A FIGURATIVE SHOW
by Suzanne Volmer
Michele Aucoin and Nick Paciorek opened ArtProv Gallery in Providence’s Jewelry District roughly a year ago. Located at 150 Chestnut Street on the third floor of an artist building, there is a creative history attached to the destination associated with the studios of some of Providence’s better known art professionals, including Bunny Harvey and Allison Paschke. The happenstance of location, coupled with Aucoin’s advertising and business experience, created an immediate buzz. Making a lasting business was always this gallery’s trajectory.
Commercial gallery entrepreneurialism is actually rather rare in Providence, which surprisingly boasts only a handful of independently run galleries. The formula Aucoin and Paciorek have developed involves under- standing impediments and having flexibility to reach ahead to dissolve any barriers to success.
Aucoin has long wanted to have a gallery and she brings a sophisticated view of arts marketing to the business operation; it is her design sense that is behind ArtProv’s crisp corporate identity. She likes diverse art styles and can read client receptivity. The gallery’s style is to encourage open dialogue that draws thoughtful appreciation for art that is accessible, and she wants clients entering ArtProv to know they are welcome.
In conversation, Paciorek stressed his view that having a “brick-and-mortar” location is fundamentally important to give buyers a place to experience art before purchase. When asked about their buyer profile, Aucoin said that clients seem to come from all over. Some might be new city-dwellers who have just purchased a loft in Providence and want art to fit their new lifestyle. Another scenario might find a seasoned art fair participant making a dedicated buying trip to visit ArtProv Gallery to purchase artwork from a particular exhibition on view.