Monday, July 19, 2010

Art Gallery Interview: Austin Art Garage

Artist: Joel Ganucheau
Title Secluded Life
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 18x18'

What is the name of your Gallery or Artspace:
Austin Art Garage

What is your name and what is your position at the Gallery:
Jake Bryer - Co-Owner

Describe your Gallery space: Austin Art Garage was created to expose talented emerging artists and offer art enthusiasts, from all social-economic levels, an opportunity to invest in art created within their community.

How long has the gallery been open:
3 years

What was the impetus to start the Gallery:I was looking for attainable art for my new digs.  After several weeks of searching and coming up short, I decided to start my own art gallery, which was approachable, supported local emerging artists, and carried attainable art work. Another aspect I felt important was to build a comprehensive web site that showcased all the work in the gallery.  Essentially this created transparency in pricing and allowed customers to research and browse art at their own leisure.   

Tell us more about the Studio: The 1,000 sq ft studio houses a variety of 200+ original paintings which are displayed from the floor to the top of the 15 ft high ceilings.  In addition we have limited edition photography and a few reproductions for the cash-strapped art enthusiast.

Do you have exhibits:
Yes, on August 14th our next show, Spaghetti Modern, opens to the public.  This show will focus on a modern interpretation of western culture.

What type of work do you showcase: We showcase mostly paintings and some photography.  Although we don’t focus on any particular style, our gallery tends to have more urban contemporary pieces.  

Do you work with local artists or artists from all over:
Artists must have a local address to show at our gallery.  Our mission is to encourage local art consumers to support artists within their community, thus becoming a part of their journey.

Do you add new artists regularly and if so what is the process in which you select them:
Yes.  However, we focus on long term growth for each of our artists and encourage them to replace the art sold in the gallery to keep up their momentum.  If they can’t replace a painting we offer the opportunity to other AAG artists.  If the space is not filled quick enough, then we seek new artists. We require artists to submit work online so that we can properly manage the review process.  Our submission details can be found at

As a gallery what do you look for when reviewing artists:
Well executed color balance, space allocation, lines, concepts, and overall presentation. 

What is the most frustrating thing you have to deal with when it comes to artists:It can be frustrating when we move a lot of art work from an individual artists and they’re not motivated to create new work.  We like to create a momentum for artists, which can be interrupted when we seldom receive new work. 

What is your personal favorite exhibition from the gallery, past or present, and why:  I’m very excited about our upcoming Spaghetti Modern show.  However, my favorite show to date was Fables – by Graham Franciose.  During the opening night, patrons wrote short fables for each of Graham's new art pieces and we chose two winners for the best stories. I enjoyed watching the interaction and connection with the art. You can see the results here

How many shows do you have each year:We usually have 4-6 exhibits each year.

What is a typical event like at the Studio:  At our events you can find edgy original art works, good drinks (for the 21+) and occasionally live music. 

Just for fun who is your favorite artist, living or dead, and what about their work moves you: When I was 23, I took a trip with some friends to a small town on the border of Czech Republic and Austria called Czesky Krumlov.  This was the home town of Egon Scheile and a museum commemorating his work can be found there.  During my trip I spent almost an entire day at the museum.  Figurative work is not necessarily my favorite, but his art had such a raw emotion to it, and seemed (to me) to expose its subjects darkest secretes, and his depiction of the human form fascinated me. Since then, Egon Scheile has remained one of my favorite artists. 

What new things do you have in store for this year:This year will mark our first appearance at the Austin City Limits artist market, which is taking a lot of preparation.  We’re also planning more themed art exhibits to challenge artists to abandon their comfort zones and dive into new subject matter.

Do you have any up coming exhibit that you would like to tell us about: Our Spaghetti Modern exhibit is scheduled for Saturday August 14th.  The exhibit opening is from 5pm – 8pm. 

 Austin Art Garage
2200 S. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78704
Contact: Jake Bryer or Joel Ganucheau

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