After ten years in our current location (and almost fifteen years in business) I’ve decided it’s time for a significant refresh of the gallery’s interior. I’ve loved our gallery space and we’ve sold a lot of art out of it over the last decade, but after ten years we were ready for a refresh, and we have come to know the strengths and flaws of our space very, very well.
Our slow summer season is the perfect time for this kind of work – our traffic is understandably slow as the temperatures climb into the low 110°s, and construction crews are only too happy to be working inside instead of out.
Yesterday, we removed all of the art from the gallery, and early this morning a drywall crew showed up to begin work.
During this remodel, we’ll be working on four key areas.
First, I’m eliminated the rolling, portable wall units we had in the space. The wall units have served us well over the years, but I’ve come to realize that they are no longer ideal. The main problem is that they have a huge footprint for the amount of hanging space they provide. We had 6 of these units, each 3′ x 4′, by about 7′ tall. The 72 square feet they took up isn’t a huge percentage of our 2200 square feet of floor space, but volume of these units has a significant impact.
The ability of the units to be moved for different shows was nice, but eventually we found what I would consider to be the “ideal spots” for these walls, and they ended up pretty much staying in those spaces most of the time. So, I’m removing them and building more permanent walls in the spaces where our moveable walls had settled. The new walls will provide almost twice the hanging space the moveable walls gave. The new walls will also give me significantly more contiguous spaces for grouping artist’s work.
The second major change is a completely new lighting system. When we opened ten years ago, we installed a low-voltage, cable lighting system using Halogen MR-16 bulbs. Again, the system has worked well, but I’ve long wished it provided just a bit more light.
My lighting salesman has also convinced me that LED lights are to a point that they are not only as good as, but better in every way than halogens. I resisted LEDs for some time because, when I first tested them, the light they cast was too harsh and too cold. LED bulbs are much more expensive, but their life expectancy is much better, and they use a lot less energy. (I would love to hear feedback from anyone using LEDs in the comments)
We are also making major repairs and re-coating our stained concrete floor. I am a huge fan of the stained concrete. I love the look, and I love that we can move sculpture and heavy artwork around without worrying about destroying the floor. We’re keeping the finish and the stain, we’re just cleaning it up and putting a new clear coat on.
I’ll keep you posted with updates and images – stay tuned!