The past six years, I have had both positive and negative experiences dealing with galleries that have exhibited my paintings. Rare Earth Gallery in Stuart this past year has been particularly pleasant, but nothing can compare to the experience in A Unique Art Gallery in Jupiter, the creation of businesswoman, Susan Lorenti.
Creating art has been a part of my life since the 1960s, and back then I exhibited work at the Cambridge Art Association in Massachusetts. For over two decades I focused on my mental health career, so it wasn’t until 2002 that I joined Women In The Visual Arts and began to exhibit my paintings again. In the past six years, my work has been for sale in eight galleries. The first, 2004 – 2005, was The Unknown Artist in downtown West Palm Beach, not the best experience. Pandora’s Hope, a lovely space in Pineapple Grove in downtown Delray Beach, was much better. Unfortunately the owners couldn’t make a go of it and closed the gallery six months after I joined, but I did have a solo show there in 2005.
Now I’m hoping for better luck in A Unique Art Gallery. Susan Lorenti, who has worked in galleries and frame stores for decades, decided last spring to open a gallery collective. She created the Artists Association of Jupiter (AAoJ) and opened A Unique Art Gallery at 226 Center Street in June 2010. Rather than take a commission on artwork, she charges rent for the wall or floor space an artist occupies. Though each artist has an investment in the success of the gallery, Susan is the director. She is a member of the four person team that she selected to jury in new artists, she hangs the work, and she does the daily gallery sitting. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Most importantly, she has brought together a wonderful group of artists, and like gallery owners of the more distant past, she nurtures and develops each one of us.
If not for Susan I wouldn’t have a brochure or be giving thought to prints and giclees. She encouraged me to do a class, and now I’m running Unleashing Creativity workshops, which pays my rent and is good for my soul. Using my therapeutic skills and integrating the therapist and artist within me has been pure joy. Working with other artists has also been extremely worthwhile. Though I’ve been involved in the Artists of Palm Beach County for a couple of years and have been a board member for the past year, the experience of covering the gallery with Susan and collaborating on Second Wednesday monthly art openings with AAoJ members has been especially rewarding.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the “Season” will bring shoppers into the gallery. Our Second Wednesday theme on November 10, 2010 is “Returning and Re-Discovering Home,” which will showcase four of our artists, Mare, David Willison, Raymonde Tallyrand, and John Rachell. I look forward to this season with enthusiasm and feel grateful for Susan Lorenti and the Artists Association of Jupiter.
The photo above is of Susan Lorenti at the North Palm Beaches Cultural Alliance Event