Red Dot Gallery is a happy place. This has been our mission since we opened the gallery. Scott and I have been artists most of our lives, and after having several different incarnations in the art world we wanted to take the best of what we’ve learned and bring it together at Red Dot. We’ve been university art students enmeshed in academia, endeavoring to find our own voice amidst the trends and traditions. We’ve been professional artists striving to make sales and still maintain integrity with our artwork. We’ve taught in universities and schools, hoping to inspire creativity and impart our own unique perspective under the constraints of having to give grades. Now, as gallery owners, art instructors, and practicing artists at Red Dot, we get to focus on and pass along what we think are the essentials of having a jolly good time making, viewing, buying, selling, and appreciating art.
Without a concerted effort, we weed out pretentiousness and condescending criticism (a hallmark of some establishments) to focus on developing skill, cultivating each student’s personal vision and voice, and fostering a sense of community. We want even the newbies who have never touched a brush to know they positively can improve and have fun, and that they will surprise themselves with what they accomplish The only sense of competition in the studio is within individuals, aiming to better themselves through inspiration from other students. We have little old ladies who paint flowers and birds, and we have students with advanced degrees in art focusing on contemporary themes. They often become good friends.
We don’t believe in skipping the basics in the rush to be a cool artist with a big idea. We’ve found that the tried-and-true fundamental principles and skills of art-making clear the most direct path to finding an artist’s unique creative signature. Students are given a wide-ranging skill-base that act as a broad springboard for whatever ideas and themes they want to explore and express. They also end up with the ability to enjoy the time-honored, meditative, and therapeutic act of simply making something well. Many Red Dot students call their art class their therapy and look forward to it all week. Some make life-long friends. The atmosphere is something akin to a knitting circle, where friends work together, support one another, laugh, and definitely grow.