In this week’s episode, we speak to the founder of iconic Art Gallery 19 Karen, Terri Lew. The Gold Coast is now known as a thriving creative hub, and Terri Lew has been a part of creating that with Mermaid Beach-based art gallery, 19 Karen. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to create an art gallery from the ground up, or, if you’re an aspiring artist in need of some career pointers, then make sure you keep on reading!
Have a vision
When I started my gallery I had a vision to make it into a beautiful, white space. It was probably the first gallery in Australia that was turned from a warehouse into an art space. Since then, we’ve seen a lot of those spaces pop up in Australia, but this was the first one.
I choose artists to represent purely by their talent and I choose the artist by my own taste. If I don’t like their work and don’t see the potential, I won’t take them on. I cannot hang artwork on a wall if I don’t like it.
You have to understand that for an artist, if they don’t sell their work, they lose confidence. I can run this gallery forever without selling one piece of artwork, but for the artist, their goal is to make a living out of it. That’s what drives them to develop and become a better artist. We also provide mentoring, direction and encouragement to them.
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