Artist’s Collective in Garberville Starts GoFundMe to Keep the Doors Open

Shop window.

The Mateel Art Cooperative Gallery. [All images from the Gallery’s Facebook page]

From leather works to paintings to jewelry, for twenty-five years creations by local artists have lined the walls of the two-story Mateel Art Cooperative Gallery on Garberville’s main street. But, according to Kat Hart, one of the member artists, “Due to falling membership, a downturn in the  economy,  construction, and rising costs, we fear, we may have to close our doors.”

This last year has been tough on the small non-profit. “Rent went up last year,” Hart said. The construction being done to upgrade the building, while lovely, she explained “hasn’t been good for business.” On top of those problems, they are short on member artists who work two days a month as well as pay dues and give 25% of each sale to the gallery. They also need more guest artists who pay a 40% commission.

Brilliantly colored imagined scenes line some walls.

Several in the community are trying to keep the doors open with a variety of strategies. “A lot of us members haven’t been getting paid because we want to see [the gallery] stay open,” Hart said. Some members are working extra shifts.

Local scenes hang on other walls.

In addition, artists are reaching out to the community encouraging them to come in, explore, and purchase art. “We’ve got jewelry, photography, paintings, leather items, pottery, tie-dye, ceramics, iron work, and fish prints,” she said. Woodworkers, fabric artists, basket weavers, and others are also featured.

Calendars and framed images feature local photographers.

“Someone came in and bought a big painting and a bunch of members paid up their dues,” Hart said explaining that the money brought in from this will help keep the gallery open through April.

Jewelry made from all different materials including feathers, stones, and crystals are available.

“We have a [donation] jar on the counter, ” she said and a GoFundMe account has just been started to help keep the doors open. Now, the artists are hoping that people will come in, see their art, and bring it home.
Note: Full disclosure–this reporter owns a purse, a bowl, and a vase from this little shop. 

 

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4 comments

  • Theirs some beautiful art work in those photos. I love those trees. Payday I’m buying one of those.i miss visiting g-ville it’s gotten so run over with the trimmers😣

  • I’ve tried to shop there several times during business hours and they were closed. Typical failure for small business is poor management and I believe that is what’s happening here. Sounds like they need to restructure their business plan because what ever they’re doing isn’t working. Good luck but I do not think Go-Fund me was designed to bail out failing for-profit businesses. Seems strange.

    • It is a non-profit. Some of the problem is that they can only open when they have artist members who can work the cash register. They are hoping more will apply because they don’t have enough.

      • Marianne Odisio

        Yes, the Gallery is a true cooperative, run by member-artists. Each member pays monthly dues and runs the Gallery two days per month. Due to illness and/or moving away, we are losing several of our most dedicated and talented artists. We are not able to staff adequately when we have so few members. I am currently just a guest artist and as soon as I can secure an employee for my other business, I will once again be able to work a few days a month running the Gallery. Anyone out there who is an artist in any media is welcome to consider joining. It’s fun to run the gallery- you meet people from all over the world. We have received much positive feedback from tourists who love to come in and browse.

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