You should go here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pushpullseattle/push-pull-art-gallery-new-retail-location-bigger-b and find a reward to help support this project. They start at $1, so really you don't have to give much to show your support.
With the Kickstarter campaign and a bigger space, we're also adding 4 other members, for a total of 6. It's a pretty cool business model. Everyone is a partial owner of the business and has clear expectations of their time and contribution. They receive a portion of the profits from the business and also a lower commission rate on their sales. Everyone also has equal vote in business decisions at a monthly meeting. For an artist it's an opportunity to make a career, build a community and push your work to be the best possible by surrounding yourself with other talented individuals.
But how did we get here? Or, how did I get here and manage to convince these other people to join me?
I have always wanted to do something in the art field. It's been a passion of mine to sell things that I created for as long as I can remember trying to have a job.
When I was a kid my Barbies had an art gallery and gift shop where I made miniature things for them to sell to the other dolls. The store was named Crazy 8.
When I reached the age in high school that I wanted to have my own income I didn't first try to get a real job. I started making hemp jewelry for my classmates and selling a bi-monthly zine. I didn't get rich, but I did make enough money for an abundance of thrift store clothes and Roman Dirge comics.
Skip ahead a bit ... It took me a while to try to figure out how to apply this creative energy I had to something "practical". I tried at a few things but incorporating a little bit of creative work into a corporate office job really wasn't for me. Along the way I got a lot of great experience though. I can't imagine trying to do the bookkeeping or accounting work for the gallery without the years I spent doing that in my 20s.
Since 2010 I've been working specifically toward having my own gallery, which has developed into having a gallery with others as I realized that I wasn't going to be able to do everything on my own. I started working professionally as an artist, taught myself screen printing and entered the world of retail work. I've managed a local art and clothing store, had a resident artist position at a restaurant/bar, been represented by other galleries, vended at more street fairs than I can remember, been a member of a collective gallery. Pretty much I went out to get all the experience possible. In 2013 a perfect small spot opened up that would be great to start this idea that I had for my own gallery.
The idea I had was to treat painting and illustration equally as fine art, to embrace a gift shop (where the artists actually make money) and to create a space that wasn't intimidating to people. I don't create art for collectors, so I didn't want to tailor the gallery to what is expected of collectors. I spend a lot of time in this small space, so I made it look more like a living room than a conventional gallery.
What is the point here? That Push/Pull isn't something that popped up overnight. It's not a crazy idea hatched by a couple of artists that think they want to open a gallery. Push/Pull is already working, but needs a bigger space. It was opened by people that have the experience and skills to actually run a business. And this isn't just another art gallery with expensive art where you'll be lucky to grab a free postcard. This is art that is made to be accessible to everyone. If you can't afford an original we always have prints, shirts, buttons... you can probably get something you want for less than $5.
Well, I'm going to stop rambling because I could go on for a very long time. You can always comment here with questions though or shoot me a message at maxx (at) pushpullseattle . com