What is ADAC you ask? NOT to be confused with AADAC (Alberta Alcohol & Drug Abuse Commission) it stands for Art Dealers Association of Canada.
This national self-governing, not-for-profit organization founded in 1966 gives accreditation to private art gallery owners who meet set standards for experience, knowledge, scholarship and professionalism in the same manner as other professionals have their respective accreditation associations.
Lets all go to the Hop!
On May 28th from 11 am to 5 pm Calgary's eight ADAC-accredited galleries invite Calgarians to visit. Local artists and gallery owners will answer questions and share information on the artists that exhibit at the gallery, history of the gallery, what kind of art it specializes in and talk about the importance of supporting local professional artists. In addition, each gallery is offering artist-led tours of the current exhibitions.
Did you know?
Most ADAC galleries offer a “no-interest payment over time” option to help make your art purchase fit with your budget. Some galleries will also offer to buy back your artwork years later, or you can trade in your piece for a credit on a different work, recognizing tastes often evolve or you might want a piece that better fits that special place in your new home.
Owners will also be on hand to share information about the various services the gallery offers. Many people don’t realize many galleries offer trial periods where you can take the art home with you, live with it for a period of time and then return it if it doesn’t quite work for you or make arrangements to try something else.
In a nutshell, ADAC galleries want to work with collectors –whether new or seasoned - to help them develop their appreciation for art and build an art collection unique for their tastes.
In the late 80s, I used to give a talk to Alberta College of Art and Design students titled “Facing Reality!” I spoke of the need for them to produce and sell 100 artworks (two per week) at $1,000 each per year to make about $30,000 per annum salary.
How could that be? Simple. If an artist sells $100,000 worth of art a year, they will share 50% of that with the gallery in commissions, so they are down to $50,000. And out of that $50,000 they have to pay cost of materials and studio rental, making them lucky if they clear $30,000. I then asked them, “how many of your parents, family or friends of their parents had ever spent $1,000 on a work of art?” The silence was deafening. It was a rude awakening.
From a gallery perspective, they to have to sell a lot of art every month of the year at $1,000/artwork to pay for salaries, rent, operating, framing and marketing costs. So when you see a price tag of $1,000+ in an ADAC gallery, don’t be shocked. This is real art by professionals - not some mass-produced artworks from a factory
The art has been produced by a professional artists, who have spent years developing their techniques and imagery, who have probably thrown away more artworks than they have exhibited and who get only one or two exhibitions a year if they lucky. It is a struggle to make a living as a visual artist given limited selling opportunities and the need to sell your work for thousands not hundreds of dollars.
If you like it buy it!
I also use to say, “Too often people who wouldn’t think twice about spending $30,000 on a car that depreciates by $15,000 in 5 years, wouldn’t even consider investing $3,000 on an artwork. Or, many Calgarians who willingly spend $1,000+ on a new bike every few years or a weekend getaway every year, wouldn’t dream of spending $1,000 on an artwork they might have for the rest of their lives.” People don’t think twice about spending $2,000+ on a sofa or a new computer that they will keep for maybe 5 years or less.
Back in the ‘80s, when I was the Director/Curator at the Muttart Art Gallery (now Contemporary Calgary), I often advised people to set aside $1,000+ per year to buy one major artwork a year. In so doing, after ten years, one would have a very nice art collection that reflects personal tastes, and can be enjoyed every day for the rest of your life.
Too often people say, “I need to save up before I can buy art.” To which I would respond, if you see something you like, ask the gallery if they will talk instalment payments so you can enjoy the art while you pay it off (we do that with cars all the time).
As an undergraduate at McMaster University in Hamilton, I used my one and only student loan to buy five limited edition prints from ADAC Galleries in Toronto and Hamilton (Toni Only, Gordon Smith, David Blackwood, Karl Appel and Pierre Alechinsky) all of which I still have today. Not only has each appreciated in value, but I have appreciated looking at them for over 40 years.
And while talking art at Gallery Hop, enjoy a wine and art pairing by Metrovino at the galleries. You can even stop by Metrovino (right on the hop behind NewZones and Paul Kuhn galleries) and pick up a bottle or two of your favourite grape art.
It doesn’t get much better than that!