"A New "Mix" in Bucktown [Art, By Justin Sunward]"
Gay Chicago Magazine, November 26th 1998
Artists face so many problems and challenges beyond the challenges of actually creating art. The complexities of the contemporary art world have only made matters worse. Today, unless they can afford to hire an army of specialists (and most artists can't) artists are forced to master all sorts of non-art skills, such as photography to record their work, writing for resumes, cover letters and artists' statements, bookkeeping, tax law and advertising and promotional techniques.
Probably the biggest single challenge artists face is the simple sounding matter of getting their work shown. Two avenues open to most artists are art fairs and studio open houses. They can be good stepping stones, but they're rarely enough to get an artist career into high gear. The ultimate goal of most artists is to get ongoing representation in art galleries.
The world of art galleries is a very special and rarefied one. There are simply too few galleries around to show all the thousands upon thousands of artists who are looking for exposure. Gallery representation is a must for artist serious about an art career, but the art galleries have some drawbacks for the artist as well.
If an artist is lucky enough to make a gallery connection, one of the prices to be paid is all too real -- 50 percent of the selling price! The artist gets half and dealer gets half. How would you like to fork over half of your profits to someone else-before taxes, too! And some New York galleries get away with taking 60 percent! The era of the starving artist isn't over yet.Almost all artists have to support themselves with a second
One of our community's better-known people has decided to tackle this matter in his own way. Thom Frerk has just opened a new gallery with an important twist to it. "Dix Art Mix" opened it's doors to the public on Friday Nov. 6th at 2068 N. Leavitt in Bucktown. Dix is dedicated to providing affordable showcase for artists of all kinds. Art to be presented will run the gamut: Painting, prints, drawing, sculpture, jewelry, pottery glassware, books cards and gift items.
The important key to this venture is summed up by Frerk: "We want to make art as affordable as possible, Consequently we are only taking 15 percent from artists via consignments (now 20 percent) and if we do an individual show we will move heaven and earth to make at least one sale and take only 20 percent (now 25 percent) instead of the typical 50. I don't care if we make money or not, I have other sources of income."
"Dix Art Mix" studio hours are Wednesday and Saturdays 5-9pm, Sundays 1-4pm and by appointment.
This is a terrifc opportunity for artists and art buyers alike. This
enterprise deserves our full support. For more information call
Way to go, Thom.
Justin H. Sunward is an abstract and figurative painter, has exhibited in galleries and museums from New York to California and is a founding member of the Chicago Art Critics Association.