Why did I close my art gallery?

 Opening an art gallery seems like a good idea if you're an artist right? umm, not if you ever expect to paint again.  I know I sound  a little sarcastic and cynical but for me it wasn’t happening because I got so tied up with theses kids art classes that really took off and left me no time to paint. That wasn’t my goal, more like a means to an end. Looking at the huge amount of traffic we got on a daily basis to the gallery and the sold out art classes with long waiting lists it appeared to be a success but it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. I found myself a babysitter of sorts and a business manager of other people’s art. I got off track and needed to get back to doing what I love, making art.

 I already had a full fledged business operation going for over twenty five years with a chain of furniture stores that I was selling my art through on a regular basis so I didn’t need to open a gallery to sell but the reason I decided to do it was to mitagate my losses on collecting rent on the space of the building that my husband and I owned. Rather than sit vacant I thought why not give it a go and see if I can generate some income and turn the place into a gallery at least temporarily until we could secure a tenant.  

Sadly, I literally never stepped foot in my own art studio the whole time I ran the gallery because I was so incredibly busy handling the day to day operations of the classes and gallery exhibitions that I just could't afford the luxury of time it took for creativity that my heart and soul thrive on to nurture my very existence.

Interestingly enough my art was by far the best seller in the gallery. I say that in a humble manner, It's not that I'm a genuine Picasso or anything like that, it's just that it caught customers eye and the price tag didn't scare them off.

I introduced top emerging artist from around the  country and although their work certainly was impressive most folks who live in the upscale suburban community where my gallery was located would likely spend $10,000 on braces for their kids teeth before buying an piece of art. Now, thirty minutes east in the downtown city art galleries of Austin, it’s different, you have art conessuiers with disposable income and art aficionados who frequent the exhibitions in search of original art to add to their vast collection. Where I was located the place most folks shopped for art was the big box Homegoods store or target. *Sigh.




   Above: in my art studio adjacent to the gallery.  

li ike keeping it real, folks seem to really get excited over finally discovering that they can own an original, large scale work of art with out breaking the bank. I've been told by other gallery owners I sold in that my prices are way too low, OK but I sell more that way and hey I like to keep busy. I'm like really ADD, no seriously, I’d rather sell a piece and be able to make another than to hold out for higher prices  


karen-salem-art gallery


I was forewarned about trying to have a high end art gallery in the suburbs. Not really my life ambition. 



Above is my daughter Shelby who helped as my art assistant for classes. Those are some good memories.


art gallery Texas


So I embarked on a journey that taught me lot about the art world even though I totally prefer to work as an an artist not a gallery owner (big difference). I try not to have regrets because I actually did pretty good but I'd rather be inside myself painting art and doing what I love that gives me an inner calm pursuing my passion for creativity that doing bookkeeping, handling employees and dealing with having to actually show up on time to a retail store everyday just doesn't fulfill.




I really like working from my home studio around my own schedule, who wouldn't right? Although I will certainly miss my amazing 2700Sq ft studio... and boy did those kids ever love painting in a "real artist" studio! It was nothing short of amazing the type of quality art those classes turned out. The Mom's raved about the camps and word spread fast.



Yeah, but I love my new Hill Country Ranch in Dripping Springs with an art studio surrounded by my horses, chickens and a multitude of other farm friends meandering around as I paint. 

For those of you that expressed your concern over our closing the Estancia Gallery I deeply appreciate your patronage and support. Please know that for every piece of art you've purchased from me it allows me the opportunity to create another, which is a beautiful thing. We must keep art alive in the world as it is one of the last true expressions devoid of technology. I'm proud of what I contributed to the community through Estancia art as it served as a much needed art center for the then art deprived community of Bee Cave Texas. Those kids looked up to me and I'm pretty sure I helped spark a creative spirit in more than one talented child that I taught but now it's time to get back to doing what I love and thats making good art for all to enjoy. Have you ever visited my art gallery, what was your impression? God bless Texas, God bless America.

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