A Guest Blog by Ann Parks McCray

Ann Parks McCray is a seasoned artist here at New Elements Gallery, as well as other great galleries. She is formally trained having studied studio art with professional artist-instructors at Amarillo College in Amarillo, Texas and she began her professional art career 25 years ago. Her professionalism and organization are unparalleled as is her respect for her own work. She has taught me the power of a positive attitude and practicing gratitude, among many other things! We asked her to weigh in this month as to why an artist would work with a gallery--here is her response.


Art clients often ask why I work with art galleries to promote and sell my work since the profit share can be considerable. But, with 25 years of professional art experience, I’ve partnered with a dozen galleries in six states, and for good reasons. While I also sell out of my home studio and off social media, professional well-run galleries are still my art-market venue of choice. Even now, during our complicated altered times! Art galleries are making amazing creative efforts to offer quality virtual tours, shows, art consultation, and more.

Ann Parks McCray at the easel.

From the shopper’s POV: Art galleries offer ambiance, expertise, and availability. Online or on-site, the art shopper need go no further. Whether you’re a first-time original-art collector or a seasoned buyer, you know what you like, value the energy original art brings into your home, and want reliability concerning your purchase. Viewing work from a variety of first-rate artists in multiple mediums in one location helps you enjoy the shopping experience from an aesthetic perspective while honing your choice. Seeing two and three-dimensional work displayed in a gallery setting provides imaginative ideas for in-home design.


All of these advantages for art clients contribute to my choice to work with galleries to sell my work.

Ann Parks McCray with Miriam Oehrlein and fellow artist Angie Sinclair at the Riverlights Home Show.

Fellow artists and art collectors join New Elements Gallery owner Miriam Oehrlein in conversation during a Friday Night Gallery Walk.

From the artist’s POV: I want to paint. I love the process, the flow, the completion, the drive to try again “to do it better,” to experiment with a new inspiration on a fresh canvas. I prefer to dedicate my time and attention to the easel than to marketing strategies and self-generated art shows. But there’s more. For me, the act of painting is a solo venture. Painting allows me to drift and roam through color and form and to enjoy that segue from the details of everyday life. I’m an intuitive painter and work best alone without interruption. My relaxation is total and cherished but also results in my spending considerable time alone. By partnering with a variety of galleries simultaneously, that lone experience does not become a lonely one. The sense of teamwork with gallery personnel is socially rewarding and personally balancing.

There’s more: I’ve worked closely with enough galleries to understand the significance of their overhead, the expertise required for successful marketing strategies and implementation, and the public persona and old-fashioned business grit involved in sustainability over time through various economic climates. The effort involved in running an art gallery is tremendous. It’s much more than just unlocking the front door (real or virtual), greeting customers, and answering inquiries. Galleries typically host a variety of events: show “openings,” private soirees, benefits, party rental space, and author book readings. And, as we all know, much ingenuity has recently gone into creating these pleasurable experiences online. It’s gratifying to have my work complement these activities. For these reasons and more, galleries that consistently sell my work get my vote. They definitely earn their commissions.

Artist Ann Parks McCray and gallerist Miriam Oehrlein at a private reception for the artist at New Elements Gallery. The relationship between artist and gallerist is a partnership.

Savoring the celebration of a gallery-hosted in-home show.

And finally: An aspect that involves us all whether we create or purchase art or just browse:

The human heart rests in beauty. The human psyche repairs itself in the presence of loveliness. Art galleries provide creative spaces for us to visit in order to relinquish the everyday, if only temporarily. Walking into a gallery (or letting our fingers do the walking online) equates to an automatic relax. It’s an “elsewhere” place where we can wander, speculate, dream, and, yes, purchase a portion of that wonderment to adorn our own homes, be those abodes humble or grand. We transform ourselves as we transform our living spaces.

Ann Parks McCray interacting with a client in New Elements Gallery.

Art galleries celebrate irrepressible human creativity and invite us all to expand our vision to include new interpretations, new ways of seeing, and, ultimately, new ways of being in our own lives. Small wonder the penchant for original art has survived through time despite hardship or social unrest. The more chaos in the world, the more important the harmony from visual beauty becomes.


So, “Why work with art galleries?” you might ask. As a practicing galleried artist and art shopper, I would happily reply: “Why wouldn’t we?!”