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Call to Artists: Exhibit at Portal Art Gallery!

Call to Artists: Exhibit at Portal Art Gallery!

[Art featured is from our very first exhibit, with Lidia Kenig-Scher]

Please read through ALL this information. By filling in and submitting the SurveyMonkey Questionnaire (scroll down for that link), we’ll hope you understand and agree to the terms listed. Any modification or additional explanations and logistics, we can arrange for independently.

Rapid and thorough Communication are key to building any successful relationship – so as soon as you hear from us – please respond. Likewise – if you don’t hear back from us – feel free to follow up and let us know you’re hoping to hear back from us. Everybody gets busy, we understand, but nobody wants to be “ghosted.”

We use PortalPromotions@gmail.com to organize our dialog with Artists & Renters, but you can also reach out to Kyle@PortalCrystalGallery.com for a quicker Reply.

First some background information. Portal Crystal Gallery (aka Portal Gallery and Portal Art Gallery) hosts an extensive display of high quality minerals ($ to $$), as well as a number of classes. Since opening in late 2017, various Artists have exhibited for our first 12 months or so, according to the usual commission arrangement. Exhibits ranged in length from 4 to 12 weeks. Artists received 65-70% of each Sale’s gross, with only some minor Advertising, Reception, and payment processing fees pitted against that.

For a number of reasons, specifically because hosting Artists can be complicated – and our overhead and efforts have not historically been covered – we’ve changed our business model.

Starting in 2019, our Gallery space will only be available on a Rental/ServiceFee vs. Commission basis. In other words, you’ll pay an agreed-upon “reserve” up front – either for Rent alone, or for additional promotional Services we’ll provide as well – which will then be pitted against your commission. Whichever is greater, that’s what the Gallery will hold onto.

For example, if you paid $10 Rental and $10 for Services – or $20 total (up front) – that would be counted against our traditional 35%. So if you sold $100 of items, you’d pay $35 to us, or rather we’d pay you $65 after those Sales transactions were processed (and the funds became available). If you sold only $10 in items, you’d only pay the initially furnished $20.

We have much to offer. Read on if this is an arrangement you would like to consider. We look forward to hosting you and your Art, if the time is right.

18 ESSENTIAL OFFERINGS of PLAN A (Rental / Space available)

  1. DIALOG

It seems silly to draw attention to this, but in fact dialoguing with potential and engaged Artists is a huge part of what goes into putting on an exhibit. Our communications may involve meeting, speaking on the phone, and emails mounting up into the hundreds…potentially spanning months (quite apart from the actual exhibit time)…which is a pretty strong pull on our attention, given our other clients, customers, and obligations.

  1. GALLERY SPACE.

Our Gallery space consists of nearly 40 feet of exhibit space: 3 walls in a U shaped alcove – accessible but separated towards the back – and with a large sign over it designating it as Gallery / Class space). It measures 12’ (to the left); 13’ across the back; and 14’ to the right. This may be dedicated exclusively to your work, or shared, if a Co-op show is put together (perhaps one Artist per wall). We do not allow nailing, rolling walls, partitions, or other additional exhibiting surfaces into the space.

  1. THE FOURTH WALL / SIDE TABLE(S).

To the right of the 3 Gallery walls, is a 4th wall we have and put nothing on. It’s blank, perfect for slide presentations (we do not have a projector). We do have a contoured gray table – and often one of our collapsible 6’ tables additionally – both of which may be used during your opening, but must be clear of your product and literature at other times, as we use it regularly as a work surface, and need for it to be removable on occasion (to make room for more chairs).

  1. LIGHTING.

We do not have track spotlights in place, but we have replaced all previous ceiling light fixtures with square and bright LED panels that illuminate the artwork on all walls. We’ve found these do not impede faithful reproduction of the Art in digital photographs.

  1. ART HANGING HARDWARE.

We’ve purchased white tracks which run the length of each wall from the GallerySystem.com. It comes with 20 metal cables and matching hooks (that go up and down easily). The hooks snap over the artwork’s own horizontal hanging cables and require an easy pinch to disengage. We discourage large, glass-faced, and heavy pieces, and do not take responsibility if they over-tax the system (and fall). You can hang 2 pieces, one atop the other, but we still have just 20 hooks.

  1. LOCATION.

We have a beautiful, tall two-paned and recessed glass entryway storefront. It’s prominently visible, right in Arlington Center, at #489 on Massachusetts Avenue. Massachusetts Avenue is one of the longest and most known (and prestigious) streets in Massachusetts, particularly in the metro-Boston area. Arlington Center is an up-and-coming trendy area – with both urban and suburban qualities – and it’s recently been designated a Historical District. It is also well-known as a dining destination, with a large number of international and gourmet eating spots.

  1. PARKING.

Although Arlington is one of the central towns of metro-Boston – bordering Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford – it’s not one of the worst congested or hard-to-find parking spots. There’s ample on-street parking, and a large municipal lot right behind the shop. We’re glad to add that parking fees are also lower than adjoining towns.

  1. VENUE.

We have invested over $50,000 in a complete makeover of the space we occupy – including the Art Gallery – which involved laying Pergo floors, replacing ALL ceiling light fixtures and damaged drop ceiling panels – as well as installing floor and ceiling molding (which had not previously existed). The drop ceiling cross bars were black! They, and where necessary – all other ceiling details – were painted, as have been all walls. Our color choices were straight white and a subtle lavender gray American colonial. Stucco and peg board were replaced with smooth wall, and although no structural changes were made, drywall and other cosmetic changes abound. The list goes on – the bathroom was completely redone – you get the picture (lots of TLC!).

  1. PORTAL AS CRYSTAL GALLERY & EVENT SPACE.

Although we have designated the Art Gallery space as such – and the front window features the vinyl words Art and Gallery – it is important to note that we are primarily a showcase for quality minerals, which is our bread and butter. This will expose your Art to an eclectic and different audience then you may be used to, which is always a good thing. We have put a lot of energy into a clean and sparse presentation style, that contrasts with the often dark and cluttered look of most rock and metaphysical shops. We believe this likewise complements the presence of Art in our midst. We host classes and events – in our back & downstairs session rooms – but also in the Art Gallery space itself (where people can enjoy your work as a backdrop to their experience). While there may be people and chairs filling the room, we have not had any damage to the Art itself from this shared use of the space.

  1. STOREFRONT.

As mentioned, we have the words Art and Gallery on our windows, and our windows themselves are an attractive draw. We had the foundation ledge expanded and turned the area below it into low sliding door cabinets, above which are airy aluminum pole-supported shelves with gorgeous Crystals on them. It’s a lot of glass, and a lot of visibility into the store. The sun rises to the left of the store shines gorgeously in through the right at sun set. We can allot a shelf to accommodate your 14” by 18” foam core poster, which is yours to design, but we just have to approve all signage. Be sure to get back to me to confirm those dimensions (we’ll double check).

  1. HOURS & STAFF/HOSTING.

With us, the public has 7 days a week they can walk in to see your Art, barring holidays and unforeseen circumstances (snow storms or whatnot). We’re generally staffed by a single employee, with me “in the back” and on call. Open 12-5pm daily, that’s 35 hours a week that you don’t have to mind your exhibit, or pay someone to be there. Me or my staff will be on duty. We make an effort to invite every visitor to check out the Art Gallery. The more you educated us about your work, the more we can explain to folks about it.

  1. SALE PROCESSING.

We accept all credit cards, cash, and checks – which we deposit immediately – and, once cleared…we pass along any funds (your commission) to you via check…if any is due. We pay any Credit Card processing fees ourselves. We also collect & passing along to the State any Sales Tax collected, which is another headache you don’t have to concern yourself with.

  1. OPENING / CLOSING RECEPTION.

We are happy to host your Opening Reception over 2-3 hours on a Saturday afternoon during store hours. Though it may be an additional cost, we could also expand that, or choose some other, mutually agreed-upon time span (including after or before store hours). We can even talk about a Closing Reception, if you’re up for it (though that may incur some additional costs too). While we’d rather you served no alcohol – wine or champagne are preferable to beer or cider – as we’ve had bad experiences with spilled drinks (which damage the flooring).

  1. FOOD FOR THE OPENING.

Drinks referenced above would be purchased by you. We have a history of providing the food – hummus and guacamole, along with gluten free chips, and vegetable sticks – which we can purchase and lay out for you – if you pre-pay (and/or reimburse us) for the actual grocery cost.

  1. KITCHEN SPACE.

We have a full refrigerator – the above mentioned tables – and also a rolling 4’ by 18” chopping block wood counter with 3 shelves/surfaces. We have an electrical hot plate and Brita water filter, as well as serving platters. We ask that you bring all paper plates, cutlery, and plastic glasses. We also ask that you clean up after your event, and take out all trash/recycling for disposal at your home.

  1. ADDITIONAL MERCH SELLING OPPORTUNITIES.

While we no longer want to use our side tables in the Gallery to house any smaller merchandise or literature, we are open to having (and perhaps eventually purchasing for the shop) a postcard rack for your and/or others’ work, including our forthcoming Crystal gift and greeting cards. We do have an additional, small triangular free standing table-top fixture to hold your mailing list and literature (which must be limited to that surface, unless we can find adequate wall space for a description of the exhibit). This small table may be cleared for use by other events, but we’ll put your items back onto it afterwards. Also, if and where appropriate, we may elect to represent your merchandise in other parts of the shop.

  1. GALLERY SIGNAGE OPTIONS.

We’ve had removable decals naming your exhibit high on the walls, but mostly, people just have little paper plaque descriptions beside each of their works, listing item names, price, etc. No nails or adhesives that will damage the walls please. Despite best intentions and gentle technologies, the walls have still been damaged slightly by previous Artists’ signage. We do not necessarily scrape or repaint these spots, you may have to live with these small blemishes. Eventually (and periodically), we will refurbish the wall finish, but it looks quite presentable as is.

  1. CLASS HOSTING OPTION.

Over the course of your exhibit time (or in association with your Opening/Closing reception), you have the option of hosting a class in the Portal Gallery / Class space. Additional terms and fees may apply, but you will receive preferential pricing and terms, should you elect to take advantage of this opportunity.

COST FOR RENTAL / PLAN A:

$300 per week, 4 week minimum, or $1200 (prepaid)…unless otherwise agreed to.

30 THINGS WE PROVIDE in the DELUXE PLAN (B): Rental / Space + Services Available

ALL THE ABOVE (18 ITEMS), PLUS 12 MORE (Services Available) BELOW

B1. PRESS RELEASE.

Soon after we agree to work together, we ask that you provide a press release, but we are happy to work with you to create a mutually agreed upon email-able version. While attachments (PDF) are optional, we prefer to have them them text only (with inline images) to avoid attachments, as we’ve found people don’t tend to appreciate having to go that extra mile to open attachments.

B2. PHOTOS.

If you do not have proper images of yourself, we’ll be happy to take them casually, with our iPhone, for inclusion in the Press Release and other press materials. By signing on with us, you agree to let us use your image(s) and video footage promotionally, and in an ongoing fashion, with regards to your having exhibited at our Gallery. Also, once your Art is up in the gallery, it’s public domain: people may or may not photograph, video, or publicize what they capture visually, we cannot police or keep them from doing so.

B3. WEBSITE PLACEMENT part #1 (Artists’ Blog).

We create a Blog entry on the Portal website, in a section dedicated to Art Exhibit announcements and information. That’s where our agreed-upon promotional information will reside indefinitely – so long as we continue to offer Art at our location – which provides lasting promotional value. It’s also good to be in the context and community of all the other Artists we’ve hosted.

B4. GRAPHICS.

We create images to accompany the press release, including banners for Facebook events, and our horizontal newsletter banner format. If you don’t like what we come up with, or we can’t tweak it easily within the confines of our design sense and software resources, you’re welcome to submit correctly formatted images for us to use instead (but they have to be consistent and compatible with previous exhibits’ promotional imagery, according to gallery owner Kyle).

B5. WEBSITE PLACEMENT part #2 (Portal Event Page).

We create an event page on the Portal site (see www.PortalCrystalGallery.com/Events to get a look at how this appears for our other events). Your press release and image(s) will be featured, and there will be a way for people to sign up (free) for your opening, who don’t otherwise drop in (as it’s a free event)…we forward you any emails & contact information collected.

B6. FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE.

We create an official Facebook Event on our Portal Crystal Gallery Facebook page – we make you and make you an Admin and Co-host of the page – so you can Invite your Friends and publicize it through your own network. There will be a signup or Ticket link on this page, leading either to the Portal Event Page, or the actual signup form. Again, any sign ups will be shared.

B7. VIDEO.

We’ll create at least one 2-4 minute video of you (on our iPhone) at your earliest convenience – and/or after the hanging of the show – and post it natively to the Portal Crystal Gallery page (as well as the actual Facebook event page). We additionally add subtitles to the Facebook video and personally go through and make sure they’re accurate and correct. We’ll post this video as well to the Portal Crystal Gallery YouTube channel, and share all URL’s with you.

B8. SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING.

We’ll post about your Exhibit at least 10 times across our Facebook Profiles and Pages – using our exhibit graphics, pertinent text, and/or the video footage we’ve captured – and our various Facebook presences alone have attracted about 100,000 Followers in total.

B9. FACEBOOK ADVERTISING

We’ve just begun one-to-one consulting with a Facebook Advertising Rep (an actual Facebook employee), based on our long history of advertising with them, and we’ll be happy to put what we know (and our custom built audience targets) to work for you – but you’ll have to provide any advertising budget independently from our selected package price(s). We recommend you put $40-100+ behind any such advertising.

B10. REPORTING ON FACEBOOK ADVERTISING RESULTS

Independent of creating and running (and paying for) any Facebook Advertising for you, we’ll report back as we go, or afterwards…on the progress of the Ad…exposure and clicks, etc. (which can be done during the course of the lead up to the Opening and thereafter).

B11. NEWSLETTER INCLUSION.

We mail out semi-weekly (every 7-14 days) to our Portal list of just under 1000 people, and increasingly to our regional Crystal Concentrics list of another 700+ people. We promise at least 1 mention in the email Subject; at least 2 appearances of your banner in the newsletters (regarding your Opening); and at least 3 appearances in our month-at-a-glance listing. Additionally, there will be information about your exhibit at the bottom of each newsletter going out during the course of your exhibition.

B12. PRESS OUTREACH.

We have a list of Community Art and Press Targets, which we will email, if not individually, in a batch Gmail or through a dedicated broadcast through our digital newsletter delivery service. This list is only as strong as the contacts you share – as we haven’t found these groups and individuals automatically responsive – still, we’ve had coverage in the Arlington Advocate, and would welcome collaborating with you to expand our network of exposure (in the service of your Art).

COST FOR SERVICE / PLAN B (independent of the cost of Plan A): $1200 (prepaid).

FLEXIBILITY on PRICING: we’re open to discussion, but the costs listed are a fair value for what we bring to the table. We recognize that $2400 is a lot of money to put out in one month (try renting a storefront on Mass. Ave.!) – so we’re happy to learn more about your circumstances, and see if we can make any Special Arrangements to accommodate you. The key is that you understand and accept the fact that it costs us money to be able to host you, and that it’s a fair and reasonable wish for us to receive cost coverage from you, to make it all possible.

ELIGIBILITY, APPLICATION DEADLINE & FEE: applications are being accepted (at no charge) on an ongoing basis, for current and future shows. Though we ask that you not apply unless you are open to all the above mentioned arrangements. Artists must be able to hand-deliver and install their own work without our help (though we’re happy to show you how it’s done), during store hours, unless otherwise agreed to.

ART SELECTION: before we finally agree to proceed with the exhibit, we request a graphic mockup of the actual display (and that the works to be exhibited are already complete, photos to be provided). While we embrace your artistic freedom, the Gallery owner (Kyle Russell) is authorized to nix certain pieces in favor of others, to make sure the exhibit is a harmonious complement to the Gallery and in keeping with the type of work previously featured. This process is done in consultation with you, the Artist, so that all a mutually satisfied with the ultimate selections.

INSURANCE: we will take the utmost care in the handling of all artwork; however, artists are encouraged to carry their own insurance from the time of delivery to Portal Gallery until the close of the exhibit, as Portal Gallery does not carry insurance for non-owned artwork. By showcasing your art at Portal, you agree to hold the Gallery harmless from any liability for theft or damage of your work. Artists may be asked to sign an insurance waiver upon delivery. We are also happy to sign an inventory listing for you as well, so we all know what’s on hand.

PRICING: we have no problem charging higher rates for your Art, please consult with us in advance regarding your price ranges. Ultimately, our goal is to get your pieces into the hands of your buyers, so making them financially accessible is smart. We’ve sold items $200-$1600 in value.

ACTUAL ARTIST APPLICATION, please proceed to the following SurveyMonkey Questionnaire:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SJCBR83

EMAIL US ONCE YOU’VE COMPLETED THE APPLICATION: PortalPromotions@gmail.com, or Kyle@PortalCrystalGallery.com, to follow up (especially if you don’t hear right back).