By Emma Castleberry
In the face of COVID-19, all businesses have had to pivot, and art galleries in particular have had to find innovative new ways to support their artists. Steve Anderson, owner of Mountain Nest Gallery in Black Mountain, represents almost exclusively local artists. “A common thread among all of the artists I work with is that they need to sell more work,” Anderson says. “And that was before the pandemic. Now, with the COVID-19 shut-downs and the reality that it will take quite some time for commerce to get back to normal, a new approach is required to ensure the survival of local artists.”
For Anderson, the new approach is a local art consultancy. “I will go into art collectors’ homes with a large visual database of local artists and their works,” Anderson says. “I’ll give a dynamic presentation showing the work in-depth. Collectors will have an opportunity to purchase on the spot, or have their selected paintings brought to their homes for further review.”
Artists responded to Anderson’s new endeavor with enthusiasm, and more than 35 artists are currently featured in the Mountain Nest Art Consultancy presentation, including painter Meryl Lefkovich. “I see the value and need for such a consultancy because it’s difficult as an artist to do it all,” says Lefkovich. “It frees up time for the artist to focus on creating without the stress of wondering how to sell. I think it will result in many new opportunities for both the artists and clients.” Lefkovich, who has seen the presentation, also adds that collectors will be given a distinct impression of the artists themselves—not just their work. “It individually showcases each artist, giving the viewer a real feel for the person behind the painting as well as a great selection of that artist’s work,” she says.