Shop Talk: How Blaines Art presses on in a tougher economy for art

That is an installment of Store Speak, an occasional collection of interviews with enterprise house owners in Alaska, specializing in the state financial system and the way it’s affecting them.

At Blaines Artwork in Spenard, Dave Haag stated the artwork provide store feels the ache of Alaska’s recession identical to so many different companies within the state.

However Haag has additionally handled painful private modifications this yr. He misplaced his spouse, Rene, to pancreatic most cancers. The 2 first met on the retailer’s previous location. She purchased the enterprise from its earlier possession in 1998, and now he is taken over.

Dave Haag, the proprietor of Blaines Artwork (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

Haag stated the financial system has affected each his workplaces in profound methods; alongside together with his position on the store, he works as an gear operator and foreman for the Alaska Railroad Corp. He talked to the Anchorage Day by day Information about how enterprise is faring at Blaines.

How is Alaska’s recession affecting you?

With half the Everlasting Fund (dividend), undoubtedly each single small enterprise I’ve talked to has stated the identical factor, how they’ve felt the harm. Individuals aren’t spending. … It is type of that sense of gloom and doom. You have to be progressive. We have introduced again one thing that we hadn’t executed for a few years; we began having gallery openings or artist openings on the retailer as soon as a month.

How particularly are you seeing that play out at your retailer on this downturn?

Historically, when Everlasting Fund dividends come out, we see massive-ticket gadgets transfer out of the shop. We often see an enormous improve within the variety of gross sales of like easels, giant ticket gadgets, huge portray kits. A number of the oil pigments may be fairly costly. The pigments themselves are troublesome and costly to get, in order that they essentially value extra. And we undoubtedly noticed a lower in these kinds of gross sales this yr. Final yr and this yr.

What about the remainder of the yr, apart from PFD season?

Our gross sales have been down. They have not been horrible, however they’ve undoubtedly been down. My late spouse believed in supporting the artists that help us, and I proceed that philosophy. … Due to the sort of recession we have been in, artists are usually not shifting their work. That is a part of the rationale why I feel a number of the galleries have been struggling. Buying unique paintings is sort of a luxurious and when individuals are fearful about, you recognize, what is going on to occur subsequent month, are they going to have a job, they are not as more likely to spend that…

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