exhibit for free – calling all artists

In my post on 15 January (houston, we have a problem pt.2) I mentioned that I was developing some creative ways to deal with the planning application hurdles and the impending delays to being able to open the gallery to the public.

I’m keen to turn my negative experiences into positive ones, especially for the emerging artists whose work I hope to exhibit.  So, here is the first creative concept that I have come up with… free online exhibitions.  Yes, free.

Calling all artists… painters, drawers, photographers, sculptors, fashion designers, print makers, etc.

Exhibit your artwork on one hundredth gallery’s website for free.  Yes, free.   Between 1 February and 30 April 2011, I will exhibit up to ten of your artworks on 100thgallery.com for free.  

For a grand total of $0.00, you will get – 

  • Your own page on 100thgallery.com with a brief bio and up to ten of your works displayed for 4 weeks
  • A blog post (written by you and I) on your collection and your work
  • Links from 100thgallery to your website and your contact details so that potential buyers can contact you directly
  • Promotion via the 100thgallery facebook fan page and 100thgallery twitter account

Why am I doing this?

Due to the unforeseen planning application process, it is unlikely that I will be able to open 49 Porter Street Prahran as 100thgallery to the public before May 2011.  Rather than letting this hurdle get in my way, I’d like to keep moving forward with my mission and vision to exhibit emerging artists.

Also, I hope that the artists who exhibit in the 100thgallery online gallery may one day exhibit in the physical premises when it opens; however there is absolutely no obligation to do so.

What do you have to do? 

  • Email me at charles@100thgallery.com with –
  • A short bio of around 200-300 words
  • Photos of up to 10 of your artworks (up to 500KB each)
  • A description of each artwork (title, dimensions in mm, mediums used, price)
  • Your email contact details and your website address if you have one
  • Your location (in Australia) and whether you will mail Australia wide

Fine Print

  • There is no fine-print other than I’ll probably limit this offer to 100 artists with a preference towards aspiring and emerging artists.
  • Oh, and I will reserve the right to exhibit or not exhibit work.  For example, if an aspiring artist wants me to exhibit a stick-person drawing done on toilet paper for $10,000, then I may decline.  Unless it is really really really good.

I think that is about it. 

Emerging artists… start or continue your CV’s here! 

I look forward to hearing from you.

what will we exhibit? what is art?

One hundredth gallery wants to exhibit talent in all of its forms.  When open, we will provide a space for talented people to exhibit their creations, whatever those creations may be.  One hundredth gallery will be an ‘art space’ for creative people; not just a gallery.

So before we become pigeonholed as a traditional art gallery, please let me outline what I would like to see in our art space during the next 12 months…

  • Fashion.  One hundredth gallery will be ideal for showcasing new designs, new collections, and new ideas in couture or wearable art.
  • Jewellery makers and craftspeople.  Exhibit your new work and launch your new collections to the public and to commercial buyers alike.
  • Music.  I would love for both traditional and experimental musicians to use the space to launch new sounds, compositions, and lyrics.
  • Literature/Poetry.  Poets, authors, writers.  Come one; come all to launch your new short story, book, or essay, and/or to conduct readings of your own work.
  • Film.  Writers, producers, directors… the art space can be set up with projectors to display your moving images.
  • Dance.  Not sure if we will have enough space, but we’re willing to give it a go!
  • Street art. Put your talent on display with the aim of signing commissioned work.
  • Etc.

One hundredth gallery aims to be a part of the process that enables creative people to make their work/art public. 

One hundredth gallery will of course exhibit all traditional forms of art as well… painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, installation, photography etc.

If you haven’t already, please get in contact (charles@100thgallery.com)  to exhibit your art in one hundredth gallery’s art space in 2011.

the greatest gift to an artist is

It was one of the greatest gifts I ever received.  A gift that was so thoughtful that I never saw it coming.  A gift that was so well coordinated, that I whilst I didn’t need to do much, I got so much out of it.

It was for my 27th birthday.  A group of four close friends secretly got together to gift me my dream.  I was stunned, humbled, and thrilled.  I am still stunned, humbled, and thrilled!

They knew that I had ‘parked’ my art in favour of the corporate life; but they also knew that my desire to paint, draw, print and exhibit was still running hot.  I had just turned out a new oil pastel series and the works were randomly hanging around the house.  Hanging around for no one to see… just like the 80+ pieces of art that came before it. 

And so, my close friends secretly worked on gifting me my dream.  My dream of a solo public exhibition. 

They organised the space, the grand opening party, a real estate board promoting the exhibition in one of Kensington’s busiest intersections, newspaper ads, and weekly full-page display ads in the local real estate agent’s magazine.

This was the greatest gift that they could give to an (aspiring) artist, and something that I will always be very thankful for.

Something clicked in me that day.  I didn’t quite know what it was at the time but a seed was planted.  A seed that would grow into an idea that would form a concept that would develop into the one hundredth gallery.

The one hundredth gallery aims to give the dream of ‘exhibition’ to all artists.

If you have a friend, relative, or anyone special who is aspiring, emerging or established in their art, why not gift them their dream.  ‘Exhibition Certificates’ for the nine walls within one hundredth gallery are now available.  Please see the ‘PRICING’ page for details and please email me at charles@100thgallery.com for further details and to place an order.

revised pricing

Now that we know that 100thgallery will be located at 49 Porter Street Prahran, I have been able to get into the space and measure it up.  This has allowed me to revise (and simplify) the pricing structure based on the walls that will be available. 

I now know that there will be a total of 9 walls of varying sizes available for artists to rent. 

Based on our revised modelling, one hundredth gallery’s pricing structure will now look something like this:

  • Rented wall space will be for about 2 weeks at a time (including move in and move out)
  • Each linear metre of wall space will cost $100 for about 2 weeks (the smallest wall is 1.5m or $150)
  • Artists can rent more than one wall but not less than one wall (unless artists coordinate for a wall to be shared)
  • There are 9 walls available for rent  | 1 x 1.5m | 1 x 2m | 1 x 2.6m | 1 x 3.0m | 2 x 3.5m | 3 x 3.6m
  • The whole gallery can be rented based on the prices quoted above
  • Sales commission will be 10% of selling price
  • All prices above are quoted ex-GST

This type of model turns ‘normal’ gallery pricing on its head and allows artists to better control the value of their work without losing 40% – 70% in commissions.

Artists will still need to submit the portfolio of work that they wish to exhibit for approval, and so that they can be scheduled with other ‘like’ artists. 

If you’re an artist (aspiring, emerging, established or otherwise), or if you know an artist that should be exhibiting then please get in touch via email on charles@100thgallery.com

100thgallery will also be selling gift vouchers so that friends and family of emerging and aspiring artists can encourage their art; but more on that later!

a creative odyssey

This post is a part of the Creative Odyssey Blog Hop organised by Jess from Epheriell Designs (epherielldesigns.com).  Kudos to Jess for organising such a wonderful gathering of like-minded individuals!

The idea behind this ‘blog hop’ is that each day 1 or 2 people will share their creative dreams and goals for 2011Today, I share the stage with Blacksburg Belle.

As many of you know by now, I resigned from my corporate job, and from my corporate life at the end of October.  I had spent way to long stuffing my creative dreams and goals into a cage, keeping them suppressed so that they wouldn’t interfere with my ‘normal’ life.

waiting 2010

As I now know, there is only so long that you can do this for before the cage lock breaks and dreams bubble to the fore.  My dream has always been to be ‘artistic’ for a living.  Whether it be painting, drawing, or writing, I feel most content when I am creating.  I wish I was musical so that I could add it to the list, but alas I am not!

Whilst resigning from corporate life gives me the opportunity to revisit my creative dreams, I have found myself in a new and interesting place.  I spent about 17 years in the corporate world before taking this chance.  I don’t think that this is right and I don’t think that creative people should have to ‘postpone’ their future.

So, whilst I still may chase my own creative dreams in 2011, my actual focus will be on helping others achieve their creative dreams so that they don’t have to lock them away.

2011 will see the opening of 100thgallery in Prahran Victoria.  100thgallery will be a gallery that allows artists to rent space to exhibit their creativity.  100thgallery will not be interested in whether artists have had previous exhibitions, nor will we be interested in average selling prices.

100thgallery is a ‘serviced office’ type concept that artists can rent a part of (or all of) on a fortnightly basis.  Aspiring, emerging, and established artists are all invited!

My creative dreams and goals for 2011 are:

  • establish 100thgallery within the emerging artists community as the first place to exhibit
  • exhibit at least 50 aspiring/emerging artists
  • open a second space by the end of the year
  • open studio space to encourage artists to gather and create
  • hold my own exhibition of paintings

My measure of success is for 2011 is simple… a long waiting list of artists wanting to exhibit at 100thgallery. If this is you, please email me at charles@100thgallery.com.

the marketing strategy

Opening one hundredth gallery presents some immediate marketing challenges as we have at least two primary markets that we need to continually communicate with.

These are:

1. Artists

Without art, one hundredth gallery will just be a room with really good lighting.  One hundredth gallery needs artists to display their art.  There is no shortage of artists around, but how many of them are willing to take the next step to display their talents?  I sincerely hope that they all will!  Art shouldn’t be kept in private… it should be publically available for the whole world to see.

Apart from asking artists to come forward via this website, facebook, and twitter, I will be aligning the gallery with universities, TAFEs, and some high schools (especially the ones with large art departments).  I will also be approaching artists directly, so look out!

2. Public

Without the public, one hundredth gallery will just be a room full of art.  One hundredth gallery needs the public to come through the doors to appreciate the talent of our emerging artists; and if compelled buy a piece (or two) to take home with them.

For emerging artists to truly emerge, their work needs to be viewed, critiqued and bought.

One hundredth gallery will be going on the PR trail as soon as we have set an opening date.  We will be telling our story to whoever will listen… the papers, journals, magazines, bloggers, websites, etc., etc.  We are also building a mailing list and have an evolving presence on facebook and twitter, as well as the blog/website you are reading!

The next step of course, will be to explore real-world advertising opportunities such as bills, postcards and whatnot. It goes without saying that until the gallery is full of the works of emerging talent, there’s not much point just advertising the space. A little chicken and egg, for sure – but that’s half the fun, right? The point is we’re not of the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality – we’re aware that there are two audiences here that we need to attract, but for rather different reasons.

the pricing strategy

I mentioned in a previous post that unlike most art galleries, one hundredth gallery will focus on exhibiting emerging artists and that we won’t charge exorbitant commissions to display artists’ work.

Instead, the one hundredth gallery concept revolves around renting wall space at a reasonable fixed cost with a small commission on sales, so artists share in the risk and reward for exhibiting and selling their work. 

Based on current modelling, one hundredth gallery’s pricing structure will look something like this:

  • Rented wall space will be for 2 weeks at a time (including move in and move out)
  • A dedicated three metre wall will cost $330 for two weeks
  • A dedicated four metre wall will cost $440 for two weeks
  • Artists can hire more than one wall but not less than one wall (unless a wall is being shared)
  • The whole gallery can be rented based on the prices quoted above
  • Sales commission will be 11% of selling price
  • All prices include GST

This type of model turns ‘normal’ gallery pricing on its head and allows artists to better control the value of their work without losing 40% or 50% in commissions.

Artists will still need to submit the portfolio of work that they wish to exhibit for approval, and so that they can be scheduled with other ‘like’ artists. 

If you’re an artist (emerging otherwise), I’m currently taking bookings for the first half of 2011. If you’re interested, please get in touch via email on charles@100thgallery.com.

why one hundredth gallery?

I really didn’t think that naming the gallery (and business) would be as challenging as it was.  My objectives for the gallery name were that it needed to be self-explanatory, slightly abstract, cutting-edge, appealing, and something that I could be passionate about.  The name also needed to be available as a .com and .com.au and able to be registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria.  Not a tough ask at all!

The working title for the gallery for the past six months was ‘Gallery42’ as 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything (as per The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams).  The naming committee and marketing extraordinaire (my wife) vetoed the name as too abstract (specifically, the street number of the gallery is probably going to be 49… so, 42 may have been a little confusing), so it was back to the drawing board.  For the record, I still really like this name!

The next great idea was ‘Emergist’ as the gallery’s primary focus is to exhibit emerging artists.  The naming committee again vetoed the name; this time for not being inclusive enough.

Given how challenging the naming process had become, the next working title was (aptly) ‘Untitled’.  We thought that this name was uber-cool, however the internet in its modern form has been around for about 20 years so the web addresses were well and truly gone, however I did register galleryuntitled.com.au just in case.

Next Big Thing; Open Space; Once Upon A Time; Concrete Box; White Wall; Blank Wall; Display; First Look; First Show; Debut; Blank Slate; Tabula Rasa; Site Unseen; Someday, One Day; Tomorrow; Today; Nube; Aspirist; Creatist; Emergin; Future Masters; Spring; Chance; First Chance; Big Picture; Anything; Now; Now Showing; My Art; Get Art; Fluffy Fish and many others were all possible options… well… all of those except for Fluffy Fish (sorry Elise!).

Six months passed and I was still no closer to making a decision.  Thankfully, I had self-imposed a deadline, and that deadline was last Monday.

Enter 100thgallery.

Whilst this may have been the 100th name that we brainstormed, and may very well be the 100th gallery in Melbourne, these weren’t the reasons for name. 

Actually, it was all far more simple than that.  My full name is Charles Tyler Hardman, making my initials CTH.  ‘C’ in roman numerals is 100 and T and H have no Roman numerical value so the decision was made easy!  One hundredth gallery (AKA 100thgallery) was born!

calling all emerging artists

After many many many years of walking the corporate walk and talking the corporate talk, I have thrown it all in to pursue a personal dream.  More importantly, I have thrown it all in to assist others to pursue their dreams.

I’m opening an art gallery in Prahran, Victoria in early 2011.  One hundredth gallery will be a small fifty square metre space that will be divided into three compact and intimate 3m x 5m rooms.

Unlike most art galleries, one hundredth gallery will focus on exhibiting emerging artists.

Unlike most art galleries, one hundredth gallery won’t charge exorbitant commissions to display artists’ work.

Rather, we have something different planned so please stay tuned as one hundredth gallery aims to turn the gallery world on its head.

I was an emerging artist once… but I never really emerged!  During my twenties, I had three public art exhibitions (two group and one solo) and also have some prints on permanent display somewhere  in Japan… they were a gift from me/my high school to a visiting Japanese delegation.

All of this gave me some confidence to try and pursue a career in the arts, so I started approaching galleries in and around Melbourne.  On each occasion, I was asked three questions…

  1. Where have you exhibited before?
  2. What is the average price of your work?
  3. How much work have you sold at that price?

Most art galleries are commercial operations that exist to make as much money as possible.  Sales = Commissions = Profits.  The bigger the price, the bigger commission.

In my opinion, there is a huge problem with this approach.  Artists need to start somewhere.  Artists need to build their CVs and the value of their work over time.

This is where one hundredth gallery aims to bridge the gap.  I hope you will join me on this journey to uncover our emerging artists and to provide them with a place to exhibit their talent.