Our logo work was done by illustrator Lauren Lee. Find her in our print section and at laurenelizabethlee.com
Bloom represents over twenty artists and makers. What sets us apart from other print shops and rotational exhibition galleries might be our attention to detail. For instance, for the printmaker who we represent on a daily basis we write a paycheck promptly at the beginning of the month for the prior months entire sales. We give a detailed report of every single item that sold and an updated inventory. We strive to make it as easy as possible for the artist who is busy making their creative work to restock and replenish us on a regular basis. We know that many other print shops or galleries will write a check whenever they get to it and not include a list of what has sold. We make every effort to be as organized and efficient as possible. Our payroll process takes us 3-4 days to complete at the beginning of each month with this attention to detail, but we believe the more organized we are, the easier it is for the printmaker, artist, or whoever else consigns with us.
We also set reasonable consignment percentages. There are no big secrets here. To the printmaker or artist who simply sends us packaged prints and pays for shipping, we deal them 60% of sales. With artists who send us things that require our attention or resources, we deal in 50/50 consignment. This might include, but not be limited to, prints that are shipped to us that aren’t sleeved and packaged with backing board. And this may be ideal for some artists, we certainly have no problem doing that for you.
We also promote your business, social media presence, and website. We’re not looking to take sales away from your website, etsy, or physical storefront. We strive to encourage them.
A lot of artists and makers have been burned by businesses such as ours, and all we can say is that isn’t our way. We strongly believe you won’t regret working with us, and we absolutely look forward to promoting your creative career.
For printmakers, we generally suggest you start out with 5-10 different prints, 5 of each. Pick some of your top sellers - the prints that grab the interest from the widest audience. We will set one of each print out on display, and when it sells we will restock it with the same print. After your first paycheck, we’ll start considering carrying more of your work. It is of utmost importance that we strive to not run out of any print. Prints that run out will generally be your top sellers. Some artists will send us 5 of each print that sells infrequently, and then sometimes many more of the print that sells often. For instance, one of our artists sells her 8x10 prints for $20. We keep five on hand of each print, but with her top selling print she sends us 20 of them at a time. In that fashion her sales continue to stay up because we aren’t running out of that top selling print.
We love when artists use these options from clearbags.com:
For sleeves we recommend the Protective Closure Bags from Clearbags. This has the adhesive for the flap in a position where it can’t damage the print as it comes out. The size bag you will need is 7/16” by 1/4” larger than your print. For instance, for an 11x14 you would search for a protective closure bag sized 11 7/16” x 14 1/4”, an 8.5x11 would be 8 15/16” x 11 1/4”. You can find the bag you need here: https://www.clearbags.com/bags/clear-bags/pc
For the backing, we like the Clearbags 4-ply black matboard for its 100% recycled content and its ability to compost faster than foamcore. It also helps our back stock areas to not have thicker backing such as foamcore’s 1/8” backing. We find that we prefer the aestheic of the black backing most.
Bloom51 East AvenueThomas, WV 26292
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Bloom230 East AvenueThomas, WV 26292
We host six rotational exhibitions per year in our space, which currently occupies about 56’ of wall space. Each exhibition is up for two months. We require the solo exhibition artist attends the Opening Reception and meets our clientele and community. We give exhibiting artists a financial guarantee that they will receive in the event not a thing sells, which we can honestly say hasn’t happened since our first solo show in 2015. We also give our artists a complimentary place to stay while they are here. For exhibiting artists, we deal in 60/40 consignment and issue the artist 60% of sales once the client receives the artwork, which is generally after the show comes down.
The Art Openings fall on the same evening as the Thomas Art Walk, a reoccurring event that is being promoted as the event to explore new work at the galleries in Thomas, WV. Art walk attendance is constantly expanding.
Our online shop features all of our prints, original artwork, and stickers. Your work will be photographed and made available in this shop. We put a link on every product page that links back to your website, so as to encourage your sales too.
You may be asking yourself what is a contemporary gallery doing in Thomas, WV. Fair question! It’s no secret that our town has less than 600 people and in the middle of nowhere. Thomas is on the map because of tourism. Our town is seated within The Monongahela National Forest and is close to other well-known points of interest, such as Blackwater Falls State Park and Dolly Sods Wilderness. And creative small business owners just in the last decade started populating and renovating this old coal-mining town. Our city occupies less than one city block, and within that block we have an upscale coffee shop, music venue, four contemporary focused galleries, and other creative small businesses. Tourists who frequent the area are predominantly coming from Pittsburgh PA, Washington DC, Virginia, other parts of West Virginia. Our community and second home owners here also support the galleries and local businesses, making up about 25% of our sales.
Our town was created a little over a hundred years ago by Italian immigrants, and they definitely designed the town after their European origins. We honor their past by keeping these buildings alive and continually progressing. By showing with us, you get to challenge the point of view that classy art can only be found in cities.
- BASE CAMP PRINTING, LETTERPRESS PRINTMAKERS
“I have nothing but positive remarks about my experience working with Bloom. From the get-go, I felt like Morgan helped pull the best out of me, and that we were truly working together to create the best exhibition possible. He assured me a few months before the show, that it wasn’t about the money, it was about making something awesome. The amount of pressure that lifted off my shoulders was unbelievable, and it gave me so much respect for what Bloom stands for and made me feel right at home.Preparing for my show, I was nervous about transporting all of my work from TX and AZ. I was a bit worried it wouldn’t work out financially, and did people out east even want art based on the desert? Morgan had a vision without limits. Without his extra push and encouragement, my show would not have been as great as it was. He was extremely open to collaborating and hanging the show together. He was open to my vision, whilst always having his own opinion, but never pushy or controlling. He is extremely open and helpful with business strategies, and engages every customer in an endearing way, never too standoffish nor overbearing.My solo exhibition at Bloom has been my most successful yet, and they continue to stock my work on a monthly basis. Paychecks are consistent, always on the 8th of the month, and the clarity and book keeping of my inventory at the gallery has been extremely useful and has built up my trust within the gallery. I have had representation from galleries that just send me a check in the mail occasionally, without any documentation of what has sold. Now, having such clear documentation and communication has helped me become more organized as well. I’m so grateful to have my work up in Bloom, and I would strongly recommend this gallery to other artists and makers.”
- LANDRY MCMEANS, SOLO EXHIBITION ARTIST & PRINTMAKER
“Before joining the Bloom team I had no idea that I would be able to sell my clothing in rural West Virginia, the place I call home. At the time, I thought I had to send all of my work to urban areas to actually make my living off of what I made. But for the last 3 years, at least half of my income has come through Bloom! From the beginning, Morgan has worked closely with me—building beautiful displays that suit my work, a dressing room for folks to try on my clothing, and also hanging my work when I jumped over into making wall pieces. He has also been a steady ear to bounce ideas and dreams off of. I believe he really wants to make everyone’s aesthetic dreams a reality.As an artist collaborator at Bloom, I see time and time again how Morgan takes incredible care with each artists’ work and solo exhibitions. Over the years we have also built an amazing and impactful relationship with our community that continues to support our endeavors and without a doubt shows up in full force to our openings and the events we put on. I believe this is because of the high caliber of work we show combined with the inviting atmosphere. Its more than about art. Its about people, community and culture.”
- NELLIE ROSE TEXTILES
“As a printshop that is juggling an online store, a retail space, and an expanding roster of wholesale clients, it always feels a bit stressful when we add a new stockist. But Bloom has been nothing but a joy to work with. Morgan exceeded all of our expectations, and has quickly became one of our all time favorite clients to work with. Not only because he is an excellent communicator and quick to pay invoices, but because the space is run with such obvious love of art. The enthusiasm and care that Morgan shows in managing the space is evident in every email he sends us. We had the pleasure of visiting the space in person this past fall and were equally impressed by the layout and merchandising in the gallery. Being represented at Bloom is like being welcomed into a family, and we would recommend them without reservation to any artist.”
- JOELLE & JUSTIN, FENNEC DESIGN
Just to let you know about exhibitions and the occasional sale.
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