Oh, the times they are a changing! Bob Dylan nailed it! The times are always changing.
Dylan knew what it meant to change before change changed him. The audience booed him when he performed his first electric concert at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965.
Why? It just wasn’t done — folk music was sacrosanct!
The arts are a commodity. Art galleries are businesses.
Galleries provided exhibitions and exposure to artists and viewing and purchase opportunities for viewers, collectors and the casual buyer.
The art business is both like and unlike any other business. The business of art is now in a constant state of flux in lock-step with the global economies. Everything and anything that affects other businesses affects galleries. With
increasing services prices, rents and the shift in the art-buyer demographic, plus a glut of emerging artists and the
rising inventory of deceased artist estates, it’s a whole new world.
In this new world, “Art,” with a capital A is for everyone and not just the well-heeled. The majority of galleries, in order to survive, have not only embraced the internet, they have learned to become shape-shifters for a growing portion of its community through offering its space as not only a place to display art, but as a place to hold events surrounded by it.
HeARTspot Art Center and Gallery in East Providence, Rhode Island was opened in 2017 by owner Jennifer Gillooy Cahoon, a former art teacher who decided to leave the public education sector in 2015 to pursue art full time. “I wasn’t 100 percent sure how that would work,” she said. “I figured I’d continue to work as a painter, show my work, and take commissions.”
The future didn’t start to reveal itself to her until she became involved as a board member with the local arts council. The council was attempting to acquire property for an arts center in town. The project fell through. And, it was then that she came up with the idea for her business.
The opportunity had just presented itself. In the city of East Providence, there were no galleries or performing
arts centers. The one exception was a privately funded space that would soon be closing. East Providence is
surrounded by other cities and towns with vibrant arts scenes. Art had provided them with a way to improve their economic profile and the quality of life. With that in mind, Cahoon set out to capitalize on her city’s geolocation and proximity to these other places.