Friday, December 28, 2007

Studio Space Availability

Recently I was approached by two Youngstown property owners who will soon have studio space available in their respective buildings. At the moment I can't go into detail about the locations or the costs of the studio spaces etc., as everything hasn't been nailed down yet. However at least one building should have space(s) available February first. These spaces are high quality studios by most standards. The property owners are looking for people who are serious artists and who will make full use of the spaces. They have an "incubation philosophy" about their buildings and are involving themselves with artists to help promote the arts in this city.
If you are interested, please send me your contact information, website or MySpace (with art images) address, a brief resume' and a statement of how you will use the studio space. I will review the information and pass to the property owners. Contact me at artbake777(at)

Holiday Demands

The holidays have been very demanding, stressful and time consuming for me, as they are for most people. I haven't devoted the kind of time I would have liked to this blog, but for the time being I am back working on it. My research continues into Art Incubation in Youngstown and more things have developed, which I will soon be bringing to light.
It was very nice to see so many artists back in town for the holidays. Many artists are attending graduate school wile others opted to move to bigger cities with more vibrant and complex art communities. One thing they mention is how much they miss this city and the opportunities it offers. Low rents, easy access to resources and relaxed lifestyles are just some of the things that aren't readily available in bigger cities and which make Youngstown so appealing to artists.
My wish for the New Year is that we all learn to fully appreciate our city and all the fine things it has to offer. At times we become so accustomed to our lives here that we begin to take Youngstown for granted. In a way, this is the success of our city, that we can live lives of comfort without questioning how these situations have come into being or how they are maintained.
Take care, keep me posted on upcoming art events and opportunities and I will do my best to keep you Youngstown blog readers updated.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pandora's Incubator

Since I began writing about an art incubator, it seems I have opened a Pandora's Box. I have received many emails and phone calls and had many heated discussions. What started as an interesting diversion now has taken control of my life. It is amazing to me the passion that exists for the Arts In Youngstown.
In the past week I also had several meetings with two separate organizations who are interested in funding an AI. Each are financially capable of creating one or more fully functioning, highly diverse Incubators that could handle the Fine and Performing Arts.
Generally speaking they have two main, similar goals in mind for the potential AI's: To promote Youngstown nationally and internationally in a Very positive light and to bring national and international monies to the city, with an emphasis on the Euro. This is no small task, but as Youngstown artists, we are certainly up to the challenge, and it is a one for which we have been waiting.
Artists who are working in business or have their own businesses (the businesses don't have to be art related) need to send me a brief description of their art processes and how they would incorporate them into an AI setting. Also they need to give general descriptions of their business skills and brief resumes. Finally there should be statements about how they will bring positive light to the city and how they plan to attract national and international monies through their work in an AI.
As an example, today I talked to a sculptor who manages a major surveying firm. This artist had a great deal of insight about how he would operate within an AI setting based on his managerial experience combined with his artistic experience.
I soon hope to put together an overall business proposal to present to these organizations. Your contributions, artists, would go a long way in persuading these organizations that we are worth their time, effort and money.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Art Incubator Response

The response to my last blog "Art Incubator" was pretty incredible. I received many emails from people making great suggestions and asking further questions.
Something that became obvious to me was that many people are so interested in the new that they haven't been looking at what we already have here in Youngstown. As it stands we have several art incubators within the city at this time. YSU's Art department and the Ward Bakery come to mind. These are very different from each other but both have created well trained artists who have a deep understanding of the business of art incubation.
Since Youngstown already supports at least 2 incubators and artists and the community are demanding more, I pose the following questions:
How would an incubator be funded? Would it be a non-profit or a capitalistic venture? How many art incubators can Youngstown support? Should we have one for each of the disciplines? One for painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking etc? How large should these incubators be? How may artists can an individual incubator serve? Who would qualify to be a part of an incubator? Who would manage these incubators? How would they be managed? By committees or individuals? What services if any would be provided for the community? What services would the community provide for the incubator?
These are just a select few of the question that my readers and I have been discussing.
I enjoy receiving your emails. But Please, for the sake of Youngstown, post your comments on the blog! Thanks, you wonderful, understanding people....

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.........