Red Dot Gallery: It Takes a Spark Plug to Ignite Engine of Creativity

Santafe.com - August 5, 2011

"Zane’s idea was to expand that internship program to provide students with real world experience in all aspects of the gallery business in Santa Fe’s competitive international market..."

Santa Fe gallery owner and businesswoman Sandy Zane is the spark plug that ignited the engine of creativity known as Red Dot Gallery.

This past January, Zane had vacant gallery space available on Canyon Road and contacted Santa Fe Community College with an idea. She proposed partnering in the space to develop a comprehensive training program to teach students the entire gallery business.

Zane already knew from first-hand experience that students at the college had talent. Student interns from SFCC worked in her own Zane Bennett Contemporary Art Gallery for the past couple of years.

Zane’s idea was to expand that internship program to provide students with real world experience in all aspects of the gallery business in Santa Fe’s competitive international market.

She teamed up with Kathy Eagan, Director of  Art Internships at SFCC. The two of them pitched the idea to the college’s management and board. The college said yes and in a six month whirl of activity the new gallery debuted on July 8, 2011.

Eagan and her student team pulled the first show together. The gallery was named through a student competition. Photography students documented the preparation of the gallery for the first show. Media Arts students developed the logo, business cards, ads, face book page and signs. An outside professional jury reviewed the art submissions. Opening night SFCC’s Culinary Arts students prepared and served hors d’oeuvres.

Eagan describes the Red Dot gallery as a place where people can see the work of emerging artists and where students run the gallery. Unlike most galleries, genres of art are featured rather than individual artists.

All SFCC students – not just arts and design students – are welcome to submit their work through a jury process to be accepted into the gallery. Submissions are also accepted from faculty and alumni. Part of the learning process includes how to photograph their art and prepare submission materials. Artists have to present their material in a professional way such as framing paintings.

Not only was Sandy Zane the spark plug that ignited the creative engine, she made the first purchase at the gallery, a hand crafted necklace. She commissioned additional matching pieces from the artist. Since the launch, other works have sold and two artists were picked up by other galleries. She is thrilled with the results.

On Friday, August 5th, Red Dot Gallery will open its second show, the Lumen Fine Crafts Show featuring jewelry, pottery, and fine woodworks by emerging SFCC artists. The reception is from 4:30 to 7:30 pm at 826 Canyon Road. Get there early. The first opening attracted 500 people.