Don Carter is a gallery owner and artist who operates out of Coos Bay, OR. I recently have had the pleasure of meeting Don and working with him in setting up art work in his gallery. Immediately, I am able to confirm what I felt through all of our phone conversations; he (and his family) are there for the people. Whether they are customers or artists, he works to help them find what they are looking for in his gallery.
As we were setting up our display in his new store, Don was keenly aware of each individual in the store and trying to help all of them in turn as we were setting up. He is a people person and takes great pride in what he is creating in Coos Bay with The Fellowship. Following is an interview with him to help give background to this unique creation that features a Grand Opening on Saturday, March 23rd.
Jesse Brown: What got you started in the gallery business originally?
Don Carter: We have wanted an art gallery in our store for years, Recently we've had several miraculous events that have brought this about
Jesse Brown: You have a unique format with a gallery, bookstore, and a coffee shop. What is your final vision for your place? Where did it come from?
Don Carter: The business just naturally grew out of what we like. Who wouldn't want to read a good book while drinking your favorite coffee surrounded by beautiful art?
Jesse Brown: I understand you are an artist as well. How is it working with a group of artists in comparison to just trying to produce art yourself? How does it compare with owning your own business?
Don Carter: Most artists understand the business of art and know that gallery's are necessary for the survival of the art community
Jesse Brown: How important are the views of the customers in the whole art equation? For example, do you feel the view/customer should influence the art? Can the market drive the content of an artist's subject?
Don Carter: Really good original art influences public opinion the customers respond to what is presented, For the most part artists create what they love and try to influence public opinion. The market follows closely behind this.
Jesse Brown: How hard is it to satisfy such a diverse group of artists? What's the key?
Don Carter: Sharing our store is the main thing, We're not just trying to make a living we are trying to help each artist with their business.
Jesse Brown: Are you able to pick a favorite piece in your gallery so far? If so, which one? If not, why so?
Don Carter: That would be impossible, We have way too much to have a favorite.
Jesse Brown: What are you looking forward to the most with this new gallery?
Don Carter: Having time to paint and teach art to kids
Jesse Brown: I read a recent piece on an art blog about how art is about life. How does your gallery reflect that? Do you think your artists represent that in any specific way?
Don Carter: Art is a momentary slice of your life, a small picture of a moment, Art can only reflect the images that reside in our hearts. Each artist strives to touch your heart with their work. We want to display the best art that we can find to accomplish this.
Jesse Brown: Do you have anything you want to add that you hope readers will take away from this interview?
Don Carter: Simply that we are just average people that love art and we want nothing more than to share it with you. If your an artist who needs more exposure please contact us, If you can't even draw a stick figure we need you too, please come in and help support the artists.
Please stay tuned for more on The Fellowship and the art that I (and my family) have set up there, along with many other events and artists that reside there!