, "safe" art, the artist community is sick of this and starting their own venues. But are people buying from them? I guess that's the question.

I am not discouraged, though. While there was a time when a single gallery saying no would have sent me into a spiral of self-doubt, I now have sufficient confidence in myself and in my work that it's just a matter of deciding which places are worth my time to try. All I have to find is one person willing to give a chance to something a little different.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2005 05:33 am (UTC)
Outlying areas
You might also look at Bremerton and Tacoma, where some artists went when the dot com boom forced them out of Pioneer Square and Belltown.
Oct. 11th, 2005 05:16 am (UTC)
There were a few rather edgey pieces I've seen now and then during first thursdays that probably wouldn't be in the corporate galleries. I forget where I've seen them though. Might have to just drag you out with me when my friends and I go gallery hopping at the rate of about everything in 2 hours. *lol* Yeah, this is why I can't remember locations. Too fast, but you cover a lot of ground. There was one neat piece involving live gerbils. Tee hee. The place I had a show at in Pioneer Square, was the D'Adamo Woltz Gallery. They primarily focus on abstract, but I somehow got one of my creatures in there for a group show. Trying to find other places that'll take that kind of stuff. There's COCA, Soil and a couple other places that interesting things have shown up at. They seem to accept weird student work a lot easier at some places. *shrugs* You could try poking around at individual shops like Edge of the Circle in Capitol Hill. I don't know if Aurafice is still in business. You can look them up online. Goth netcafe. There's also Gargoyles on the Ave.
Nov. 7th, 2005 01:00 am (UTC)
There used to be a *lot* of art galleries here in Kirkland. They started vanishing soon after the dotcom crash.

Talking with the operator of one of them at the time, they were apparently mostly all run by the spouses of microsoft millionares. No more microsoft millionares, no more art galleries.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


firesea: self-portrait
Heather Keith Freeman
Fire Sea Studios

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