Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Changes in Commission Policy

A few months ago The Kiernan Gallery ended its policy of taking a 30% commission on the sale of artwork. The Gallery now does not take a commission from artists exhibiting in our monthly shows. A few people have asked why we made this change. Ultimately, we came to believe that it would be unfair to take a fee from artists when they submitted to the show, and then take a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their work. Taking money on both ends of the exhibition process does not fit squarely with the Gallery’s goal of promoting emerging artists. The solo exhibitors that we now show in conjunction with our monthly group exhibitions do not pay a submission fee, and we therefore retain a 30% commission on sales of their work.

We have never sold a piece without having some sort of conversation with the buyer about the price. In the past, the Gallery often found itself dipping into its commission during negotiations. The ability to negotiate with buyers is important, and the Gallery now reserves the right to negotiate 20% of the sale price with the buyer in order to make the sale.

It has been several months since we changed our commission policy. Exhibiting photographers’ prices have come down because artists are no longer factoring a commission into their pricing. Lower prices have meant more sales, and who doesn’t love that?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring Featured Artist: Heather MacRae-Trulson

Drawing inspiration from her environment in Savannah, this spring’s Featured Artist, Heather MacRae-Trulson, uses her art to discuss the environment and the effect our choices have on it. “It developed into the idea of human influence on the environment, specifically, certain structures and systems we exist in and build for ourselves, and their effect on us and our local habitat.” Using acrylic paint and other materials, MacRae-Trulson expresses the feelings and emotions of moving through her environment on her canvas. She is adamant that interactions with her environment are colored by emotional responses, and cannot simply be reproduced in a representational image. “I take the time to soak things up, move through the city streets observing.” Her paintings then tend to evolve organically. Her ideas are jotted down on paper, but rarely does she sketch before beginning a new piece. Rather, she allows her ideas and emotional responses build in her head before beginning to work. “I wait for these things to compile, and present themselves as gestures, layers and marks.”


MacRae-Trulson used to work in specific canvas sizes and ratios, but she has recently been experimenting outside of her usual comfort zone. “Lately the work I have been doing finds itself at home on small traditional rectangular canvases.” Despite this change, her approach to the blank canvas is the same. “There is a period of sitting and staring at the blank canvas, then a frenzy of action – pouring, scribbling, brushing frantically – all to get the ball rolling. Then I sit back and wait.” This second phase of observation allows her to start to fine-tune her vision and to see what other media (conte crayon, graphite, charcoal, ink) might be needed. She has not formalized this process, and this period of reflection allows her to determine what to do next, or if more work is even needed. “Sometimes I don’t know if I’m just stopped for the day or if I’m done with that piece. So I have other pieces around to work on preventing me from killing something by going back into it too much when it’s finished.”


Every person who is able to pursue something they are truly passionate about is lucky. Given her work and the joy she takes in painting, MacRae-Trulson concedes that she is very lucky. “Success in art means painting every day and paying your bills while still being able to look your reflection in the eye.” Her abstract style is engaging and expressive, which is truly what she aspires to.  “There is a wonderful snowball effect that happens when you take things that you are inspired by and try to put them down on canvas, they wrap up into themselves and take on a new life ‒ the painting is given space to exist as its own inspirational object.”



Heather MacRae-Trulson is The Kiernan Gallery's first non-photographic artist. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Abstraction Winners: Boris Kotlyar

Hailing from St. Petersburg, Russia, Juror’s Choice winner Boris Kotlyar finds inspiration from his surroundings. “I draw inspiration from everything. From life, books, movies, music, other photos and paintings. The ideas come to me in the most unusual moments – on the road, on vacation.”


When that inspiration hits, Kotlyar is always ready to act on it, to make an image, to work, and to create. “I think the spontaneous works are better because they represent pure inspiration without thinking.” While there are times that he plans and prepares, his modus operandi is more spontaneous. “I don’t calculate everything to the smallest detail, I like it when my works feature an element of carelessness – it imbues them with vitality, they stop being plastic and ‘perfect’.”



Abstraction is a genre that lends itself to unplanned images. Using a variety of image making tools—traditional cameras, pinhole, scanners, and camera phones— the spontaneity of the image occurs not just in Kotlyar’s choice of subject matter and presentation, but in how that particular tool records it. Scannography images such as Juror's Choice image, Flower Explosion exemplify Kotlyar’s interest in the unexpected.

Flower Explosion
It is perhaps this quest for the unexpected that dictates Kotlyar’s choice to keep his artwork away from the realm of commercial photography. “I don’t aim for commercial photography. I’m doing it primarily for myself.” This is reflected in his idea of success, which he defines feels is achieved when his work inspires others to create their own art.


Abstraction is on view through April 27, 2013.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Abstraction Winners: Corinne Schulze

“My youth was atypical, in a sense.”  Growing up on farms afforded Director’s Choice winner Corinne Schulze an unparalleled view of nature both in terms of its beauty and its reality. “I spent most of my childhood heavily influenced by the practices of my mother, whose background is in art and biology.” Exploring the world in her own backyard as well as on camping trips, Schulze inextricably linked art and science in her mind. “It’s natural for me to consider art and science to be complementary to one another. In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the world around us, both must be utilized.”

Human Remains

In looking at her work, the scientific influence is evident. Influenced by theoretical concepts from critical thought, Schulze says that she appreciates the philosophical aspect of scientific thinking. “Some of my projects are more rigorous in practice, such as my fruit fly experiment, but the scientific bent to most of my work comes from ideas in science and not practice.” And as much of her work is abstract, garnering ideas from scientific abstracts makes a lot of sense.

Fruit Fly Flight

Schulze’s winning image, Pottery, is a part of Stardust.

[Stardust] consists of images made from the dust left behind by anthropological collections objects in my photography studio. The titles of each image refer to the objects that were photographed for scientific investigation. The dust that fell from those objects created abstract patterns that evoked celestial formations. When looking at the patterns, I was reminded of the concept that we are all made of stardust. I was intrigued by the idea that everything returns to the elements it was created from over the passing of time. 

Director's Choice: Pottery

Though Stardust is an ethereal interpretation of abstraction as a genre, her use of more recognizable items, mainly from nature, is just as engaging, if not more intriguing. “By creating abstract images, I free the subject from its widely recognized form and open it up to create new meaning.” And in doing so, Schulze finds not only the beauty, but also the patterns that sometimes emerge from chaos, such as her exploration of fractal form in her series Morphogenesis.

Drosophila Neurons from Morphogenesis

Schulze sees success as “having a disciplined practice that is always changing to express your truest self,” and tries to live up to this definition in her own work. “It’s a balance between going out and making work in a consistent way while accepting the unexpected discoveries and challenges that may occur while in process.”

Abstraction is on view through April 27, 2013.