Contemporary Art Galleries > In this new “Gallery Spotlight” series, we’ll be featuring art galleries that are continuing to keep their doors open – in at least a virtual sense, that is. This week’s spotlight is on RJD Gallery in Bridgehampton, New York. RJD Gallery’s focus is on narrative realism, photorealistic portraiture, surrealism and figurative art.
Contemporary Art Galleries: Spotlight on RJD Gallery
Cherie Dawn Haas: It’s no secret that things, due to the coronavirus, have changed dramatically within the past couple of weeks. What adjustments have you made as a gallery since the outbreak?
RJD Gallery: We’re very fortunate as we have a strong marketing plan, a loyal following, as well as the RJD website, Artsy, and numerous printed opportunities. Between 75-80% of our sales are online, and we’ve made the necessary changes required in New York to work remotely and still respond to collectors in a timely fashion. Additionally, we’ve started to create a unique series of videos to share with our collector base with virtual shows and commentary available for viewing every month.
What’s your biggest priority at this time? Over the next year?
Our biggest priority is to try and safeguard from COVID-19. We are adhering to federal, state and local guidelines, and have temporarily closed the gallery to visitors and employees. However we are still working effectively to let our collectors know that we are still here and that we are working towards 2021 with art openings and museum exhibition dates.
What advice do you have for collectors as they navigate these times, and beyond?
It’s a wonderful time to enjoy art from the comfort of your home. One can purchase art and do research safely and enjoyably at home for new artists, purchase art at better prices to add to your collection, and grasp the daily pleasure of your viewing it as an integral part of your life at home.
Anything else you’d like to add about the current issues art galleries are navigating?
The current situation surrounding Coronavirus leaves everyone – individuals and businesses – with the big question of “when will things return to normal?” We all have to do what we can to stay healthy, and support one another. Things will eventually return to normal but we can maintain our businesses by keeping in touch with our customer base and the public.
Aside from the current conditions we’re all facing, please share your advice for artists.
Focus on finding the most appropriate Gallery for your work, for its level of development, and creativity, price point, media, and market focus. Do not try to sell your work without a Gallery; every moment away from your brush, you stifle and misdirect your creativity, paint less, and certainly not as well. We do not paint; we plan and pursue a consistent costly marketing strategy – learned over many years – and speak or email with hundreds of people every week and make sure we are paid properly for art. Most of the artists we know crave and need their privacy and isolation and prefer painting to people or speaking. Many have lost money and been cheated by the predators out there, but with gallery representation, we eliminate them quickly and effectively and avoid any losses from their ever-changing schemes.
We have never not been paid, and our artists have always been paid through our efforts. One other example of why galleries matter and serve a purpose, is most artists do not carry insurance like we do. Worth noting: because of our insurance, we were able to pay all of our gallery artists full value on their artworks from a devastating fire in December of 2016.
Regarding your exhibitions, do you have a current online show?
Here is our 2020 planned schedule (click here to download), which we will hang, and video for virtual exhibitions and comments until things improve.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Everyone should continue to work, maintain a routine, and understand that this current situation will pass. Stay connected to family, friends and clients; support those that are losing funding, like our non-profits. This is one reason we will continue with plans to host our next exhibition “Shades of Light,” as a virtual show, to benefit The Retreat, which we have done for 10 years. This juried art show had over 300 entries with 20 exceptional pieces chosen. Gallery proceeds from the art selected for this show will be donated to this important non-profit organization.
To learn about the contemporary artworks available at RJD Gallery, visit rjdgallery.com. Stay tuned as we continue to feature contemporary art galleries here.