Bluerock is creating a Community Supported Gallery
0

patrons

$0
per month
You won't believe what happened... how this whole gallery business got started.

Let me tell you a little bit about us - because where we are now is informed by how we got here - all of us together!  

We  (Karen and Chris) were not looking to be business owners, nor were we seeking out a gallery to run.  When I first learned about the gallery I was living in Virginia. (Karen speaking!) 

This story starts with Rob and Evonne Smulders, the previous owners of the gallery, then named Terra Cotta Gallery, who were acquaintances of mine, and were representing Neil Liske - a ceramic artist and former life partner of mine.  Neil and I are still close friends, so when I came back to Calgary on a visit in 2007 he wanted to talk me to lunch in Black Diamond to see his show that was on at Terra Cotta Gallery.  We had a great time, and at some point in the conversation with Evonne (overcome by the beauty and inspiration) I stood in the gallery and blurted out loud "What a great little place, I'd love to have a shop like this one day!"  I was not thinking about what I was saying, and certainly did not envision a future as a shop owner, nor a future in Black Diamond.  

At the time I made that statement I was "coming out" as an artist, in my mid-40s (a late bloomer) and living in Floyd, Virginia, USA.  Chris and I were "vagabonding" - having given up our home and most of our possessions and living very lightly, housesitting a cabin in the hills.  Three years later, in 2010, Evonne called and said "Rob and I are thinking about selling the gallery, and we remember what you said.  Could you be interested in buying?"  And my life said YES.  

Why a gallery - and why now?  This was the question in 2010  (and it's again a question in 2016).  Remember 2010?  We were just coming out of a downturn (another one) and my friends thought I was craaazy for buying an art gallery (huh?) in a small town (where is Black Diamond?).   I was practicing my art part-time (see www.karengimbel.com), while also working part-time in the family business (Gimbel Eye Centre) that I grew up in and have been part of for most of my life. I'm still working part-time (very few irregular hours) carrying responsibility for a very quiet, but still active, Gimbel Eye Foundation. After a short 6 weeks of "due diligence" and getting ready, we stepped into the role of owners of the newly named Bluerock Gallery  June 1, 2010.

It was a huge learning curve.  Most of the artists stayed (thank you!) and, with a focus on local artists, we soon began to attract new artists, and before long we were representing over 200 artists.  The gallery is a destination for many people in the surrounding area, and many visitors from far away who return whenever they are coming through town!  

As thriving as the gallery might appear (and on which many levels it actually is), Chris and I are actually sinking under the weight of our personal debt given how often we’ve poured our personal money (read “debt”), into the business to keep it afloat. We first used credit to buy the business. We used the maximum of our credit line, together with funds that a couple of angel investors loaned us, and kept things going in the beginning with personal credit cards. Then, just when it looked like we might get out of debt, we had some pretty severe financial challenges that required us to take on even more debt. Namely, we were hard hit after the 2013 flood (business interruption - thankfully not water damage). In 2015 our essential website had to be updated because of a hosting service that went out of business (unexpected costs, more business interruption). And now the past 18 months have shown very errratic sales as Alberta headed into what is now known to be another recession. We are completey maxed out on the personal debt that we feel it’s prudent to accept from financial institutions, and don’t feel it is wise to take on more personal debt from angel investors, however friendly the terms.

[On the bright side, for those of you who will wonder, we are current in all of our payables (government, artist cheques, vendors) and are committed to paying our artists on time every month - which apparently is remarkable in the gallery world.]

It’s time to ask you for gifts. The gift exchange of your patronage in the form of gift money, in return for the experiences we offer, the ones that qualify as more not-for-profit activities. Some people visit the gallery purely for inspiration - we know the gallery functions like a cathedral or church for many of you! There's our very popular Thursday evenings Drop-In Art Night  - always free to anyone who wishes to join in.  We've never charged admission for other public events and community gatherings which we regularly host. (Check out our YouTube channel for videos of many of these events!)  

NOTE:  We want you to always feel welcome, whether you are a gifting money, purchasing items, or just seeking inspiration or connection.  

Which brings us to this invitation.  Are you a patron of the gallery?  Or are you a patron of the arts?(Some of you may never step foot in the gallery and yet still believe in what we are doing and want to support us.)

patron
ˈpātrən
noun
1. a person who gives financial or other support to a person, organization, cause, or activity.
"Charles became a patron of Rubens and van Dyck"
synonyms:sponsor, backer, financier, benefactor, benefactress, contributor, subscriber, donor; philanthropist, promoter, friend, supporter;
informal angel
"a patron of the arts”
2. a customer, especially a regular one, of a store, restaurant, or theater.
"we surveyed the plushness of the hotel and its sleek, well-dressed patrons"
synonyms:customer, client, frequenter, consumer, user, visitor, guest;
informal regular, habitué
"club patrons"

You probably are already patrons of Bluerock Gallery if you've read this far! And we want to thank you for the many ways you support the arts and this entity known as Bluerock Gallery.

There are already many ways in which you demonstrate your patronage, and for which we are grateful!
  • you shop regularly for art, gifts, cards, books, etc…
  • you bring your friends who’ve not been here before
  • you tell your friends they must check out the gallery
  • you participate in our social media weavings - “liking” and sharing on Facebook, tweeting and retweeting on Twitter, liking and commenting on Instagram, etc…
  • and you visit the gallery and pouring out your love on the art, and on all of us here
In addition to all those avenues of support, we are now inviting those of you who are inspired to join in a deeper level of patronage. We invite you to help us stay afloat by gifting your money - either a one time gift, or a monthly subscription of financial support.

We trust that by creatively coming together, we all can keep this gallery afloat and create a sustainable future together. We are asking you to step up in whatever ways you can and feel inspired to help us make it through.

We already are a “Community Supported Gallery” - this just takes that kind of support to another level. This business is viable. It’s the debt load that is crushing us.

Every penny you contribute will go to paying off our accumulated debt , which is a LOT. (If you want to know more details, ask us.) When the bank debt is clear, any money contributed will go into a fund that we will use for helping us to transition the gallery to something that will outlive Karen and Chris. We have no plans at the moment to move on, but we'd like to plan that transition well - and nobody lives forever! 

You wouldn’t know this if we didn’t tell you - but our only asset is the gallery and the inventory we “own.” We don’t own a house (we rent a room), and we don’t own the cars we are driving (they are both on loan). So all of the debt we’ve accumulated is because of our dedication to the gallery and keeping it floating through the ups and downs of the past 5+ years. When the bank debt is clear, any money contributed will go into a fund that we will keep for helping us to transition the gallery to something that will outlive Karen and Chris.

If you are interested in the monthly subscription, please choose one of the ways - and read all the rewards that come with different levels of monthly support (there are some FUN ones - check them out!). You can choose from different amounts, and you can stop the monthly payments any time you wish.

If you would prefer to give a one-time gift, please drop off cash or cheque in an envelope and send it to us by Canada Post, or you can also drop it off at the gallery. If you would like to give a one-time gift using a debit or credit card, you can do that by phone (credit card only) or in person as well.

These gifts of money are not tax deductible donations - we are not able to give tax receipts. However, if you include your name and address we will acknowledge your gift - and send you a small token of reward to keep the gift exchange .

THANK YOU for your support that you’ve already given this little gallery - this big adventure! We feel your love every day.  

we love you
Karen and Chris


Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
0 patrons
  • A beautiful Bluerock Postcard, with love note from Karen
Pledge $5 or more per month
0 patrons
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen
Pledge $10 or more per month
0 patrons
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen
Pledge $25 or more per month
0 patrons
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen
Pledge $50 or more per month
0 patrons
  • 10% off any purchases at Bluerock Gallery (for duration of patronage)
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen
Pledge $75 or more per month
0 patrons
After at first 3 months of patronage:
  • Set of Art Tiles by Karen
With the first month of patronage
  • 10% off any purchases at Bluerock Gallery (for duration of patronage)
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen
Pledge $100 or more per month
0 patrons
After at first 3 months of patronage:
  • Curate the Nook in the Living Room at the Gallery
  • Set of Art Tiles by Karen
With the first month of patronage
  • 10% off any purchases at Bluerock Gallery (for duration of patronage)
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen
Pledge $250 or more per month
0 patrons
After at first 3 months of patronage:
  • Dinner for you and 3 guests in the gallery, prepared and served by Karen and Chris
  • Curate the Nook in the Living Room at the Gallery
  • Set of Art Tiles by Karen
With the first month of patronage
  • 10% off any purchases at Bluerock Gallery (for duration of patronage)
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen




Pledge $500 or more per month
0 patrons
After at first 3 months of patronage:
  • Karen will curate/rearrange/hang YOUR art in YOUR home,
  • Dinner for you and 3 guests in the gallery, prepared and served by Karen and Chris
  • Curate the Nook in the Living Room at the Gallery
  • Set of Art Tiles by Karen
With the first month of patronage
  • 10% off any purchases at Bluerock Gallery (for duration of patronage)
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen

Pledge $1,000 or more per month
0 patrons
After at first 3 months of patronage:
  • Alpaca Blanket by Ilya 
  • Karen will curate/rearrange/hang YOUR art in YOUR home, 
  • Dinner for you and 3 guests in the gallery, prepared and served by Karen and Chris 
  • Curate the Nook in the Living Room at the Gallery 
  • Set of Art Tiles by Karen 
With the first month of patronage
  • 10% off any purchases at Bluerock Gallery (for duration of patronage)
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen

Goals
$0 of $5,000 per month
Resilience for a thriving gallery, our artists, and our community
1 of 1
You won't believe what happened... how this whole gallery business got started.

Let me tell you a little bit about us - because where we are now is informed by how we got here - all of us together!  

We  (Karen and Chris) were not looking to be business owners, nor were we seeking out a gallery to run.  When I first learned about the gallery I was living in Virginia. (Karen speaking!) 

This story starts with Rob and Evonne Smulders, the previous owners of the gallery, then named Terra Cotta Gallery, who were acquaintances of mine, and were representing Neil Liske - a ceramic artist and former life partner of mine.  Neil and I are still close friends, so when I came back to Calgary on a visit in 2007 he wanted to talk me to lunch in Black Diamond to see his show that was on at Terra Cotta Gallery.  We had a great time, and at some point in the conversation with Evonne (overcome by the beauty and inspiration) I stood in the gallery and blurted out loud "What a great little place, I'd love to have a shop like this one day!"  I was not thinking about what I was saying, and certainly did not envision a future as a shop owner, nor a future in Black Diamond.  

At the time I made that statement I was "coming out" as an artist, in my mid-40s (a late bloomer) and living in Floyd, Virginia, USA.  Chris and I were "vagabonding" - having given up our home and most of our possessions and living very lightly, housesitting a cabin in the hills.  Three years later, in 2010, Evonne called and said "Rob and I are thinking about selling the gallery, and we remember what you said.  Could you be interested in buying?"  And my life said YES.  

Why a gallery - and why now?  This was the question in 2010  (and it's again a question in 2016).  Remember 2010?  We were just coming out of a downturn (another one) and my friends thought I was craaazy for buying an art gallery (huh?) in a small town (where is Black Diamond?).   I was practicing my art part-time (see www.karengimbel.com), while also working part-time in the family business (Gimbel Eye Centre) that I grew up in and have been part of for most of my life. I'm still working part-time (very few irregular hours) carrying responsibility for a very quiet, but still active, Gimbel Eye Foundation. After a short 6 weeks of "due diligence" and getting ready, we stepped into the role of owners of the newly named Bluerock Gallery  June 1, 2010.

It was a huge learning curve.  Most of the artists stayed (thank you!) and, with a focus on local artists, we soon began to attract new artists, and before long we were representing over 200 artists.  The gallery is a destination for many people in the surrounding area, and many visitors from far away who return whenever they are coming through town!  

As thriving as the gallery might appear (and on which many levels it actually is), Chris and I are actually sinking under the weight of our personal debt given how often we’ve poured our personal money (read “debt”), into the business to keep it afloat. We first used credit to buy the business. We used the maximum of our credit line, together with funds that a couple of angel investors loaned us, and kept things going in the beginning with personal credit cards. Then, just when it looked like we might get out of debt, we had some pretty severe financial challenges that required us to take on even more debt. Namely, we were hard hit after the 2013 flood (business interruption - thankfully not water damage). In 2015 our essential website had to be updated because of a hosting service that went out of business (unexpected costs, more business interruption). And now the past 18 months have shown very errratic sales as Alberta headed into what is now known to be another recession. We are completey maxed out on the personal debt that we feel it’s prudent to accept from financial institutions, and don’t feel it is wise to take on more personal debt from angel investors, however friendly the terms.

[On the bright side, for those of you who will wonder, we are current in all of our payables (government, artist cheques, vendors) and are committed to paying our artists on time every month - which apparently is remarkable in the gallery world.]

It’s time to ask you for gifts. The gift exchange of your patronage in the form of gift money, in return for the experiences we offer, the ones that qualify as more not-for-profit activities. Some people visit the gallery purely for inspiration - we know the gallery functions like a cathedral or church for many of you! There's our very popular Thursday evenings Drop-In Art Night  - always free to anyone who wishes to join in.  We've never charged admission for other public events and community gatherings which we regularly host. (Check out our YouTube channel for videos of many of these events!)  

NOTE:  We want you to always feel welcome, whether you are a gifting money, purchasing items, or just seeking inspiration or connection.  

Which brings us to this invitation.  Are you a patron of the gallery?  Or are you a patron of the arts?(Some of you may never step foot in the gallery and yet still believe in what we are doing and want to support us.)

patron
ˈpātrən
noun
1. a person who gives financial or other support to a person, organization, cause, or activity.
"Charles became a patron of Rubens and van Dyck"
synonyms:sponsor, backer, financier, benefactor, benefactress, contributor, subscriber, donor; philanthropist, promoter, friend, supporter;
informal angel
"a patron of the arts”
2. a customer, especially a regular one, of a store, restaurant, or theater.
"we surveyed the plushness of the hotel and its sleek, well-dressed patrons"
synonyms:customer, client, frequenter, consumer, user, visitor, guest;
informal regular, habitué
"club patrons"

You probably are already patrons of Bluerock Gallery if you've read this far! And we want to thank you for the many ways you support the arts and this entity known as Bluerock Gallery.

There are already many ways in which you demonstrate your patronage, and for which we are grateful!
  • you shop regularly for art, gifts, cards, books, etc…
  • you bring your friends who’ve not been here before
  • you tell your friends they must check out the gallery
  • you participate in our social media weavings - “liking” and sharing on Facebook, tweeting and retweeting on Twitter, liking and commenting on Instagram, etc…
  • and you visit the gallery and pouring out your love on the art, and on all of us here
In addition to all those avenues of support, we are now inviting those of you who are inspired to join in a deeper level of patronage. We invite you to help us stay afloat by gifting your money - either a one time gift, or a monthly subscription of financial support.

We trust that by creatively coming together, we all can keep this gallery afloat and create a sustainable future together. We are asking you to step up in whatever ways you can and feel inspired to help us make it through.

We already are a “Community Supported Gallery” - this just takes that kind of support to another level. This business is viable. It’s the debt load that is crushing us.

Every penny you contribute will go to paying off our accumulated debt , which is a LOT. (If you want to know more details, ask us.) When the bank debt is clear, any money contributed will go into a fund that we will use for helping us to transition the gallery to something that will outlive Karen and Chris. We have no plans at the moment to move on, but we'd like to plan that transition well - and nobody lives forever! 

You wouldn’t know this if we didn’t tell you - but our only asset is the gallery and the inventory we “own.” We don’t own a house (we rent a room), and we don’t own the cars we are driving (they are both on loan). So all of the debt we’ve accumulated is because of our dedication to the gallery and keeping it floating through the ups and downs of the past 5+ years. When the bank debt is clear, any money contributed will go into a fund that we will keep for helping us to transition the gallery to something that will outlive Karen and Chris.

If you are interested in the monthly subscription, please choose one of the ways - and read all the rewards that come with different levels of monthly support (there are some FUN ones - check them out!). You can choose from different amounts, and you can stop the monthly payments any time you wish.

If you would prefer to give a one-time gift, please drop off cash or cheque in an envelope and send it to us by Canada Post, or you can also drop it off at the gallery. If you would like to give a one-time gift using a debit or credit card, you can do that by phone (credit card only) or in person as well.

These gifts of money are not tax deductible donations - we are not able to give tax receipts. However, if you include your name and address we will acknowledge your gift - and send you a small token of reward to keep the gift exchange .

THANK YOU for your support that you’ve already given this little gallery - this big adventure! We feel your love every day.  

we love you
Karen and Chris


Recent posts by Bluerock

Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
0 patrons
  • A beautiful Bluerock Postcard, with love note from Karen
Pledge $5 or more per month
0 patrons
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen
Pledge $10 or more per month
0 patrons
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen
Pledge $25 or more per month
0 patrons
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen
Pledge $50 or more per month
0 patrons
  • 10% off any purchases at Bluerock Gallery (for duration of patronage)
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen
Pledge $75 or more per month
0 patrons
After at first 3 months of patronage:
  • Set of Art Tiles by Karen
With the first month of patronage
  • 10% off any purchases at Bluerock Gallery (for duration of patronage)
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen
Pledge $100 or more per month
0 patrons
After at first 3 months of patronage:
  • Curate the Nook in the Living Room at the Gallery
  • Set of Art Tiles by Karen
With the first month of patronage
  • 10% off any purchases at Bluerock Gallery (for duration of patronage)
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen
Pledge $250 or more per month
0 patrons
After at first 3 months of patronage:
  • Dinner for you and 3 guests in the gallery, prepared and served by Karen and Chris
  • Curate the Nook in the Living Room at the Gallery
  • Set of Art Tiles by Karen
With the first month of patronage
  • 10% off any purchases at Bluerock Gallery (for duration of patronage)
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen




Pledge $500 or more per month
0 patrons
After at first 3 months of patronage:
  • Karen will curate/rearrange/hang YOUR art in YOUR home,
  • Dinner for you and 3 guests in the gallery, prepared and served by Karen and Chris
  • Curate the Nook in the Living Room at the Gallery
  • Set of Art Tiles by Karen
With the first month of patronage
  • 10% off any purchases at Bluerock Gallery (for duration of patronage)
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen

Pledge $1,000 or more per month
0 patrons
After at first 3 months of patronage:
  • Alpaca Blanket by Ilya 
  • Karen will curate/rearrange/hang YOUR art in YOUR home, 
  • Dinner for you and 3 guests in the gallery, prepared and served by Karen and Chris 
  • Curate the Nook in the Living Room at the Gallery 
  • Set of Art Tiles by Karen 
With the first month of patronage
  • 10% off any purchases at Bluerock Gallery (for duration of patronage)
  • Hand painted artist trading card by Karen
  • Handmade Card by Karen
  • Set of awesome Bluerock Postcards, with love note from Karen