Peppa Martin is optimistic a new business plan she has developed will help contemporary Vancouver photographers tap in to a growing market for their work. The owner of Truth and Beauty Gallery has invited more than 30 established photographers, mostly from Vancouver, to join what she calls the Collective.
As part of the concept, launched in October, one original work from each artist is featured in an online catalogue and private viewings of the prints can be arranged at the gallery, located in a former grocery store at the corner of Heather Street and West 16th Avenue.
“We’re inundated, overwhelmed with images, and it’s really a question of filtering through all of that noise and finding the beautiful work, and there is beautiful work out there,” Martin told the Straight.
The idea is to give the photographers the opportunity to find potential buyers without all of the obligations and formality of a typical artist-gallery relationship. The artists are charged a fee to join the Collective and Martin, who handles sales and other duties, takes a commission on any sales.
Members of the Collective—such as Leslie Hossack, Yukiko Onley, Vendula Ralkova, and Jurgen Vogt—represent styles including abstract, landscape, portrait, documentary, and more, and produce work in a variety of formats.
Martin, a veteran commercial and fine-art photographer, said she works with the artists to select the works to feature through the Collective. She said they can decide to continue displaying the same piece or switch in a new one.
“They really can regard their little real estate in the Collective as almost like a micro gallery of their own,” she said.
Martin believes there is demand for more-affordable, high-quality photographic works, and she wants to make it easier for collectors to find what they are looking for. She sees the Collective as occupying the middle ground between higher-end galleries and works sold by emerging artists. Most pieces featured in the Collective are being offered for less than $1,000.
“They want something authentic and original and well-executed in an accessible (price) range,” Martin said.
“I’m saying, ‘Hey, I’ve done all the legwork for you. Instead of running around to see 18 studios, here—I’ve got all these terrific people for you’.”
Truth and Beauty Gallery is located at 698 West 16th Ave. in Vancouver. More information about the Collective is available here.