Today we’d like to introduce you to Jane Deering.
Jane, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After graduate work at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, I opened the first gallery (2002) in my home in the village of Annisquam on Cape Ann; and the idea was to show how beautifully contemporary art sits within the rustic interior of a 1792 house. The gallery presented work by artists from the U.K. and Ireland, alongside work by emerging artists working on Cape Ann. It was an eclectic mix which viewers appreciated. A second gallery was opened in California in 2006; this enlarged the gallery’s roster of artists to include those working north of Los Angeles. Two galleries — one on each coast — is a lot to manage; in 2014, JDG closed the Santa Barbara gallery to focus on the East Coast region and is now located in downtown Gloucester next door to the Cape Ann Museum. Cape Ann is experiencing a huge surge of interest and small independent businesses, cafes, restaurants and art galleries are enlivening the city, adding greatly to its diversity and attracting visitors from around the world.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Dealing in art is never easy. Art is not a necessity in the same way food, shelter, health insurance, education are, so sales do not come easy. And contemporary art seems to baffle many. I can’t tell you the number of times someone walking into my gallery has said ‘I don’t know anything about art.’ Of course they know more than they think; they make artistic choices every day. They choose clothes, furnishings, a particular car model, plants for the garden and on and on. What they’re really expressing is they haven’t spent time looking at paintings, photography, sculpture, etc in museums and galleries, and they haven’t had much if any art education in the public schools. All of which makes them feel uninformed and uncomfortable in a gallery. Who wants to feel stupid? No one! I try to break the ice by making the gallery a welcoming place and providing some context about the art. It’s as much my mission to educate as it is to sell work. But here are two truisms which highlight the challenge of keeping a gallery alive: ‘How to make a small fortune in the art business? Start out with a large fortune.’ and, as an artist friend once said, ‘Art is the last kid picked for the team.’
Jane Deering Gallery – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
What am I most proud of? Supporting emerging artists and getting their work into wonderful museums, corporate, and private collections. And igniting a passion for art in folks who had never before purchased an original work of art.
And in keeping the gallery alive and well and financially sound after all these years.
- Prices can range between $150 – $15,000. Most works fall within a very affordable range; i.e. $450-$1500.
- Address: 19 Pleasant Street
Gloucester MA 01930
- Website: www.janedeeringgallery.com
- Phone: 917-902-4359
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: #janedeeringgallery
- Facebook: Facebook.com/janedeeringgallery