Trent Guerin hopes his next art show attracts new collectors. But this Thursday night, Guerin isn't hosting his art and wine reception at the G2 Gallery, 4200 N. Marshall Way in downtown Scottsdale.
Instead, he's showcasing 10 contemporary art works from his gallery on the walls of Haus Modern Living, a furniture store several blocks north of downtown.
"I thought featuring the art in this type of venue would be interesting," he said. "Sometimes, it's easier for a collector to get a sense of how a piece will look in size and scale next to furniture."
After seeing art displayed at another Haus location a few years ago, Guerin said he was inspired to approach the store's owners about the cross-promotion.
When it comes to attracting new buyers in a sluggish economy, especially those in their 20s and 30s, gallery owners like Guerin are finding it takes more than the traditional in-house artist "meet and greets," to draw clients.
Some owners say they need to think "outside the box" to further grow their business.
Guerin said this Thursday's event, running from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Haus Modern Living, 4821 N. Scottsdale Road, is the first time he is taking art out of his gallery to promote it at a furniture store.
"People who are into high-end modern furnishings could also be interested in art for their home," said Guerin, whose works will be for sale at the store through the end of March.
Haus Modern Living's co-owner Lew Gallo said the G2 Gallery's pieces "represent good art" and may be attractive to buyers, some of whom may not typically visit art galleries.
REACHING WIDER AUDIENCES
For Jim and Ginny Clarke, owners of Clarke & Clarke Art & Artifacts, 7079 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, revamping their art gallery's Web site (www.ethnoarts.com) has become a priority.
The two, who search for vintage and contemporary African and Asian treasures around the globe, say they are in the throes of converting their computer system to Macintosh and redesigning their Web site to include podcasts and videos of featured artists and artworks.
Like their 35-year-old daughter, the Clarkes say they also are investing in iPhones.
"We always have been an international business," said Jim Clarke, who has seen a recent influx of collectors from Europe and Asia taking advantage of the weakened U.S. dollar.
But while the Clarkes' personalized e-mails and images are useful to their collectors abroad, they want to utilize technology further to reach the next generation of art buyers here at home.
"We are trying to create opportunities for people in their 20s who are passionate about art to come in and learn. We are investing in our future by reaching out to them," Jim Clarke explained.
He estimated that on an average day, three quarters of the people frequenting his gallery are at least 55.
By offering a more dynamic Web site, the Clarkes hope they will reach patrons who may not pay much attention to conventional publications or thought about venturing to an ArtWalk.
"We want to create an environment (on the Web) that is inviting to them in a medium they are comfortable with," said Jim Clarke.
Andrea Lechner, the public relations and marketing coordinator for Vessley Fine Art, 4164 N. Marshall Way - which features the work of Scottsdale artist Ron Burns - also has focused a good portion of her marketing efforts online.
Lechner, 23, regularly promotes Burns and his signature multicolored pop-culturesque dog paintings on niche Web sites for animal lovers and on pet-related blogs.
Lechner even set up a MySpace page for the gallery's latest promotion: a March 13 Vessley gallery art exhibit centered on a dog named "Chad" - who is running for president.
"My generation is obsessed with MySpace and FaceBook. You have to think about different avenues so you can get to more places (and people) in a shorter amount of time," Lechner said.