So many art venues shut down during the pandemic, and I'm sure many of the people that ran those venues mourn for not only what might have been, but also the fact that there wasn't an opportunity for closure. My guest for this episode of The Art Biz is Mai Wyn Schantz, an artist who was also a gallerist when she closed her space at the beginning of COVID. She hated to lose the relationships she had built over the years as the gallerist. She needed closure and she was determined to do right by her artists.
As soon as she felt it was safe, Mai Win organized a pop-up farewell exhibition with her artists. Her goal was to break even, which as you'll hear was far too conservative of a goal because she hit it out of the park, mostly because of the relationships she had nurtured throughout the years. Together we discuss the timing of the pop-up, the details for pulling it off, including the space she worked with, and what she learned from the experience. She reveals at least three things that she will do differently next time, and will inspire you to consider a pop-up gallery for your next art sales event.
Mai Wyn’s journey to finding her space in galleries. (1:42)
Acting as a gallerist when you feel like an imposter. (6:11)
The impact of an artist's experience on Mai Wyn’s gallery experience. (8:58)
Reflections on the decision to close her gallery. (11:55)
Celebrating the closure the proper way with a pop-up gallery. (16:16)
Artist requirements for participation in the event. (25:42)
How to promote a pop-up event across your network. (27:08)
Handling inventory and sales in a pop-up gallery. (30:10)
Playing the part of the hostess means hiring the right kind of help. (32:50)
Lessons learned from this hugely successful pop-up. (42:51)
Exceeding sales expectations by 1000%. (49:00)
The relationships that make artists and gallerists succeed. (50:26)
Mai Wyn gets real about what’s up next for her as a reborn artist. (52:22)
Landscape and wildlife painter Mai Wyn Schantz developed a love of nature at an early age canoeing the lake country of the upper Midwest with her father. Since her introduction to the art world in 1999, Schantz has exhibited steadily, including solo and group exhibitions at commercial galleries, art centers and museums notably the Museum of Wisconsin Art, Yellowstone Art Museum and Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities in Colorado. Beyond the studio, she remains an avid hiker spending her down time exploring trails along the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies with her husband and young daughter.