In a highly unpredictable time, Taryn Fisher has learned valuable skills in how to engage her arts community.
“More than ever we need art,” said Fisher. “I see it as something that can bring us not only together, but forward. I think a lot about the role of art in terms of who we are as a community and civilization. It helps us envision and aspire.”
Fisher has held onto this vision in her development of Taryn Fisher Fine Art, which offers art curation, artist representation services and business consulting. She launched her business this year “to amplify the artworks of accomplished artists who are passionate about positive impact and whose art activism inspires crucial conversations about social justice, environmental stewardship, and community.”
“It’s about greater exposure for artists and opportunities for art lovers,” said Fisher. “I’m that bridge or liaison between people making art and those who love and appreciate art.”
She rents a small space in the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship.
“It’s set up like a gallery,” said Fisher of the space, called Studio 1868, where she hosts art installations. “My business plan is organically taking shape there. I offer the space, lighting, music, mood and welcoming atmosphere. I work hard for people to walk into a space and have that experience.”
The experience could also be a book launch, pop-up gallery, reception or any art/artist-related event.
“There’s a shared sense that this is a space that’s been created at this moment in time,” said Fisher. “Even if it’s unconventional; like the conference room lighting in the space isn’t gallery lighting, it’s okay. People are generous, forgiving and open.”
During a recent pop-up gallery at Studio 1868, Fisher arranged all the furniture to the perimeter of the room.
“I wanted people to feel embraced by the art,” she said. “Immediately there was an energy in the room and people started having conversations.”
Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, Fisher had operated three art galleries in as many locations in downtown Keene and one online.
“When I relocated to Keene in 2016, I thought arts and culture is important in economic development,” she said, “and I thought it was an important aspect of quality of life.”
When COVID-19 arrived in Cheshire County and led to her shutting the doors of the League of NH Craftsmen Gallery she’d opened only a year earlier on Central Square, she was looking for a fresh start.
Not only did she create one, she named her new business after it: The New Leaf Gallery, located in a second-floor space on Central Square. She opened it in December of 2020 with League gallery artist and printmaker, Matt Brown. The vision was to offer a curated portfolio of contemporary, handmade prints by artists living and working in northern New England and offer individualized client service. They also began focusing on their e-commerce operations, including online events such as interactive talks with artists and annual exhibits. They began partnering with local businesses who hung some of their exhibits, including Prime Roast Coffee Co. and Green Energy Options.
“We wanted to be the antithesis of Amazon,” she said. “We were focusing on developing something really special and doing it really well. It’s not about the transaction; it’s about the experience.”
At the start of 2021, she and Brown felt they needed to be on the first floor, so they began searching for a space and found one at 11 Roxbury St. It gave them a street-level presence they agreed was critically important, opening a channel that allowed them to interact person-to-person, what people were so desperately craving after being in isolation in the early months of the pandemic.
A year and a half later, Brown relocated his gallery and Fisher once again had to redefine her business role.
What she always wants to ensure is that she’ll find creative ways to connect artists and art lovers, she said, in an intimate, individualized, in-person, real way.
“I want to find what the art lover/art buyer is looking for and who the artists are who might be the best fit,” she said. “It’s a way to introduce artists (people) may not know or think about. It’s a very different way to do this.”
For more information about the Arts Access Project: opening doors to the arts, click on this link: Arts Access project and resources.
Photos courtesy of Taryn Fisher Fine Art on Facebook.
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