When we first pictured owning a gallery, we figured we’d spend the days happily chatting with clients, hobnobbing with artists and looking chic and drinking lots of Evian. We imagined there’d be an unglamorous side that involved managing the business side of things, opening boxes, hanging paintings and changing lightbulbs but we didn’t give it much thought.
Maybe this is what we envisioned when we thought about owning a gallery…
How times have changed. We realize now that owning a gallery is a little like raising a family – lots of dirty diapers, dishes to clean, noses to wipe, beds to make and yes, plenty of Christmas mornings to make it all worth while. We do get to spend plenty of time happily chatting with our clients and working with our wonderful artists, but we wear jeans and flats and grab a coke and a container of chicken salad from next door (Cafe at Pharr, the iconic lunch spot in Atlanta that is thankfully located behind us.)
Cafe at Pharr’s chicken salads are positively and absolutely addictive. Thank goodness they are right behind the gallery so we can pop in for our daily fix.
We plan our show schedules in between hanging paintings and strategize about our marketing efforts as we juggle zillions of emails that constantly swamp our in-box. Meetings are sandwiched in between studio visits and client consultations. Boxes arrive on an almost daily basis. Paintings need to be catalogued and tagged. Bios need to be written. Sometimes we’re welcoming groups of local art lovers or high school art students. Every once in a while, we celebrate a birthday with a proper lunch and some bubbly.
And yes, we love every minute of it.
Just last week, we had a couple of those funny days that makes us laugh at how we actually spend our hours.
First, Pascal Bouterin popped in to say hello after a sojourn in his native France. As always, we were delighted to see him, but we really were crazy about the shirt he was wearing:
The day got busy with the phone ringing and clients coming in and out and before long, our neat and tidy desk looked like this:
Speaking of unpacking paintings, sometimes we have to go at them with all sorts of tools, like we did a while ago when we received a huge crate just before a show:
Anyway, as soon as we got the paintings unpacked, catalogued and labeled, our friendly UPS driver brought us that one item we just love to hate: bubble wrap. The rolls are so enormous that we have to bodily squish them through the door. Usually Linda takes charge of that one:
After some rehanging (which we do on a daily basis to keep things looking fresh and exciting), Linda had to do a lighting check – our nice bright halogens burn out at an alarming rate. This process involves the ladder, juggling the new bulb while taking the old one out and trying not to sear your fingers at the same time. We volunteered to take a picture while Linda zoned in on the errant bulb.
In the meantime, we were doing what we love: chatting with clients, looking at art, running the business and generally adoring every minute at this little gallery. People never seem to believe us when we tell them we are slammed with things to do – is it because of our calm and serene atmosphere here?
Just like at home, everything needs looking after. Our little garden took a big hit this winter and our rosemary and lavender plants were looking worse for wear. We arranged for some new plants to be delivered and installed but once we got out there, we couldn’t help but start pulling and tugging.
Our little nursery up the street was out of white peonies, so we planted foxgloves instead.
Like our families, the gallery presents us with something different every day: many challenges but mostly wonderful rewards that fill our hearts with joy every day when we hang our “open” sign, roll our sleeves up – and get to work.