Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery to offer virtual wine walk Saturday

With Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery’s virtual wine walk this Saturday, art lovers who still have an appetite for the inspiring, the eclectic and unusual can take a tour of Jeffery Pace’s collection without setting foot in his shop.

Pace is offering another chance from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Facebook to take a virtual tour of his artists’ work in his gallery by posting videos on the social media site and keeping his shop accessible in the time of COVID-19 while it remains closed to the public for now.

“We do these videos and go from room to room to talk about an artist, their medium and we talk about how long they’ve been with me, we explain their techniques depending on what artwork they do,” Pace said. “We make it beautiful and fun and whimsical, but we also make it a little more playful. Last week, we did a raffle, and this week we’ll do a raffle as well. This week, there will be a trivial pursuit about the gallery.”

For those who are physically in front of the building, Pace said he sets up an easel in front of Artsy Fartsy and passersby go by with masks and ask questions about pieces and have them answered firsthand.

“It’s about the art and about the gallery, keeping the conversation going and keeping the people interacting, and letting everyone know it’s a rough time keeping the doors closed but the community is still there,” he said. “And people forget what’s going on outside their doors.”

Pace said in the past few months, the gallery itself has grown to feature 60 local artists. His Bloom Room now has 20 international artists. Going to a virtual means of displaying their works has kept the artists and followers connected, he said.

Sales have been down about 80 percent overall, but “each day is a new day,” he said.

While Artsy Fartsy doesn’t qualify for state or federal aid such as small business loans and he can’t file for unemployment, he said, maintaining a certain mentality helps to keep going. Neighboring small businesses Purple Avocado and Fat Amy’s Boutique, also closed and selling online for now, he said, are keeping in touch, doing what they can to survive.

“That’s why we’re doing different things intertwined with us,” Pace said. “If we lose our business, our community is really going to be screwed, to be honest with you.”

Pace said he’s in no hurry as far as Gov. Steve Sisolak’s phasing plans are concerned and said he agreed that keeping the community’s health first is important, saying he’ll keep his gallery closed longer if necessary.

“We’re not a necessity,” he said. “We have nothing you absolutely have to have. There’s nobody who needs to come in here. We’ll know by the first of June. We’ll know in June, and then you can come support the community. We’ll thoroughly clean the gallery when we are ready. And then it’ll be new and shiny.”

For the artists who call his gallery their home, he said none of them want to see him close any more than he does.

“(They’re) my family,” he said. “The artists have been incredibly supportive, and they’re liking and commenting on Facebook, they’re e-mailing and staying strong.”

The virtual wine walk takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Facebook, giving followers time to order lunch from Sassafras or San Marcos Grill, he said.

“Support your local community, that’s the only thing I can really stress,” Pace said.


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