As an artist, relationships with galleries, patrons, collectors, and the many other varieties of art enthusiasts become just as important, if not more so, than the created work itself. Creating art and showing it in a gallery space is not, in the least, simply about making money. Exhibiting works of art creates communication with the world outside of the studio. The artist and the gallerist share a certain level of involvement and appreciation with the art. -Jordan Thornton
After a slight game of email tag, Audra Kulm and Jamie Holmberg of Rehfeld’s Art & Framing in downtown Sioux Falls provided by JAM blogger Jordan Thornton with some insight into the workings behind this well-known local gallery and framing business. Rehfeld’s is an art gallery and custom framing shop located in the heart of beautiful downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
J: Tell me a bit about Rehfeld’s as a business and what sets it apart from other galleries.
Rehfeld’s: Rehfeld’s has been a Sioux Falls gallery and frame shop for over 30 years. We have a reputation for displaying artworks by the region’s best artists and we carry a variety of styles, ranging from abstract to realistic landscape. Our gallery currently displays the artworks of about 30 regional artists.
J: Downtown Sioux Falls’s business and art communities have been growing immensely in the last few years. One would assume this has a positive impact on your business, but how has it affected Rehfeld’s specifically?
R: It seems art has become a priority to our community, especially for downtown businesses. We see more and more people appreciating and purchasing originals either for their home or office. We hear a lot of customers say they would rather buy local art rather than a commercial piece from a big box store. This has made a wonderful impact of Rehfeld’s. Sales of original art are doing well which leads to framing sales as well.
J: Rehfeld’s displays a wide variety of art styles and mediums. What is it that makes an artist and their work stand out as something Rehfeld’s would have in their gallery?
R: We are always looking for something impressive. We are approached on a weekly basis by artists looking for representation. Those who stand out are well-rounded, having an aesthetically pleasing style, are unique and conscious of craftsmanship.
J:What advice do you have for artists who have yet to find gallery representation?
R: Professionalism is a definite requirement. We like to see well-written biographies and resumes, artists meeting deadlines, and providing necessary information. Professionalism is key to making a gallery/artist relationship easy. The ability to create a full body of work is also very important to us. Artists must be able to show that they are capable of providing a continuous flow of new work. When applying to galleries, artists should have a strong portfolio. First impressions count.
The top image comes from Rehfeld’s website.