Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Art Incubator

Over the past year I have heard a great deal of talk concerning an "Art Incubator". It is a grand idea and a concept that is long overdue for Youngstown. Several years ago I took it upon myself to start one with the limited resources I had on hand.
My first step was to take a good look at the business techniques that lead to my own success in the art world. I then broke these techniques down into their most basic components.
From there I had to find an artist who was willing to go along with my plan. Luckily I knew a painter who was very motivated to try my techniques in his artistic endeavors. Not all artists I approached were willing and some who were lacked the necessary motivation and vision.
An incredibly necessary aspect of this endeavor was finding an artist who had a place to work, as I could not provide studio space. The artist I approached had a room in his apartment where he could work, but this limited the scope of the experiment somewhat. We had to modify my art/business techniques to fit his circumstances.
Without going into detail of the techniques, I will say that we had a great deal of success, more than I had anticipated. With an investment of $500 the artist created 30 small paintings (averaging 12x16 inches). I promoted the work over one of my websites and we sold most of them at somewhat below market value, which helped us create a substantial amount of money quickly. This money went directly back into the business and in 8 months the artist had a self sustaining art business with only a moderate amount of help from me. At this point I became the artist's agent. Because of the financial delicacy of the situation I took only a very small percentage of the sale or was paid in artwork
As I said, this endeavor was limited in scope due to the modest amount of funds and workspace available. However, I began to apply these refined techniques to my own art business and found that I could increase my output of fine large oil paintings dramatically. I also found that my marketing skills had improved significantly which lead to an increase in my own sales. Finally, the increased amount of finished work and following sales allowed me to get my artwork placed in more influential collections than I had previously been able.
Should any business or organization be interested in consulting with me on creating an art incubator, please email me: artbake777(at)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Oakland Center for the Arts Gallery

The Oakland Center for the Arts is located in downtown Youngstown and features a charming venue known as the Star Gallery. Here regional artist have displayed their original artworks for many years. The Oakland has a long history of supporting artists, and one of my first solo exhibitions was at the Oakland when it was located on 5th avenue about 10 years ago. To have such at opportunity at that point in my career was incredibly important to me. It helped to build the confidence, skills and resume' necessary to pursue my career in venues in Cleveland and New York City.
Currently, a true veteran of the Youngstown Art scene, Scott Pergande, is showing a body of recent work in the Star Gallery. There are 23 new works on display which feature classic Pergande imagery, but with a fresh and contemporary twist. Scott never ceases to surprise, entertain, and sometimes embarrass his audience.
The work is 3 dimensional wall pieces that could be described as elaborately decorated framing in a folk art or religious iconographic style. Some work leans toward the Baroque while others have features of Tramp Art. Elements incorporated into this work range from ceramic lion and angel heads to old rusty garden implements and vintage knick-knacks. The framed images are predominately handsome young men gleaned from the pages of GQ magazine and the like, while others are simply mirrors. Scott has made the pieces so that the images can be replaced by mirrors that he provides or any image that the buyer prefers.
Prices are very, Very good for this original work and I urge you to get down there soon and make your Holiday purchases. Most pieces are not over $65. Where else but in Youngstown can you get large, beautiful artworks at such low costs? Personally I think Mr. Pergande is making a mistake pricing work so low, but behind his somewhat gruff facade is a generous heart. The Oakland receives a commission on the sales of what promises to be a sold out show.
Scott Pergande's work can be viewed on theater performance nights. David Sedaris' Season's Greetings and The Santa Land Diaries are performed Dec. 7, 8, 15, and 16 starting at 8pm and on Dec 9 at 2pm on. You Do Not have to attend the performance to visit the Star Gallery. Arrangements can be made for a private viewing of Scott's work by contacting me at artbake777(at) Payment for Scott's work can be made with cash or check to Suzie Biersdorfer (or any Oakland board member), or Fran.


Welcome to Youngstown Art. Simple title for a very complex world. I will be tackling issues concerning the artists of Youngstown and how the presence of Art affects our community. I will also be giving notifications of shows, art related events and perhaps the occaisional review. So, let us begin.........