Q&A: The Addison Gallery in Orleans Celebrates 20 Years

Q: Describe your early beginnings. Was it difficult opening a gallery? Or did it come naturally to you?

A: I gathered information on running a gallery by reading books, attending seminars and shows in New York City and Boston, listening to experienced artists, and drew on my own experience as a collector. The gallery business is primarily a marketing business. Having studied marketing at Cornell and with decades of experience (including for the Cape Cod School of Art and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum), I had a relevant base of knowledge.


Q: How many artists do you represent?

A: About 30 artists on a regular basis, and dozens of other artists join us for our special events. We have artists from across the country, France and Mexico. About half are from this region.

We choose artists that create work appealing to our collectors. Our artists are all positive, approachable, and professional.

Q:What is the best part about owning a gallery?

A: Meeting and getting to know so many art lovers and artists. And, of course, it’s a lovely environment in which to work.

Q: What changes in artwork have you seen over the years? Any new or interesting trends happening now?

A: The rebirth of popularity of encaustic painting. Black and  floating frames, and gallery wraps instead of traditional gold-toned frames.

Q: Any special celebrations for your 20th anniversary?

A: We’ll have a party on Saturday, Nov. 28, the anniversary of our first opening reception.

Q: What would you say to someone who might be intimidated to walk into your gallery?

A: Everyone is welcome to visit the gallery—to just look around or to chat with us and learn more about the art—and to join us for our special events. These are great opportunities to meet artists and get a better understanding of their techniques and inspirations. We’re happy to have children explore the gallery rooms and enjoy helping them get a close-up look at the sculpture and paintings. Our plein air events and demonstrations are casual occasions for meeting artists and watching them work.

Q: What is the key to owning a successful gallery and for staying in business 20 years?

A: Choosing the right art for one’s market. Working with professional artists. Appreciating the collectors. Doing business with integrity. Presenting creative ways to introduce art and artists to the local, regional and national market. Making a serious financial investment in promoting the artists one represents. In addition to our strong commitment to national advertising, we have a solid history of presenting intriguing events and partnering with the community.

Q: Where have you presented exhibitions and held receptions?

A: Everywhere from Provincetown to Falmouth. I’ve worked with Highfield Hall, the Cape Cod Museum of Art, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, French Cable Station Museum, Orleans Historical Society, Cape Cod National Seashore, Truro Public Library, Wellfleet Public Library, WOMR, Orleans Improvement Association, Orleans Conservation Trust, and other businesses. Cape Cod is the home of our country’s oldest, continuously operating art colony; the place where Edward Hopper, one of America’s greatest painters, chose to build his home; an internationally renowned vacation destination. It is truly a privilege to live and work in a community with this rich artistic heritage, vibrant contemporary art scene, and where one knows and cares about their neighbors.

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