This is probably the number one question that we’ve been getting since March when everything got shut down due to COVID. Here’s an update about where things are at and our current plan for moving forward.
Split Gallery works kind of like an AirBNB. Artists pay to use the gallery for hosting their own art shows, and Split helps with things like planning, marketing, promotion, and prep/cleanup. We work with artists like partners in the process. We want Split to be a gallery that any artist can call their own and use to exhibit their work in the way they want to do it. We provide the gallery environment, artists put on the shows. Since artists pay to use the space and staff the shows themselves, we take no commission on sales.
Where Things Are At
Before COVID hit, everything was humming along pretty well. We had two events to kick the year off, five more on the calendar, and a few others in the planning stages. Off to a good start! Our goal has always been to break even on our expenses and keep the cost to artists as low as possible. We’re not a non-profit, we just want to create an opportunity for any artist to have the show they want in a nice gallery setting and keep all the money they earn from sales.
We were on track to break even for our second year in a row, so we were pretty happy about everything. We were learning a lot about how to make the artist’s experience at Split be the best it could be, and we were paying the bills! Plus, we got to work with so many wonderful people who love art. Then… COVID-19. We talked to everyone we were working with and agreed we should just put it all on hold for a while. Most have now cancelled their events due to the pandemic, the many unknowns, or financial reasons.
To cover the bills while we’ve been closed and not working at the gallery, I (Brian) have ramped up my website development work. Fortunately, lots of companies have been needing website stuff done with everyone working from home and being online more. Still, we’d rather see art in the gallery than be spending more time behind a computer.
It’s time to start planning shows.
We feel that with the city-wide mask mandate in place and a few tweaks to how Split works, we can safely begin having shows in the gallery again. We’re going to simplify things, make it all a little more DIY, and offer a discounted rate while the pandemic continues.
When it gets right down to it, we just want to see artists showing and selling work again. We’d also like to cover our average monthly expenses of around $2,000 for rent, utilities, insurance, and supplies. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much. If it’s attainable, we’ll continue working to make it sustainable.
Our lease is up in April. If we can get things rolling again and pay the bills, we’ll be able to extend our lease and keep going for at least two more years. If we can’t… then it was a fun experiment and we’ll chalk it up to experience.
It’ll be a lot more fun to keep going.
Know anyone who wants to have a show at Split?
Thanks to everyone for your continued support – we can’t wait to see you in the gallery again.
– Brian & Jill