Juneau Artists Gallery is opening again, and the co-op downtown space has room for more artists.
Juneau Artists Gallery President Toby Harbanuk said right now there about 20 artists with work in the gallery but there’s room for at least 25 artists —maybe as many as 30.
“We are happy to make additional room as needed,” Harbanuk said. “It’s going to be a big, big tourist season. Now’s a really good time to join.”
He said while the gallery is not making a particular concerted effort to bring in new artists, there is space and there’s still enough time to learn the ropes at the gallery before a tourist season that’s expected to bring more than 1.3 million cruise ship passengers to Juneau.
Tourist season tends to bring the most business to Juneau Artists Gallery, Harbanuk said.
There is regularly turnover with the gallery’s members, but the overall number of artists tends to stay fairly static at around 20, Harbanuk said.
“We lose a few and gain a few every year,” he said.
Applications are available online at http://www.juneauartistsgallery.net, and becoming a member also includes an interview and acceptance from members via a selection committee.
The gallery is a cooperative, which means it operates differently from other spaces.
Harbanuk said artists get to keep 88 percent of each item of theirs sold at the galley, and member artists need to rent space and work at the gallery every month.
The minimum for amount of space is 40 inches, Harbanuk said, which would work to be about $100 per month. That would come with about eight to 12 hours of work at the gallery each month.
Artist Laurie Craig has had two stints with the gallery, most recently from 2004 through today. Craig said having a number of members means scheduling those work hours is generally friendly toward most schedules and she’s glad to be a member.
“It’s a chance to truly engage with our client base,” Craig said. “If you want to make a living as an artist, you need to have a relationship with the people you provide items for.”
Recent events caused gallery members to pitch in to make a March 1 grand reopening of the gallery happen.
On Feb. 3, flooding from the third floor of the Senate Building where the gallery is located, caused water damage that made its way to the first floor and ruined recently installed floors and art work in Juneau Artists Gallery.
“We’re really grateful for the awesome teamwork from our members,” Harbanuk said. “A bunch of us got a good workout moving boxes and furniture that week.”
Craig said the members lived up to the word cooperative in the best way.
“The sense of camaraderie really shines through because we all went through it together,” she said.
Harbanuk estimated between $1,000 and $2,000 worth of artwork was damaged.
“We are an art gallery, so it could have been a lot worse,” Harbanuk said. “The falling ceiling and sheet rock did some damage.”
He said he space was last remodeled about a year ago, so it made the work feel redundant, but it offer a chance to add additional lighting and accent walls.
Another bright side: The accident happened during February and not June.
“Being closed for a summer month could have been catastrophic,” Harbanuk said. “During the winter, it is still unfortunate, but there are some silver linings there.”
• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.