Sunday, September 25, 2011

Artists to Research

Plotkin image
Image: Linda Plotkin, VOICES-Beata, 2011, monotype, 12" x 12" image and sheet, edition: unique

About the Artists

This exhibition represents recent works from current Keyholder Residency Program artists and participants in the Studio Rental Program. These programs provide New York area artists access to both affordable facilities and a close knit print community; both of which are essential to self publishing printmakers. The exhibited works are a great example of both the range of techniques and experimentation possible at the shop and the high caliber of work being produced there. As a former Keyholder, it is exciting to see the continuation of these programs and the expansion into the beautiful Midtown facilities. It continues to be a much needed contribution to printmaking in New York City and the print community at large.

- Glen Baldridge

Lower East Side Printshop

306 W. 37th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10018

DAN ALVARADO (b. 1985, New York, NY; lives in New York, NY) Select exhibitions include The New Gallery +15 Window Space, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Climate Gallery, Long Island City, NY; Rogue Space Chelsea, New York, NY; Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Silver Springs, MD; and City Without Walls, Newark, NJ. He is a member of the 10p Collective.

FELIPE BAEZA (b. 1987, Guanajuato, Mexico; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) received his BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. His work has been featured in The New School, New York, NY; International Print Center New York, NY; and Meyerson Hall Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. He is a recipient of the Michael S. Vivo Prize for Drawing.

JOELL BAXTER (b. 1968, Washington D.C; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) received her MFA from University of Illinois at Chicago and BFA from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and. Select exhibitions include The Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; International Print Center of New York, NY; Regina Rex Gallery, Queens, NY; and Collette Blanchard Gallery, New York, NY. She is a recipient of Workspace Residency Program, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Artist in the Marketplace Program, The Bronx Museum of the Arts.

ERIN DIEBBOLL (b. 1984, Massachusetts, lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) received her BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Select exhibitions include International Print-graphic Triennial, Kulturwerkstatt Uferstöckl, Wallsee, Austria; International Print Center New York, NY; and Collette Blanchard Gallery, New York, NY. She is a recipient of the Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency; Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship; and Swing Space Residency; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

(b. 1982, Santiago, Chile; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) received her BFA from Universidad Finnis Terrae. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Starret-Lehigh Building, New York, NY; and La Sala Gallery, Santiago, Chile. Group exhibitions include School of Visual Arts, New York, NY; Centro de Artes Visuales de Santiago, Chile; Centro Cultural Montecarmelo, Santiago, Chile; and several commissioned projects in Chile.

BRAD EWING (b. 1973, Columbus, OH; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) received his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and BFA from Cornish College of the Arts. Select exhibitions include Joe Bar Gallery, Seattle, WA; SHO Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; International Print Center New York, NY; Rubelle and Norman Schafler Gallery, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY; and 192c Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

LAURIE FRICK (b. 1955, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Austin, TX and Brooklyn, NY) received her MFA from the New York Studio School and MBA from the University of Southern California. Recent solo exhibitions include Edward Cella Art & Architecture, Los Angeles, CA and Robert Steele Gallery, New York, NY. Select group exhibitions include the Texas Biennial, Houston, TX; McColl Center for Visual Art, Charlotte, NC; and NYSS Gallery, New York, NY.

LNY received a BFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. LNY's work has been featured internationally in AKA Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Public Studio V, Incheon, South Korea; Northern Soul, Hoboken, NJ; and 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA. LNY has held residencies in Seoul, South Korea and Incheon, South Korea.

(b. 1967 Seoul, ROK; lives and works in Paterson, NJ) received her MFA from Columbia University and BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Select solo exhibitions include Paterson Museum, NJ; Walsh Gallery, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ; Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ; Jersey City Museum, NJ; and The Trenton City Museum. She is a recipient of the Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency, Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship, and Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Artist Fellowship Grant.

JENNIFER MACK (b. 1979, Goose Creek, SC; lives in Hoboken, NJ and works in New York, NY) received her MFA from Pratt Institute, MA from Tufts University, and BA from Morris Brown College. Select group exhibitions include Brooklyn Museum, NY; Brooklyn Restoration Project, NY; Newark School of the Arts, NJ; Defoors Art Center, Atlanta, GA; and Spruill Center for the Arts, Atlanta, GA.

ARTURO MEADE (b. 1963, Mexico City, Mexico; lives and works in New York, NY) is a self-taught artist. His work has been featured internationally in solo and group exhibitions including Museo de Arte de Querétaro, Querétaro, Mexico; Museu Valencia de la llustracio i de la modernitat, Valencia, Spain; Waikato Art Museum, New Zealand; and Galería Talleres Portocarrero, Havana, Cuba.

LAIMAH OSMAN (b. 1975, Kabul, Afghanistan; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) received her MFA from Pratt Institute and BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. She is a recipient of the Community Arts Regrant Program of the Greater New York Arts Development Fund; co-founder of The Persian Poetry Project, and participant of the 2010 Southern Graphics Conference Print Exchange, Philagrafika, Philadelphia, PA.

FELIX PLAZA (b. 1946, Santurce, Puerto Rico; lives and works in New York, NY) received a Fine Art Certificate from New York Phoenix School of Design. Select solo and group exhibitions include Exit Art, New York, NY; 2B Gallery, Budapest, Hungary; Dieu Donne, New York, NY; Brooklyn Public Library, NY; and Donnell Library, NY. He is a former participant of Printline Exchange Residency, Belgrade, Yugoslavia and has work included in many private collections.

LINDA PLOTKIN (b. Milwaukee, Wisconsin; lives and works in New York, NY) received her MFA from Pratt Institute and BA from University of Wisconsin. Select group exhibitions include Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York, NY; 222 Shelby Street Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Gallery 225, New York, NY; and a commission portfolio for Pennsylvania State University Rare Books Collection. Her work is included in private and public collections including Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Albright Knox Gallery, Philadelphia Museum, and Yale University Museum of Art.

MARY TING (b. 1961, New York, NY; lives and works in New York, NY) received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and BFA from Parsons School of Design. Select solo exhibitions include Lambent Foundation, New York, NY; Dean Project, New York, NY; and Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY. She is a recipient of the Drawing Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts; Ruth Chenven Foundation Award; Tide Foundation-Lambent Fellowship in the Arts, and Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant; Workspace Residency, Dieu Donne; Artist in the Marketplace Program, The Bronx Museum of the Arts; and Special Editions Residency at LESP.

FRANK WEBSTER (b. 1966, Fort Wayne, IN; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Blackston, New York, NY; Bespoke Gallery, New York, NY; Brain Factory, Seoul, South Korea; and Exile, Berlin, Germany. Awards include the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and Golden Foundation Individual Artist Award.

LIZ ZANIS (b. 1980, Morristown, NJ; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) received her BA from Rhode Island School of Design. Recent group exhibitions include Camel Art Space, Brooklyn, NY; C.G. Boerner, New York, NY; International Print Center New York, NY; Islip Art Museum, NY; and Queens Museum of Art, NY. She is a recipient of Swing Space Residency, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Geraldine R. Dodge Residency, Women's Studio Workshop, Keyholder Residency at LESP; and is included in collections of Cleveland Institute of Art, The Center of Book Arts and more.

About the Curator

Glen Baldridge received his BFA in Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. Baldridge is an artist and co-founder of Forth Estate, a New York City-based print publishing company specializing in limited edition works by emerging and established artists. Recent solo exhibitions include Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Blackburn 20/20, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY; and a forthcoming exhibition at Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland, Oregon. Recent group exhibitions include Sue Scott Gallery, New York, NY; Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton NY; and a two-person exhibition at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York, NY. He is the recipient of the Dieu Donné Papermill Workspace Residency Program and is included in public collections such as Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; New York Public Library, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and Jundt Art Museum, Spokane, WA.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

3 More Simple Steps to Sell Art

My blog post last week, 4 Steps to Selling More Art, generated more traffic and comments to the blog than any post in the two year history of RedDotBlog. The message seems clear; you are interested in improving your art salesmanship.

"For me," commented Marsha Karle, "selling is the hardest part." This sentiment seemed to reflect what many of you felt. You love creating, but when it comes time to sell, suddenly things become much more difficult. And yet we live in a time when you are going to have many more opportunities to sell your art directly, through your website, at shows, or even at a gallery opening, salesmanship is a critical skill.

The important thing is that it is a skill, and, like all other skills, can be learned, practiced and perfected.

I the blog post I encouraged you to start thinking about building relationships, telling stories, giving buyers space and asking for the close.

Today I want to continue the discussion and talk about three additional steps to successfully complete more sales. These tips apply before you ever actually enter the selling situation - it may surprise you to learn that a many times your ability to make the sale is determined before you meet the client, before you step into your display space or studio, and often before you even hang or place the art.

Today, let's talk about preparation.

Put your mind in a selling state

Immediately before going into a selling situation - be it a gallery opening, an art festival or an open studio tour, take some time to clear your mind and shift into selling mode. Often you get so caught up in the process of preparing for an event - installing artwork, printing price tags, setting out wine and cheese, etc. that you can easily forget the purpose of all of that work. The stress of the final rush can play havoc with your mental state going into the event.

I want to encourage you to take a few minutes prior to your next event to prepare to sell. Allow yourself to forget about the pre-show hubbub and focus on one thing only: Selling.

Read a short article on selling from my blog, my book, or from another selling resource so that you can be focused on one particular principle as you go into the selling opportunity. Take a minute to think about the key pieces of art you would like to focus on during the show and what points you want to emphasize. What story are you going to tell about that work?

Listen to an energetic, up-tempo piece of music to bring up your excitement and confidence level.

You are now ready to throw yourself into selling with enthusiasm and energy. While it may sound simple, these 3-5 minutes of mental preparation will have a huge impact on your attitude and your success rate. Try it next time if you don't believe me!

Always have your selling tools ready

Mental preparation is critical, but so is a little bit of good old fashioned physical preparation. Make sure you have all the tools on hand you will need to complete a sale. Again, this may seem pretty basic, but I have run into instances when, for fault of a simple tool, I have had to scramble to make a sale happen.

Develop a sales tool kit or checklist that you run through before each sales event. Items to make sure you have on hand:

Sales slips
Business cards or brochures
Bubble wrap/bags/boxes (I once nearly lost a sale for lack of a $2 box for a client to carry home a small sculpture)
Credit card processing machine (or a mobile payment processor, like the free one available from The ability to process credit cards used to be a nice convenience for your clients - it has now become a necessity. Most people don't carry around a checkbook anymore, and if your art is more than a couple of hundred dollars, it's unlikely they will have enough cash. If you have a smartphone you can process credit card payments right on your phone.)

Make sure your supplies are always stocked and ready to go.

Love your clients

Selling art is one of the few remaining businesses where the personal relationship still reigns supreme. As I mentioned in my last blog post, establishing a good relationship is the key goal of the sales encounter. Go into a sales opportunity primed to build those long-term relationships.

In order to build relationships, you first need to drop all prejudices. You may have strong opinions about the world and the people in it, opinions you have developed over years of experience. When it's time to sell, however, you need to lock those opinions away. When selling art, there is no race, creed, color, political party, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic class. Regardless of background, the only thing you need concern yourself with is a person's interest in your art.

Never pre-judge potential buyers. You may develop, over time, a sense that only people who dress a certain way, speak a certain way, or come from certain places will buy art. This perception may be reinforced by years of experience, and it may even be largely accurate. The problem is that this sense can prevent you from putting your full efforts forth with each and every person you encounter - and over a lifetime, this can lead you to lose sales.

I can think of many clients who, on first glance, would never strike you as a good potential buyer. I have sold to people with holes in their jeans, and I've sold to people driving twenty year-old pickup trucks. Will you waste some time with people who don't end up buying over the years? Yes you will, but it's worth putting your full efforts forth with everyone for those times when a client turns out to be a diamond in the rough.

Finally, don't talk politics religion or sports. It's easy to see that this could lead to problems if you hold opposing views, but it can be just as great a problem if you and your potential buyer agree 100%. These subjects stir such strong emotions that the mere mention of one of these subjects will draw all attention away from your art. Don't risk it.

There are more steps involved in preparing to sell - but try these three the next time you are presented with an opportunity to sell your art.

Want to learn everything I know about selling? Pre-order my new book How to Sell Art today. I will take you step by step through the art sales process - including steps to preparation, building relationships with customers, asking the right questions, negotiating like and expert, following up professionally, creating fans, and much more.

This book represents nearly 20 years and multi-million $ of art sales experience. Read more about the book and pre-order at The book will ship next month and if you pre-order today you can save $5 off the $24.95 cover price.

Monday, September 19, 2011

4 Critical Steps to Sell More Art

"What do you do?" you've been asked many times.

"I am an artist" is most likely the response that instantly comes to your lips. You have probably been giving this answer from a very early age. No matter what else you've done in your life, being an artist is the core of your identity.

For a few minutes today, I want to encourage you to make a silent addition to your response. You will still answer "I am an artist," but in your mind you will add "and, I am a salesperson."

I know the suggestion might be slightly unpleasant. Many artists (maybe you?) feel that artistic integrity and salesmanship are incompatible. I have found, however, that the most successful artists are those who have developed strong sales skills.

Whether you are trying to sell directly, at an art festival or open studio tour, or indirectly by approaching a gallery with your work, sales skills are going to help you reach your goal. That goal is to help people who love your art buy it.

When I first started selling art almost 20 years ago, I had very little idea of what it took to sell. I think my general attitude was, "the art will sell itself." In the years since I have learned that the art will generate interest, but it is much more likely to sell if I do and say the right things.

While there are many elements to a successful sale, the process itself is simple once you understand your role. Today I would like to discuss just a few key steps that will help you better sell your art. These are guidelines I have developed, and continue to develop, through many years of selling art.

1. Build Strong Relationships

Look at each viewer of your work as a person. Your potential buyers have needs, passions, strengths and weaknesses. Your #1 goal is to build a long term relationship. Salesmanship is not about using tricks to fool the buyer into pulling out a credit card. You should instead be working to get to know the buyer and understand his/her desires, interests and needs.

You can get the relationship off on the right foot by doing several simple things. First, be bold when you introduce yourself. Extend your hand and say "good afternoon, I am Bill Smith, this is my art."

Second, ask potential buyers for their names then learn those names! This is not the time for you to say "but I am terrible with names." Learning names is a skill, and it is a skill you must work to develop if you want to build strong relationships.

As soon as I hear names I try to repeat them back to the customers, "nice to meet you Jim and Nancy," and I then repeat the names over and over in my mind to cement them in my short term memory. I also write the names down as soon as I can.

Third, ask a lot of questions. The best way to get to know someone is to get them talking about themselves. When you are interacting with buyers, your goal should be to have them talking about 75-80% of the time. I find many artists and even gallery staff who think they should be doing most of the talking when they are trying to sell, when actually the opposite is true.

Read steps 2-4 on my blog post 4 Critical Steps to Sell More Art. (Step 2 - Tell a Story, Step 3 - Give your Potential Buyer Space, Step 4 - Ask for the Close)