Art Gym offers affordable studio & gallery space – gallery news

Art Gym offers affordable studio & gallery space – gallery news – Brief Article

BERKELEY, Calif. — Bay Area artists looking for affordable studio space and gallery opportunities have discovered the Art Gym, an art space facility based on the idea of a fitness gym. For a monthly membership fee, the Art Gym offers a well-lighted, open workspace, art equipment such as easels and drawing tables and a gallery where paintings can be exhibited and sold.

Owner Marjory Hawkins said, “It also provides an art community to people. You can share ideas, you can network, and you can learn new techniques from each other. It’s a good atmosphere for artists to be in.”

Members consist of both professional and non-professional artists, yet all members can display their work in the Art Gym’s gallery. Artists are limited to four pieces, and the Art Gym receives a 20-percent commission for every piece sold. “We let the artists set their own prices, and we let the artists decide what they want to put up,” said Hawkins. Sales have been helped partially because of its location, which Hawkins described as an upscale shopping district. The gallery has been so successful that, at one point, the Art Gym was selling more art than memberships. Said Hawkins, “We’ve sold paintings that aren’t even dry yet.”

Aside from daily gallery space, the Art Gym occasionally holds informal parties called Open Gyms. At an Open Gym, the entire studio space is turned into one large gallery, and members display more of their art. Hawkins, a self-described “hobbyist,” stressed that the Open Gyms are not only for professional artists. “Even if you joined just because you like to paint, like me, as a hobby, you’re allowed to put pieces in this party,” she said. “Who knows, it may sell.”

The Art Gym is located 1717D Fourth St. in Berkeley and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

For more information, call (510) 527.0600 or visit www.theartygym.com.

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