For this holiday period, I flew back home to Estonia to see my family and friends. I celebrated Christmas, New Year and did some reflection on the first year and planning for 2017 and beyond. It is fascinating how writing everything down puts it all into perspective.
Okk Gallery activities started in 2016. Although upon reflection the idea was there for some time and I already started as a sole trader in 2014. I have been working in the industry for ten years now and started off as an artist specialising in printmaking. My first solo show took place in 2005. Then I moved to arts management and started organising art events and exhibitions for other artists. Moving from one activity and position to another has been very gradual for me. There hasn’t been an exact switch time, at one point I just realise that it has changed. All my activities have led to one culmination which is the formation of the gallery.
Okk Gallery offers artworks by local artists to local businesses making sure that the artwork is site specific and relevant to the venue. It has been a good start for the gallery, and there are many people I would like to thank for their support and priceless advice.
Main activities in 2016
I have been doing quite a bit of networking, market research and education in 2016. All this have been necessary because Okk Gallery provides a very niche service and it takes time for the market to understand how exactly I can help them.
- In the beginning of the year, I took part in the Re:Present Transforming the Diversity of Cultural Leadership course.
- In April I joined BNI Alliance. BNI and other networking groups in Birmingham, West Midlands and London have been working well for me. They have given me business and network of people who support and advocate.
- The gallery started representing Peter Allen, Paul Hirst and Dan Newso.
- Gallery’s website okk.gallery found its way to the online world. Also, I launched Facebook page and opened a Twitter account.
- Okk Gallery has been exhibiting in Ice7Media offices on Colmore Row. And until March 2017 will be presenting art at Grosvenor House on St Paul’s Square in Jewellery Quater. Several proposals are currently in progress, and I will be writing about them shortly.
Throughout the year I have been working on my business development and growing various relationships. In general, 2016 has been mostly a preparation year for the gallery and main activities have been related to gaining exposure.
Well, based on the reflection, the plan is to grow. I am looking to sign agreements with at least five new artists with inspiring artworks. Also in due course refresh and add more artworks by current artists. Starting from the beginning of 2017 I will add three new artists to the list: Paul Langford, Antonio Roberts and Meriliis Rinne.
Expanding the gallery presence in Birmingham and West Midlands is crucial. Also, I am planning to collaborate and seek partnerships with other organisations, both corporate and not for profit ones. The activities will include taking part in various networking events, organising presentations of gallery services and having a consistent online presence.
I will ensure that more site-specific artworks reach appropriate venues and will secure sales. Also, I will take temporary art exhibition opportunities into consideration. But these are going to be very targeted, rather than general practice.
And to conclude, all activities in 2017 will be driven by the gallery tagline – bridging art and business!
If you are looking for some artwork for your office space, meeting room, reception area, for your home or just as a present, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a discussion and free of charge concept sample.
Have a great start to the year and watch this space!