The opening reception for Gallery 99 was packed last night. There was music and food and wine and people looking at and talking about and buying art.
Seems like there were a few different types of buyers. There were the bargain hunters. These people got to the gallery 1/2 hour early like professional tag sale shoppers. They wanted to scoop up the $99 Laura Von Rosk paintings, a well known local artist who sells her work for thousands of dollars. Then there were the people who seemed to think that because all the art was less than $99 that $60 was too much money for a signed print. As if all the art should be half price. There were those people who saw something they liked and bought it because it actually was a fair price or a bargain and they could afford it. Then there was the loyalty buyer. My mother for example, she bought one of my potholders and a pack of Jon’s note cards, both in her price range.
The artists also dealt with the idea of $99 or less in different ways. Some already had work within the price range, others made new work for the show, (smaller versions of what they usually do), others brought older work that they were ready to move . One furniture maker ,who usually gives his work away, was happy to sell a lovely table for $79. He said he felt bad charging more because he made it out of scrap wood.
I think tonight’s crowd will be different. More people just dropping in off the street. People who don’t necessarily know the artists or are usually interested in art. Part of the idea for Gallery 99 is to introduce the idea of looking at and buying art to a new audience. To make art more accessible to more people.
Others will be coming to hear Jon’s talk on Creativity and Change. Maybe they’ll be inspired and see something they like.