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Covid-19 ~ the saga continues.

Updated: 12 hours ago

From right to left, "Mining the Heart", cyanotype, "Mining the Heart", van dyke brown, "Asking Why too Late", cyanotype. by Kimbre Woods

If you read my previous Covid-19 blog, you will see that the gallery, and the artists of the gallery, have felt love and support in this time. For that, we are so thankful! It seems, as a leader in the art industry of Crested Butte, Colorado, that I must express the other side of it too, and explain why so many artists have already left Crested Butte since this pandemic began. As an artist myself, and the manager of this gallery, I am aware of so many reasons that artists are suffering; this blog post is my attempt to share this knowledge with the galleries supporters. First and foremost, working capital is what makes an artist's world go round. Without the money to invest, they can not purchase the items needed to make more sellable work. Without art inventory, the checks from galleries and websites quickly dry up.

Another key factor in being a working artist is maintaining an artist's workspace. Things like high rent in a resort town that is in the middle of a housing crisis, make it provincial for an artist in this area to find a place to produce work. The simple solution to rent a living space with an extra room is no longer viable when you can barely afford enough space to live. Renting a separate space proves to be even more challenging as it is difficult to find even the smallest office for an affordable price, let alone a practical space to create a body of work in. For those who were/are renting a workspace, Covid-19 left many (not all bless your hearts), local landlords, feeling less forgiving here in the valley, leading to artists evictions. While the government on both local and federal levels rushed in to help both through financial assistance and policies, it fell short and seems to be dried up even though the crisis persists. There is no longer a moratorium on evictions, leading to more displaced artists, more artists who recently lost space to create in. Displaced artists have further commutes, and with a lack of money coming through, no money to even get to town.

Suddenly it has become way more expensive for artists to make their work. Due to both of the above reasons, pricing for any artwork artists do make needs to be higher because it genuinely costs more to make it. Plus artists may need to order art supplies to make said work. Impounding this is supply lines being disturbed, potentially having to find new solutions to finish one's work. Potentially having to conceptualize and create a whole new series of work based on what you can make right now.

All this plus, we have not even talked about the artist being on the front line. Well, at least for me, if I'm going in to sit in the gallery and sell work for myself and my local artists, I'm on the front line. I happen to have asthma and can't afford to get Covid-19, as it could cost me my life. What extra pay or appreciation do I get for going in? Non, actually, I'm making less and left giving discounts to make sales happen, sales that will not make ends meet, that won't pay the bills, won't catch me up, and won't make it easier to make art in this particular pandemic climate. I am truly grateful the shutdowns have finally ended, because, I was not able to do anything then.

What does it all mean to you as a shopper, mainly if you love being able to buy original handmade art, then you must buy art! You are our only hope! You are the proverbial Obe-Wan Kenobe (thank you, George Lucus, for allowing me this one little reference to your StarWars masterpiece)! Support art by buying it now, paying full price for it, and/ or donate to the gallery! Donation may be the best choice at this time, as most all work on the site is sold, and we need more juice to make the machine work! For our part we will be working to make the art and get it online!!! Whatever you can do, you will be helping this artist collective survive the pandemic. If not, I'm sure you guys will have some great corporate industrialized tokens for sale in downtown Crested Butte soon!

Full color printing process from the 1800's depicting the moon coming out over Kimber's Campsite one summer night by the slate river, in the gunnison national forest
Above Slate River, Tri Color Gum Bichromate on arches fabriano

Above Slate River

Tri Color Gum Bichromate

Kimbre Woods

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