After many years of selling through a local fine art gallery, sudden reality hit hard. The gallery closed its doors and cancer took the owner’s life. She had promoted my work and referred many clients for commission projects. Together we held private showings and sale events in my home studio, sharing expenses and profits. We sold a lot of my paintings over ten years. Efforts to establish new relationships with brick and mortar galleries were disappointing.
I started to explore on-line venues with limited success. Many of these sites charged fees whether my work sold or not. Also, not much artistic quality control going on. Anyone could put up their artwork on the sites. By 2015 I was still exhibiting in one gallery, rotating new paintings in every year. The problem; disappointing sales. Frustration level was high when my technical support department (husband Ray), said one day, “Suzanne, I found an online venue called UGallery, but you have to be juried in. They don’t accept every artist. You must submit high-quality images of your paintings”. I replied, “Oh, you mean like Oil Painters of America? Great!” Ray warned, “You have to jump through some hoops, submit four images of each piece, dimensions, weight, and a bit about your inspiration”. I almost shouted “Better and better. Let’s get started”.
To begin, I submitted five original oil paintings for review by UGallery’s jurying committee. They accepted those first five and I was off to a good start. Beginning in 2015 UGallery has sold my oil paintings on a regular basis.
What I love about UGallery is their energetic marketing approach. The staff manages a newsletter, curates special collections, and are scheduling pop-up art shows around the country. Shipping, handling, and payment are fine tuned. I know Madeline, Margaretta, Samantha, Alex, and Marie mostly through email contacts. This creative staff regularly promotes their artists. As an example, last December I received an inquiry from UGallery. Would I be interested in being interviewed by the New York Times? Well Yes!
Amy Zipkin, a contributing journalist of the New York Times interviewed me by phone and then, bless her, contacted me quite a few times to fact check and nail down details. The Times even sent a photographer out to my studio to get some shots of the artist on site. The article was published February 11th this year in the New York Times Business Day section. Of course, that Sunday was one of our legendary snow storms we are blessed with in northern Illinois winters. We couldn’t get out of our driveway to buy a hard copy, even if the local Speedy Mart had carried the Times. Thank goodness for the online publication. Here’s a link to the story: