I was in my studio painting in Martinez, CA, four months into a pandemic, when the call came from artist Karen Folgner. Folgner had recently heard me speak about Pop-up galleries, something I was and am a big proponent for, and she wondered if I would join her in opening one in Carmel by the Sea. Very curious, I found myself on the sidewalk in front of an empty storefront. We struck a deal for 3 months and the following week unloaded our work into a “ready to hang” 600 sq. ft. space on Dolores St, in the international destination of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Our work fit beautifully together! We split the costs, I handled the business marketing, promotion and had my team from Lafayette supporting our efforts. Commuting down most weekends, we eventually hired someone to help sit the gallery. Despite the idea that you can just open the door and sales will happen, most of our sales happened when we were connecting personally to the collectors. Our loyal JPG audience came to see the collection and many new collectors found us. As a result, I rented a sublet in town and put more of my energy behind the business. It paid off with increased sales and after a few months, I decided to stay and sign a longer lease with the new owners.
Karen Folgner stayed on as a represented artist. We gave talks, did live painting events and stayed active during a pandemic. I have said that the reason I paint is, I want to see what will happen. My curiosity leads me. Or maybe it is my soul, inner voice, guiding me to the next best thing.