I guess I should follow up….

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I think I left you out in the cold regarding that art show. All three of you. So this is your update.

First of all, the artist had to leave early, since she was not spending the night in Sacramento. So she had to leave at 8:30 in order to reach Lake Tahoe, her next destination.

Since our reception hours are six to eleven, that means only a few people had come by before she left us.

All in all, it seems like it ought to have been a quiet evening, with only a few people here at a time, but still they came steadily enough that we didn’t close up till past midnight. All our regulars, plus a few others. Not many that we had not seen before, but enough that the evening didn’t feel like a waste. No sales yet.

I’m sure this work can be sold. It’s charming, accessible and not too expensive. Can I sell it? I have no idea.

But if you have time and you’re in the area, you might as well come by and say hello. I’m at Gallery 14. Click for map and directions.

If you’d rather see pictures, I posted them to our Facebook profile.


On Art and Marketing

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An artist will come into the gallery tomorrow. Her work is already on the walls. Snacks for the reception will be lying on the table. Some number of people will come in to see her work. Five, fifty, I don’t know.

Before then, we will be in a state of chaos, frantically trying to get everything ready. Cleaning is the hardest, since we both have “stuff” issues. Fortunately, her work preceded her, so we were able to hang it yesterday.

We have a two-room suite, of which one is the gallery, and the other is my tax office/home away from home. The gallery will look good. It already does. The office, well, looks like we live here.

I worry about what impression we will make. I always worry about that. I feel like this little suite is our private world, and I hope lots of people will accept our invitation to come and visit.

There are two local newspapers worth reading for art shows. The big daily will not announce our shows, and we’ve never been able to figure out why. The alternative weekly is pretty reliable. Fortunately, about as many read the weekly paper as the daily one on Saturday nights.

The number of people depends on that little announcement, a few lines of print that we hope will get their attention. Sometimes they come, sometimes they don’t. If the artist is local, she can send out postcards to her own fans. That’s not going to happen this time; since the artist is visiting from halfway across the country. So…we may get five people or fifty. No way to guess.

So, what does it take to get people in the door? I have no more idea of what it takes to get people in the door of an art gallery than of what it takes to get people to read my book. Marketing, at least successfully, is as opaque to me as it ever was.


The Tunnels of Sacramento

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In 1862 Sacramento had a horrible flood. People were using boats to go up J Street, our main thoroughfare. It was the second catastrophic flood the new state capital had experienced.

As a result, the streets of downtown Sacramento were raised about ten feet. The sidewalks, however, were left to the merchants to deal with. The streets were filled with rubble and buttressed with brick walls to keep it in place.

The businesses, however, had their front doors on the old street level, and they responded in various ways. Some had their buildings raised to the new street level, but others put new front doors on their former second floor, put in sidewalks along the new streets. In some places, they put glass cylinders in the sidewalk to illuminate the old sidewalk below. In some cases, they remained open on both levels.

From that point, things are unclear. Some reports say that people could shop underground for a time, utilizing both levels. Others say that the underground tunnels were never long enough or active enough for that to happen. What is indisputable is that there were and are tunnels under some of the sidewalks, where one can see the original Gold Rush storefronts almost intact. Today they are spotty and occasional, but it’s still possible to go down and see them. I hope to see them this summer. More then.