Today we’d like to introduce you to Deanne Gertner.
Deanne, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Hey Hue grew out of a massive professional failure: getting fired from a job I thought I would be at forever. After this, I thought I should abandon the arts; I loved them but they didn’t seem to love me back. I did a bunch of soul searching and talked to a ton of people–family, friends, artists, colleagues–and they all encouraged me to keep at this arts thing. I spent a lot of time thinking about what Denver’s arts scene was missing and what I wished it had and I realized an opportunity at the lower end of the market. Inspired by Jonathan Saiz’s “Blue Chipped,” a vending machine selling $20 micro-paintings, and The Party Art Truck, by artist John DeFeo and curator Arielle Meyers, I decided to create an affordable art gallery on wheels. I wanted to change the perception that only wealthy people could afford to collect art and to help artists be more entrepreneurial. Everyone should be able to own art not just appreciate it, and artists should be valued for their work.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Through 36 years of empirical evidence and a steady diet of meditation, I’ve learned suffering is an inherent and inevitable part of life. There’s no such thing as a smooth road. If you think so, you’ll one day end up running off a cliff like Wile E. Coyote. I’ve accidentally left off an artist’s name from a group show list, misinterpreted artworks on Instagram, and inadvertently damaged art. I’m terrible at self-promotion and, despite selling and buying art for a living, have no idea what makes one work of art sell and another not. I’ve decided that running a business is one of the most humbling experiences one could have. Want to feel like a fool, be more bone- and heart-tired than you thought could be humanly possible, and almost have your sister disown you? Start an arts business. But when I see how much a sale means to an artist, how validated they feel by being asked to be part of an opportunity, how excited a new art collector is to find that perfect piece, I know that this hard-won work is the best kind of work I could be doing.
Tell us about Hey Hue – what should we know?
Hey Hue promotes artist entrepreneurship and art collecting. Focused on affordability, Hey Hue democratizes art ownership and provides new and supplemental revenue streams to artists to support their art practices and increase their collector bases. Hey Hue’s pop-up model allows flexibility and freedom in where, when, and how art can be experienced and collected. We’re known for being a gallery on wheels (you can literally buy art off the back of a truck). We’ve been getting into public art projects lately, too. I’m very proud of Theresa Clowes’ “Narrative Landscape” installation at Civic Center Park through the Civic Center Conservancy. We specialize in showcasing exceptional artists at accessible prices–some pieces start at a few dollars. I’m most proud of our dedication to artists and the community. The belief that everyone should be able to both experience and own art is at the root of everything we do. I think Hey Hue’s model sets it apart: it’s playful, amorphous, innovative, and adaptable.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think maintaining positive relationships is the most important aspect of Hey Hue. Without happy artists, there is no product. Without happy buyers, there is no business. I’m constantly learning how to improve myself and my relationships. I don’t ever think I’ll master this, but I’m going to keep trying.
- Most artworks are priced at or under $200 each
- Website: heyhueart.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heyhueart/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heyhueart/
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