The Gallery of the Month for April is The Golden Gallery in Wilmington, North Carolina -- Owner and operated by a family of very talented artists....ABOUT YOUR STORE
Q: Why did you decide to open a gallery?
A: I had seen my watercolor teacher in Charleston SC, Virginia Fouchée open one in downtown Charleston. As my husband was interviewing at the Corps of Engineers in Wilmington, NC. I spotted the Cotton Exchange (a complex of buildings from the early 1900's that once housed warehouses, salons and the likes, but is now home to a unique collection of shops and restaurants) and knew what I wanted to do.
Q: How long have you been open?
A: 31 years
Q: Can you describe your gallery aesthetic?
A: Both classic traditional and distinctive contemporary.
Q: Are your products exclusively handmade?
Q: Local or international artist/designers?
Q: What is your price range of the products you sell? Best selling price range?
A: $5.00 to $2000.00 Best from $50 to $150
Q: Do you have special events?
A: Fourth Friday gallery walks, anniversary celebrations. And Exhibition openings.
Q: Do you offer special services?
A: shipping, gift wrapping
Q: Do you sell online?
ABOUT THE BUSINESS
Q: Who is your customer base...Tourists? Locals? Repeat Customers? Collectors?
A: All of the above!
Q: How do you promote your artists / store?
A: Advertising, email, blogs
Q: Where do you find your artists/product?
A: We produce it all. I paint in watercolor and print my giclée prints. John produces photography and an incredible variety of digital illustration created to look like traditional media. Melissa Manley is a very fine metalsmith who has worked for me off and on for more than 20 years. Her jewelry and collage items are the only non family product in our gallery.
Q: What is HOT right now?
A: John's Rovinato series of Altered Photography and my watercolor river and sea paintings and giclée prints.
Q: What changes have been made from when you first opened the business?
A: We grew from 500 to 1600 square feet...brighter space and much more variety in artwork.
Q: Are you, yourself an artist?
A: I have been a watercolorist since 1975 and an artist all my life. My son John is an animator and graphic designer who has chosen to support himself making art. He is well known on Etsy (see ETC. on January 30, 2009) and his Fido series has been marketed internationally by Bruce McGaw. His work appears in national catalogs and his creativity amazes me!
Q: What is your favorite/least favorite part of your business?
A: I love the pure process of painting in watercolor..and the joy of working with customers who feel what I felt when I created the painting. I don't like the accounting end of the business.
Q: What is your favorite item you have kept for yourself from your store?
A: I have an original watercolor I painted after a trip to Wales named "When the Mists Rolled Back" which will never be sold. There are giclée prints available in the gallery.
Q: What do you feel makes you successful?
A: Hard work and attention to detail. My son says we are early adopters of technology and have been printing our own giclée prints for more than 6 years.
Q: what makes you most proud?
A: I am proud of my daughter and son who are good and generous people and very talented at what they do. My daughter teaches French at the North Carolina School of the Arts and after growing up with 2 artists and a musician father says she is eminently qualified to teach artists
Q: List your likes and interests, using only one word each or short phrases...
A: painting, reading, energy work, grandchildren
Q: Feel free to add anything else you'd like to share.
A: I must thank my husband of 45 years who has always supported me and my efforts. He married an english major and I married an engineer and as we evolved into artist and musician, his patience has been incredible. We are in our 5th location in downtown Wilmington, NC's Cotton Exchange and when we moved 2 years ago, he painted long hours (walls) and with our son did most of the carpentry involved in our newest gallery space.
If you find yourself in the Wilmington, North Carolina area stop by The Golden Gallery @ the Cotton Exchange!