They say that a rising tide floats all boats. You can take that any number of ways, but I’m using it in the sense that when a thriving community of artists and galleries are joined by another gallery of high caliber, it’s good for all the artists (and galleries).
The Froggwell Cultural Institute is proud to be a member of the art community here on Whidbey Island. Shows happen here once (or maybe twice, as in this year) a year and we have had a very gratifying response from art lovers both from the Island, as well as from communities on the mainland.
But artists can’t live on the proceeds of one show a year, and so the support of our local galleries is crucial to artists and it is important that they thrive too. I’ve been exhibiting my work at The Rob Schouten Gallery since around 2010. One of the qualities I cherish about this gallery is that they are so supportive of their artists. Being a painter himself, Rob knows about the stresses on an artist, and the economics of trying to make a living as a working artist.
Recently, the ground floor space in the building shown above became available, and what with the uncertainty created by the management (or lack there of) at the Greenbank Farm, Rob and his wife and business partner, Victory, decided that it was time to make the move to Langley.
There were many good reasons to locate at the Greenbank Farm, when they first opened the gallery. Rob already had a studio there, and it was a short commute from their home. There was also a lot of energy being expended on making the farm a destination on central Whidbey. The gallery opened right before the economy went off the cliff in 2008, and the fact that they not only survived, but thrived is a testament to their vision and dedication. But with the changes in management at the farm, and the availability of this iconic building in the heart of Langley, there was no time like now to make this change.
It’s no easy thing to move a business, and there are renovations that need to be done, so that the space is as inviting and beautifully lit and appointed as their space at the farm is. To this end, they have initiated a GoFundMe campaign to raise some of the funds needed to complete the renovations. You can read all about it here. If you are able to help, I hope you will do so. Please feel free to share this post, and thank you for being a fan of art on the island, and at Froggwell Garden.