I now show my work at 555 Gallery in South Boston. Over the past year, the gallery's owner, Susan Nalband, has shown my work twice and in 2015 we will show the Monsters work in September (don't know about this new work? Stay tuned). I am extremely pleased to say I am one of the stable of artists showing at 555 Gallery.
What does that mean, to be on a list of represented artists at a gallery? Often it means that a contract has been signed by both the gallery and the artist that stipulates the terms of their working together. This can cover how much the gallery takes of a sale, the frequency of your work being shown, the definition of the region where representation is, terms of how framing, shipping and transportation costs are handled, the nature of limited editions, how sales are handled through other galleries, exclusivity and so on. For many this relationship looks like the gold at the end of the rainbow, a career objective reached. But a gallery cannot do everything. The gallery has to take care of all the other artists too. Let's take a look at another Boston photo gallery: Robert Klein Gallery. The gallery's list of artists shows 131 all told! This is like a supermarket of photographers with an almost infinite number of choices. What this means is that Klein gallery is the "go to" gallery in Boston for A list artists, both alive and dead, from around the world. Want a Steiglitz for your new high end McMansion in the burbs? Who are you going to call: Robert Klein. Has he got it in stock? Absolutely not, but his search machine of contacts and the network he has is large and reaches everywhere. Susan at 555 Gallery has a much shorter list and, being a new gallery, that list is still developing. Robert Klein is the established gallery in the Boston area. 555 is the new upstart gallery, able to turn on a dime, show different photographs in different ways, show younger edgier work that pushes at photography's conventions a little while still carrying a few old farts like me. I am thankful to be along for the ride.
I wonder if Robert Klein's gallery was open New Year's Eve? 555 was with a party that, quite simply, rocked. I know. I was there. I even danced!
Susan has in one short year become one of the sought after gallery owners for portfolio reviews and judging competitions and has gained respect in the community for her considered and respectful critiques of artists' work.
While the space is not large it is perfectly set up for looking at work with strong and direct light, with plenty of room to move around and see the work both close up but also from some distance. You've probably heard of a gallery's "back room". The back room is where most sales take place and if a gallery doesn't have one it may not make many sales. 555 Gallery's is spacious and set up perfectly to discuss terms and to show work in portfolios from flat file cases.
Susan has also shown some wonderful work since opening last January while at the same time has proven willing to learn from a few mistakes. Running an art gallery is not for the feint of heart as this is a high risk business. Susan is proving to possess the necessary toughness to survive combined with accessibility, approachability and enough humanity to be able to carry on a conversation with those experienced and inexperienced alike, a very rare attribute for a gallerist.
I wish her and my work well, of course. But feel I am in good hands with a gallery owner who is straightforward and friendly with all potential clients while being a strong advocate and agent for the artists she exhibits. If you haven't been, I urge you to go.
555 Gallery is located at:
555 East 2nd Street, Boston