We didn’t start macheteMACHETE to get rich off of exorbitantly priced contemporary art. We started it so you could see something you might not normally see in Christiansted, on Art Thursday, and up on our blog. We did it so we would have something new to talk about every time we’re waiting in line next to each other at the post office. It’s a great ingredient for the culture of our community.
Plus, we like having somewhere to meet up and hang out in town. Art is a good time and we like to have a good time! But macheteMACHETE is still a business, and good intentions don’t waive our business expenses. We know that when someone walks into the gallery and falls in love with a piece, they’re not falling in love with our air conditioning, our flushing toilet, the glass over a photograph or the time we spent doing touch up work on the white wall. But our annual licensing fees are still $260, our water and power deposit is still $650 – $800, our monthly utility bill is still $100, printing fliers is still a minimum of $50 per show, and there’s always two months of preparation before any show.
A Buyer isn’t paying for all those things when they take home a piece that they love. They are primarily supporting the artist. The gallery’s percentage goes to all of the above, and more; Meanwhile, the Director of the gallery is working for free. How do we negotiate the absorption of hidden costs?
We eat a lot of it. We keep things as DIY (Do It Yourself) as possible. This means painting, sweeping, washing windows, framing art, even electrical work and carpentry. From utility costs to interior upgrades, we find innovative ways to improve the space while maintaining our focus as a contemporary art space. We do all web maintenance and event fliers in-house. We have no advertising budget and rely on the web and word of mouth to spread the word about our events. At show openings, we’re well-loved for our homemade hummus, and rather than buying sugary non-alcoholic beverages we make lemongrass or basil tea. All of this keeps cost down for the Artist, Gallery and the Buyer.
People have asked, “How can we help?” So we’ve put together a macheteMACHETE Wish List. If you want to support the gallery and its artists, you can do more than purchase art – you can donate any of the items listed below! If you have any of these to give, get in touch with us! Your support is a tremendous help. If you’d rather send in a donation via paypal, that’s great too!
macheteMACHETE Wish List
brown packing tape
cardboard (for packaging sold works)
dry wall spackle
dvd player (for movie nights)
fans (standing/rotating/window/ etc…)
CMYK Toner Cartridges (SAMSUNG CLP-315W)
folding tables futon (for artist residencies)
glasses/ set of mason jars (so we can avoid throwing away plastic!)
mac computer (for workshops)
plates/bowels (for potlucks)
projector (for movie nights)
stapler & staples
utensils (for potlucks)
5 gallon water jugs