Diane Farris will be closing her gallery after almost 30 years on the Vancouver art scene. The Diane Farris Gallery has become an icon among Vancouver commercial galleries, and Diane Farris has done a fine job of taking many artists from emerging to a professional level.
While Diane Farris has never represented me, nor have I collaborated with her on a client project, I respect that she has managed to not only stay in business, but thrive through some tough economic times in the past three decades. There are several parallels between her and my philosophy on visual art and the marketing of it. We both started our websites in the mid 1990’s, and we are recognizing the benefits of on-line social media to increase our customer base.
What has struck me most are her comments on the current visual arts scene. She recognizes that more and more artists are taking the route of self representation. The landscape of the visual arts community is shifting with the proliferation of artists and alternate art spaces. Clearly, there are more artists than traditional commercial galleries able to represent them, so opportunities such as the East Side Culture Crawl, the North Shore Art Crawl and the Harmony Arts Festival are important venues for artists to present themselves directly to the market. She acknowledges that artists representing themselves is a good thing.
“They do a good job of it, and some of them, because of the nature of their work, it’s a better way for them to earn a living if there’s huge expenses involved in making the work.” (The Georgia Straight, Michelle da Silva, March 2, 2011).
Producing original stone sculpture fits into this category!
I am pleased that such a highly regarded commercial gallery owner respects self represented artists. Michelle and I wish Diane Farris the very best in her future endeavours.