Monday, July 27, 2009

Profile: Gallery Owner Tom Farris (2 of 3)

Artist and OVAC intern Kelley Lunsford interviewed gallery owner Tom Farris to learn more about his work, how he selects artists, and more. Farris runs Standing Buffalo Indian Art Gallery & Gifts at 106 E Main in Norman. The second (of 3) section of the interview is focused artwork selection for the gallery:

KL: What type of art do you display in your gallery?
TF: I display contemporary American Indian art, which, generally means, I don't handle anything prior to the 1920's. Before that time you get more into artifacts and items of material culture, which I feel should either be handled by tribes or museums.

KL: How do you select the artist represented in your gallery?
TF: I am very fortunate that the artists who show with me are also friends. I have been fortunate to be able to build those relationships over the years and when I opened my gallery I had a great core group of artists ready to show with me. In bringing in new artists, I really begin as a fan, I see someone's work that I enjoy and I pursue them for a show or to join the gallery.

KL: The American Indian artists you represent are established artists working in their profession for many years. Would you ever consider a young unknown artist and why?
TF: I absolutely would pursue a young and unknown artist, and in fact I have already. One of the artists who exhibits with me is a graphic designer by trade and has always painted for his own pleasure. I convinced him to produce some pieces for a show and he sold out, and is now one of our most consistent sellers. I think that there will always be an appreciation for quality work, and part of my job is to find the people who are producing it.

KL: What advice can you give to artists who want a gallery to represent them?
TF: Get your work out there any way you can; do as many shows as you can, use MySpace, Facebook, etc. The more your work is out there, the more likely someone will see and be interested.

No comments: