Monday, May 28, 2012

Accent Gallery

My work is on the left - Around the Block, 2011
Honored and humbled to be represented by Accent Gallery. Please check this out from the Press of Atlantic City, May 22, 2012

OCEAN CITY — For the novice collector, Accent Gallery has the intimidating feel of a metropolitan studio with its hardwood floors, intricate lighting and professional staff.
But director Rody O’Rourke said the gallery’s aim is to make everyone feel comfortable purchasing artwork, even if the customer’s modest aim is to find something to suit the sofa.
Accent Gallery, which is owned by Ocean City resident Larry DeLany, has been introducing local artists to southern New Jersey for more than 40 years.
The gallery does work for corporate clients, offices, hotels, hospitals and restaurants. And while the gallery hosts numerous shows during the year, its primary customer base is in second homeowners who are looking for artwork that makes a statement or sets a mood.
“There can be this elitist feeling about art. But it should be fun and provocative. We are not going to make anyone feel uncomfortable for their budget or expertise,” O’Rourke said. “We want people to feel comfortable with their art.”
O’Rourke said it is not uncommon for customers to bring paint samples or cloth swatches to the gallery to find artwork, frames and mattes that complement a home’s decor. The gallery features works as small as a playing card and as a big as a whale — or an 8-foot-long replica, anyway.
Accent Gallery specializes in American artists and crafters, many of them from southern New Jersey.
Works have included those by Ocean City artist Kim Weiland, watercolor artist James Toogood of Cherry Hill, Upper Township artist Greg Bennett and Ocean City artist Wanda Kline.
Most of the artists have shows across the tri-state area, O’Rourke said.
“That’s one of the most amazing things. Artists tend to be very loyal to the gallery,” she said. “I think that’s because we put the artist first to make sure they get the time they deserve.”
Art galleries have suffered during the recession, according to a July market analysis by IbisWorld. Art dealers employ about 36,000 people in the United States at 22,181 businesses.
“Original art is an expensive discretionary good that is used for collection, aesthetic and investment purposes,” the company’s 2011 market report found. “The product’s discretionary nature means that the industry is highly sensitive to changes in disposable income.”
But IbisWorld predicted that art galleries will fare better as the economy improves.
“The recovering economic climate will pave the way for improved industry demand as income levels grow and consumer sentiment takes a positive turn,” the report said.
Pricing artwork is always difficult, especially for emerging artists, O’Rourke said.
“That is one of the toughest questions. You need to get a feeling for what the market might bear,” she said. “You tend to start out conservatively to give the market a chance to grow.”
Pricing art is easier for artists who have a following, she said. But the gallery recommends people pick art based on their personal tastes rather than their investment portfolios.
“Art should be an investment of the heart,” O’Rourke said. “That’s where the gain is.”
Of course, the headlines that get the most attention are usually about high-priced auctions such as last week’s sale of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” for $120 million.
Lately, customers have been keenly interested in nostalgic artwork, including portraits of the former Ninth Street drawbridge that is being replaced by the new Route 52 Causeway.
“We’re seeing a turnaround of Ocean City-inspired locales,” she said. “We just redecorated a home in Marmora and they wanted local originals depicting Ocean City scenes.”
More artists are taking their work directly to customers through Internet sites such as Etsy. But O’Rourke said she does not see the Internet replacing galleries, where people can see the pieces with their own eyes.
“We have a clientele who has stuck with us for generations because of our dedication to customer service,” she said. “We do free consultation. We will work outside normal business hours. And we’ll follow up after a sale.”
Contact Michael Miller:

No comments:

Post a Comment