Monday, September 24, 2012

A Unique Opportunity - The Paisley Porch Gallery

Are you, or have you ever been, involved in a co-op gallery? I've heard good and not so good stories about co-ops. I've been involved in two. One is defunct and the other, The Paisley Porch Gallery, is in it's 7th year.

 The Paisley Porch Gallery is decidedly different in many ways, but reapeatbale, if you can find the right combination of people and place.

The Paisley Porch Gallery is tucked away in the historic Hotel Higgins, also home of the Paisley Shawl Restaurant
Housed in the historic Hotel Higgins (circa 1900's), home of the Paisley Shawl Restaurant (a 4 star eatery) and the Highlander Pub, in the small town of Glenrock, Wyoming, you'll find The Paisley Porch Gallery. There's centuries old charm everywhere and the establishment is run by a community minded couple who embraced the idea of an art gallery. We, the artists, converted a small glassed in porch at the front of the hotel into our gallery.

It's small, but cozy.

You can see a bit of the porch window on the left.
There are 5-7 artists showing work in the gallery and restaurant. We rarely have meetings, being somewhat independent. A mutual respect for each other and a spirit of small town co-operation prevails. The patrons are a mix of local folks and tourists, and sometimes workers who stay for a few months at a time, working on nearby wind farms or the power plant.

The owners, Mike and Judy Colling, handle all the sales for us and don't take a commission, by their own insistence. We're certainly willing to pay, they just aren't willing to take. (We try to find other ways to show our appreciation). Annual Christmas shows and sales have taken place most of the years since the gallery's inception, with a percentage being donated to a local charity.

Artwork hangs in the foyer.

More artwork hanging in the dining room.
The Paisley Porch Gallery has been a great venue for all concerned, adding interest and local culture to the town and hotel. During the seven years of the gallery's existence the amount of sales for the artists has always surprised me. Who would have thought a little co-op gallery tucked away in a tiny town would do so well?  Perhaps you're living in a small town where you could house a similar local co-op gallery.

By the way, the hotel is for sale. If you've ever dreamed of running such an establishment in a quiet little town, you might check it out.

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