Over the past five years, I have watched my husband Robert work at his desired career of being an artist. In the process, he's earned a Bachelor's of Art degree from Colorado State University and nearly finished a Master's of Fine Arts degree at the University of South Carolina, both in painting, which will allow him to teach. Although he truly does enjoy teaching, he did not go down the path towards mountains of debt for the joy of being a professor. Like most of us, he chose a field of employment that would get him the closest to being paid to do what he loves. In his case, being an artist. Sharing his love with young minds is a fortunate bonus.
Now, I'm not sure if you've heard this or not, but artists don't make very much money. "Starving artists", and all that. And teachers don't make much more. So I did not marry this amazing man thinking we would one day be rich. I married him knowing that if we were going to have any money at all, I would need to be the one making it, leaving him to paint and teach and paint some more. This is not to say that I have no faith in my husband's ability to paint; I simply have no faith in the art world's ability to shoot him straight to fame and fortune. Another little known fact about artists? They're rarely famous while they're still alive. And I'll take "starving" to widowed any day.
After discarding many wildly different ideas, I decided that what would really help both of us would be a business that helped artists in general. It started out as a place for studio rental spaces, and blossomed from there. Because what I really wanted was for Robert, and artists like him, to have a landing pad for after he graduates. Somewhere he could be and create art, show his work, collaborate with other artists, and gain teaching experience while he looked for a permanent position. In the midst of all of that, I also wanted a place that didn't rip artists--or their potential customers!--off. Short version: most galleries charge a flat rate to rent their wall space per month, then charge a 40% commission on top of that for any sales made. This leads to artists raising their prices to cover the commission, transferring this price hike to their potential customers who can now no longer afford the work they love. No one wins but the gallery.
And so theTRAC was born. We will offer lots of different types of services in order to bring in money to keep the doors open and the lights turned on, so that we can charge artists fair prices for studios and gallery space, without taking commission! In return, they teach the classes for free to the community, so we can keep low prices on quality instruction. Everyone wins.
We hope that you will keep following us as we progress toward our Grand Opening and beyond! Thank you all for being a supporter of the arts. May you have a prosperous and creative day!