The Fastest, Longest Year
Exciting and terrifying often travel together. I hosted both of these emotional states for much the last twelve months. Once in a while, they leave for a few days, leaving me alone with happiness, but most of the time I get to enjoy all three.
I learned that the Albany Arts Gallery was for sale almost exactly a year ago. My business partner, Dayana Claghorn, and I purchased the business in about a month; the transformation to Abrams Claghorn took until April. Now it’s almost December, and we have had 8 exhibits, 4 artist talks, a silver smithing demo, the Solano Stroll, and Black Friday is just a few days away.
The team is doing a great job. Chelsea Thompson was hired as manager in February, Kristin Milewski, as assistant manager, shortly after. Sarah Schulweis continues to be great in her role as a consultant. And graphic designer Rose de Heer wonderful, both in designing our logo, and in her advise in many related projects. I don’t think the business would be doing so well without their contributions.
I am happy to get to work with the artists, makers, craftspeople, jewelers, and artisans who’s work we are privileged to show in the gallery store. I often hear from our customers how cohesive the collection is, despite the diversity of style, media, and personalities of the makers.
At the end of the summer, we had a change in staff. Dayana needed to spend more time with her family and on her education, and decided to leave the gallery. We have since hired Vitina Morabito, one of the artists we represent, to work in the gallery a couple of days a week.
Currently, Anna Vaughan is almost done with the mural on the east side of the building. It looks great. David Bellard is putting the final touches on this, our cool, new website. The latest of the bells and whistles is this blog. And with the holiday season underdway, we will have our last party of the year, the Solano Ave Art Walk and an artist talk by Anne Stryke.
As our first year comes to an end, I’m looking forward to the holiday shopping season, a little terrified, excited, and very happy that I happened into the experience of this gallery and all the people I get to work with.