Trish Anderson-Soule closes her Concord site after five years
By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
Trish Anderson-Soule closed up shop Saturday, June 2. Although the art dealer will no longer have a retail space at 2 Capital Plaza, she won’t be gone from the Concord scene.
“It’s not necessarily that I don’t need it. It’s just that my family needs have changed,” Anderson-Soule said. Not being tied to a store means more flexibility to care for her 7- and 10-year-old children.
It’s also an opportunity “to pursue what frankly tends to be a more lucrative aspect of the business,” she said. Corporate consulting has grown to make up half of her business since she opened Anderson-Soule Gallery in 2002. Commitments to the retail gallery made it hard to “cultivate those relationships” with her corporate contacts, she said. She will be bringing the art to the people rather than people to art, she said.
That’s also what her satellite exhibit space, The Gallery at 2 Pillsbury, does. The people who pass through that office building are prime clientèle, she said. She will continue to curate rotating shows there at least four times per year in conjunction with Art Concord gallery openings.
“I have been thinking about it for few months, it was a difficult decision to make,” Anderson-Soule said. Ultimately, she made the decision in the last few weeks, and it put her one employee out of work. Anderson-Soule said that 2 Capital Plaza was a great location with a good landlord, Reit Management & Research. “But for what I need, I need to be proactive and get out,” she said.
“A lot of consultants don’t have spaces,” said Mary McGowan, who was an art consultant for five years before opening McGowan Fine Art. While it’s good to have galleries clustered, McGowan isn’t worried about the loss of Anderson-Soule Gallery. With 25 years at 10 Hills Ave. in Concord, McGowan has some perspective. Patrons can still walk between her place and T. Devaney, Kimball-Jenkins and the NH League of Craftsmen’s Gallery 205. Plus, Anderson-Soule will maintain her presence with 2 Pillsbury.
“I think Trish did a good job,” McGowan said.
Pam Tarbell said she’s glad Anderson-Soule will still be involved in Art Concord gallery nights.
“I think Trish is making a smart business decision,” said Tarbell, owner of Mill Brook Gallery and Sculpture Garden in Concord. “It’s very hard to have a gallery economically; I certainly realize that myself.” She opens her place by appointment during the winter.
Concord-based Anderson-Soule said she still welcomes non-corporate buyers and will show work by the 45 artists she represents at anderson-soule.com. Patrons can still contact her by phone or e-mail.
Some of the gallery artists seem disappointed, Anderson-Soule said. Others respect her family needs. While her interests lean toward abstract, she’s worked to include a wide mix of artists who work in a variety of styles.
“I’ve got confidence in Trish. I think she’ll do a good job for us,” said Debbie Kinsen, whom Anderson-Soule recently started representing.
McGowan said she would welcome another gallery at 2 Capital Plaza.
“I think there have always been people in Concord who appreciate art; I just don’t think they had the resources,” McGowan said. She started her business when she realized both artists and art-buyers from New Hampshire were traveling to Boston and New York to sell or buy work.
“I find a lot of people in New Hampshire are intimidated by art galleries but shouldn’t be,” Tarbell said. She said people should come, bring their kids, and realize there is reasonably priced art available. She would also like people to realize that artists and artisans bring business to the state but often don’t make enough to support themselves.