Art and Bicycling Art Space, posted by John Barry, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm John Barry is a member (registered user) of Danville Express
Kevin Davidson is concurrently an artist and a patron of the arts. Self-taught, he works in oil, often portraying religious themes. He is currently working on a representation of the Jonah and the Whale story.
As a patron, he started Artsite Gallery in San Francisco (more on that later). He has also enabled a group of artists to continue working at their studios at 524 Hartz Avenue in Danville. The current landlord’s lease with the building’s owner terminated at the end of March 2010. Davidson, one of the artists with a studio in the building, stepped up to assume the lease and concomitant risks.
Since he started painting, Davidson has stepped up for art—his and that of others. Although he runs a janitorial-services business, he has found the time to develop his passion—and sell some of his creations—mainly through hard work and perseverance. “I think there is definitely a market and opportunity for artists to show work,” he opines. “However, like any other business, they must invest time and money to make their business succeed,” especially in a horrible economic climate that shows no sign of improving anytime soon.
Davidson says he approaches sales “proactively”—contacting previous customers and friends. He recently sold a couple of paintings, but “I had to work my butt off for those sales, and it took three months to cultivate the buyers.
“The reality is that a very small percentage of all living artists will ever be formally represented by a commercial gallery,” Davidson says. His goal, therefore, was to “start a small business together to showcase our work to a new audience.”
Toward that end, he initiated Artsite, investing a great deal of his own time and money. “My thinking,” he explains, “was to create a membership gallery in which all members would pay the rent.” But after three months, Davidson concluded that the membership model wasn’t working, for a variety of reasons. So he is currently contemplating other options, including turning Artiste into a private gallery.
Davidson’s two recent sales are all the more remarkable given that he is still recuperating from a severe accident in which a driver cut him off while he was riding his bike, resulting in a Level 5 AC-joint dislocation requiring multiple surgeries to repair. The right arm of the right-handed artist was immobilized for weeks, starting just before the opening of Artsite late last year.
As Davidson contemplates new directions for his gallery in The City, he is helping keep a dozen artists, including himself, working in The Town.
Drawing on his recent road experience, he cautions local bike riders to be vigilant and exercise caution when riding—especially on Danville Boulevard in Alamo.
John A. Barry is a writer and avocational artist. To share anything art-related, call him at 314-9528 or email email@example.com
Posted by THE ART LAB, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on May 6, 2010 at 8:08 am
A community is often judged by the artist and art programs it supports. Danville is on the cusp of some very big things happening. But they need support or they will never make it in this though economy.
Buy original art! Artists are willing to bargin, they would rather have your check than their paintings. A print bought at a department store will be worth nothing before you leave the parking lot. Original art has great potential.
Posted by Claudette, a resident of another community, on May 10, 2010 at 9:53 am
Hi Kevin. I know what you are going through trying to get some exposure for artists and yourself. I'm in the same spot. I opened a gallery a couple of years ago just to close it within a year. Since then I have been developing exhibits for a handful of artists and myself, a self taught artist as well. I played with the idea of a Co-Op gallery not long ago, but as you can expect and you've experienced it's hard to make that work in the Bay Area. I love Danville and was just there for a book reading in the old Pioneer Art Gallery now a book store. Please keep me in your thoughts and feel free to contact me to brain storm any ideas you might have to further the cause for the Local Artist. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my website Google: Poetry On Canvas Pleasanton. I'd be happy to add your work to my site to get you more exposure.
Posted by Marshall, a resident of the Diablo neighborhood, on May 10, 2010 at 5:50 pm
Artists should bargain but not give away their work for next to nothing. If buyers know they are desperate, they may take advantage. If they only want to spend $150.00 on a large painting they should buy a print.