Gallery is a new take on holiday sale
It's common for the Northland's artists to conduct their own retail sales, going to (typically juried) art fairs spring, summer and fall and sometimes hosting holiday sales out of their homes. But two area artists are taking that entrepreneurial ...
It's common for the Northland's artists to conduct their own retail sales, going to (typically juried) art fairs spring, summer and fall and sometimes hosting holiday sales out of their homes. But two area artists are taking that entrepreneurial spirit a step farther, opening their own gallery for the holiday season.
Just for the Season Gallery, started by Susan Bolos and Rosemary Guttormsson, held a special opening Thursday and runs until Dec. 29. Bolos and Guttormsson rented space on favorable terms in the Holappa Building at 1131 E. Superior St., where they started work at the beginning of the month to clean floors and display work.
In addition to their own paintings, the gallery will show work from many other area artists they know, some well-known, others relative newcomers. The list is still growing but already includes Betty Brown, Nancy Enghusen, Liz Holt, Vivian Larson, Don Melander, Heather Meyer, Beth Rose, Bett Wallace, Michelle Wegler and Dee Dee Widdes.
The idea is to offer greater exposure for the artists than they might normally find and to give customers another place to shop for local artwork.
"We realized that if we came together and showed our work collaboratively, everyone would benefit," Bolos noted in a press release.
Guttormsson noted Tuesday that for some of the less-known artists, it's a chance to see how the public responds to their work.
The works for sale include original paintings, prints and cards, as well as pottery and glasswork. Prices range from $2 for some cards to more than $1,000 for individual original paintings.
Tuesday, Bolos, who paints seascapes and landscapes, showed some of the art while taking a break from hanging paintings and setting up displays. "We have all different styles," she said. "Dee Dee paints a heavier style. She uses a lot more color."
Of Melander, another of the artists in the show, she added, "He does very detailed drawings of buildings and boats, and then he puts a watercolor wash over it."
And on down the line, Bolos described Meyers' functional pottery, Enghusen's watercolor paintings, Miller's and Rose's stained glass work.
"We're giving exposure to some artists," she said. "And we may have a whole lot more."
She and Guttormsson take a small commission on works sold, which she described as smaller than is typical in a gallery setting.
Setting up a gallery -- an idea the two read about in a magazine -- is different from the art fairs Bolos is used to, which involve lots of packing things in the truck, setting things up, then tearing down and packing again, all in the same day. Here it's a semi-permanent installation. For Bolos, the short gallery run will replace the sale she normally does this time of year. For Guttormsson, who normally has a sale in the summer, this is a new opportunity.
"It's a good location," Guttormsson said. "I hope some business comes."
The two have worked and partnered with others to advertise. Signage is on its way. And it's a lot of work -- Bolos said cleaning the floor alone was a five-hour job.
But if things go well, they may do it again.
Hours for the gallery are Wednesdays through Fridays, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
The gallery will also be closed Christmas. However, it will remain open until Dec. 29, "so that if anyone has any money to spend after Christmas, they can spend it with us," Bolos joked.
Kyle Eller is features editor for the Budgeteer News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 723-1207.