This is an ongoing series of brief articles highlighting local venues where you can purchase art. Each installment will include a very brief background about the venue at the top followed by a summary of how the venue operates so you'll know what to expect when you visit.
1975 Gallery was founded by Erich Lehman in 2008 to expose talented artists from Rochester and around the world to a local community that might otherwise overlook those artists. In addition, 1975 Gallery has sought to foster art collecting in general.
In the early days the gallery incubated inside Surface Salon where Erich produced many popular and successful exhibitions that were somewhat limited by the awkwardness of shared space.
Eventually Erich moved 1975 Gallery into a dedicated exhibition and sales space at 89 Charlotte Street behind the Little Theatre where Ugly Duck Coffee is today. As the gallery's reputation grew so did the crowds.
In October, 2015 Erich produced 1975 Gallery's final exhibition at Charlotte Street. Since then Erich has been organizing and promoting exciting pop-up exhibitions around Rochester; most recently in November, 2019 as a part of Rochester Contemporary's Current Seen biennial and in collaboration with the Joy Gallery & Shepard Studio at 498 West Main Street.
How is this venue listed on the Rochester Art Collector's SOURCES page?
“Commercial Art Galleries & Venues That Function Like Commercial Art Galleries"
General Description/Business Model:
1975 Gallery is a "pop-up" gallery. Although 1975 Gallery does not have a permanent "bricks-and-mortar" location it meets many of our criteria for inclusion as a “commercial gallery.”
1975 Gallery operates on the consignment model with proceeds of all sales shared by the gallery and the selling artist. 1975 Gallery is not the exclusive represent for artists outside of their exhibitions except as described below or on an ad-hoc basis. However, Erich has expanded into the realm of art consultancy as a way of supporting artists and collectors.
Description of the Exhibition Schedule:
Over the past couple of years 1975 Gallery has produced one or two exhibitions each year. Exhibitions are usually active over a three to six week period.
Every exhibition kicks off with an opening party. Many exhibitions also feature a closing party as well.
Hours of operation:
1975 Gallery is open to the public but only when an exhibition is active. The exhibition hours vary based on the particular circumstance associated with the current exhibition. Generally speaking, however, you can expect 1975 Gallery exhibitions to be open on one or more evenings during the week and on the weekends during the day. Gallery hours during weekdays are unusual but not out of the question. Visits by appointment are usually available.
Description of the Exhibition Environment:
Typically exhibitions are held in a dedicated, single-purpose space created from a vacant storefront or in collaboration with a non-profit, university gallery or business partner. In any case, you can count on the work being well lit, beautifully installed and exhibited with care.
How is the venue staffed?
The owner or a staff member is always present when the venue is open to the public. Supplemental staff members are often either volunteers or artists featured in the exhibition rather than employees.
Information About The Type of Work Exhibited:
1975 Gallery tends to focus on current or recent work made by living artists and created in nearly all media and in a variety of styles with an emphasis on two dimensional work. The gallery prefers group exhibitions over exhibitions that feature only one artist.
What information is available about the artists and artwork during an exhibition?
Each artwork has a wall label with a number that corresponds to the exhibition/price list. Ample copies of the list are usually available and may be taken by any visitor. Aside from pricing the exhibition list includes the artists' names as well as the title of each work. The exhibition list may or may not contain information about the media used to create the works.
Unfortunately, 1975 Gallery does not usually offer hard copies of artist backgrounds, bios, statements or curricula vitae. However, the owner - who usually acts as curator or co-curator - is deeply knowledgeable. He will enthusiastically discuss any of the artists and explain their work at length. Staff are usually not be as knowledgeable as the owner. But then again who is? Local artists featured in an exhibit may be available to talk about their work as well.
1975 Gallery typically hosts one or more artist talks/panels during an exhibition.
What is the typical price range for works presented by this venue?
It's not unusual to find works of art in each exhibition available for around $100. The average price is typically in the $400-$500 range. Each exhibition usually has a handful of pieces priced above $1,000.
How does this venue handle sales of art work?
1975 Gallery will take payment on site as soon as you are ready. Works are sold on a first-come, first-served basis however the gallery may hold a work of art for a prospective buyer under certain limited circumstances. The gallery will accept cash, credit, debit, personal check, and e-payment.
Note: 1975 Gallery will also allow installment purchases in many cases. Work that has been purchased in full may be taken by the new owner once the exhibition closes or if the final payment is received after the exhibition closes, then the new owner may pick the work up after the last payment has been received by the gallery.
1975 Gallery does not maintain a backroom inventory of unsold artwork however the gallery owner may occasionally act as matchmaker with an artist in cases where a collector wants to consider works not included in an current exhibition or works that may still be available from a past exhibition. A small number of unsold works from a recent exhibition may be offered for sale for a limited time after the exhibition closes through an online gallery. You can find the 1975 Gallery online shop HERE.
Local delivery and delivery outside of the Rochester area are both possible (at the buyer's expense, of course) but delivery of artworks is not encouraged by the gallery due to the complexity of shipping art. A handling charge will almost certainly apply.
How does this venue market and promote their exhibitions?
Social media, website, email & word of mouth. Please follow 1975 Gallery on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Does this venue offer any art related services or products besides the artwork itself?
Yes. The owner, Erich Lehman, is available by appointment as an art consultant.
Header image © Roy Sowers 1999
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