Rooftop, 2007, Oil on Panel, 8x10
Now that I have gotten my work back, I can talk a bit about another gallery that I also just left. That makes three this last year.
This was a good example of a gallery that I probably should have left some time ago, based on sales, but didn't because they were so great to work with in every other way. I was invited to participate in several themed shows which were a welcome challenge, they paid on time, and they were extremely supportive of their artists. They sold a few pieces of mine here and there, but really never more than that. They had a good reputation however, so I felt that having them on my resume outweighed any sales issues. When a new contract came last spring, I signed it, deciding it was worthwhile to stay on with them at least for another year.
Then a few weeks ago I received a letter from the owner. The retail gallery space would be closing and the owner was planning to work as an art consultant, placing art in public spaces, offices, cafes, etc. I felt pretty sure that my sales would not improve in those venues and the logistics of dealing with delivery and pick up would be very difficult for me to handle (they are located nearly a day's drive away and they don't ship work back). I reluctantly told the owner that I had decided not continue on with her and she was absolutely lovely about it (probably relieved-another non selling artist leaves!) and went out of her way to get my work back to me on a very inconvenient day.
I feel good about all of this and even kind of relieved that it's turned out this way. I am extremely relieved I was able to get my work back without incident, as I sure have heard some horror stories about that! But I am disappointed that my work didn't go over very well in their community even though I don't really take that personally. Sometimes my work really clicks somewhere and sometimes it just doesn't.