Friday, August 24, 2007

la vie gallery: meeting the pittsburgh gallery challenge

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(La Vie Gallery closed August 2008)

Meeting The Pittsburgh Art Gallery Challenge

an editorial by Rick Byerly

With approximately 93 art galleries of various types within the city limits of Pittsburgh and the difficulties associated with attracting people to the space and bringing in sales you might wonder what a gallery's chances of survival might be. Not to mention that 22 of those galleries are within Lawrenceville, making it the largest concentration in the city. While several non-retail Pittsburgh art galleries are structured with by appointment hours and rely heavily on opening night gallery crawls La Vie stands out on it's own with emerging artists, vibrant openings with live music, strong sales and regular hours of Wednesday through Saturday, 12:00-6:00 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 3.

In order for a gallery and artists to succeed they need strong openings with reasons for people to stay there the night and regular day hours for extended traffic. Enter La Vie. Brownwyn Loughren and Thommy Conroy attract numerous people to their openings, make consistent sales, people stay there to party, and they have day hours for their business.

Their day business involves event planning, custom made invitations, hand selected bouquets and many other options. La Vie also sells locally designed dresses. Pittsburgh Gallery. Boutique. Custom Design. Events.

I moved back to Pittsburgh in July after being in Minnesota for nine months and felt it necessary to discover Pittsburgh's art scene and La Vie's "Road Trip" in July and "Midsummer Night" in August 2007 were both filled with energy, incredible art from various mediums, and a lot of red dots on the wall signifying people came their to actively support Pittsburgh art. As an art patron you will want to show up early to see the art at openings and get your first pick. La Vie is that good!

La Vie is a destination, not a stop along the way.

(La Vie Gallery closed August 2008)

Check out their website La Vie Pittsburgh and La Vie Myspace which will keep you updated on openings if you send a friend request. Saturday, September 8, 2007 from 7-11pm is the next opening titled "Back to School". Lavie: Eat. Drink. Hear. Buy Art.

La Vie Gallery 3609 Butler Street Pittsburgh 15201 Lawrenceville 412.253.7365

Rick Byerly

Pittsburgh Fine Art Abstract, Texture, Macro and Nature Photographer

And for the record I wrote this article to get the word out about La Vie because it's exciting and it's not to curry favor with the owners because I already have a future show which is informally "in the works" with La Vie before this was ever conceived or written. That and this website brings attention to my work but also the many galleries in the city that I will never have shows at based on their genres and mediums of focus.

Please go to all the pittsburgh galleries you can and keep in mind that buying the work which appeals to you makes you an integral part of moving Pittsburgh art forward.

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Pittsburgh Galleries is a project from Pittsburgh Photographer Rick Byerly. Pgh Galleries is the first comprehensive, up to date online gallery guide for the pittsburgh area. His photos at the website uniquetake photography focus on the macro and abstract in nature as well as digital art.