Sacramento's art community suffered major setbacks due to business shutdowns ordered during the 2020-2021 pandemic. Some local artists were able to attract audiences online, but the overall community had to deal with increased financial challenges. The Crocker Art Museum is the city's most famous and oldest art museum, besides the State Capitol, which is a broader center of historic artifacts. The museum reopened after years of remodeling in 2008. The museum was profiled by KVIE's Rob on the Road in 2015.
One of the most celebrated painters of California landscapes was Granville Redmond (1871-1935), whose exhibit was featured at Crocker Art Museum in early 2020 before the pandemic shutdowns. Originally from Philadelphia, he studied art at the California School of Design in San Francisco. As a friend of Charlie Chaplin, who collected his paintings, Redmond was also noted as an early star of silent films. He appeared with Chaplin in several early films including A Dog's Life in 1918. The Crocker Art Museum is known for showcasing famous art tours from around the nation.
The Downtown area has several other art galleries to explore, but Sacramentans must wait until pandemic restrictions have been lifted. Last decade "Second Saturday" was held the second Saturday of every month from March through October, showcasing local businesses with an emphasis on art and music.
On February 16, 2017, Eric Johnson spoke at the West End Club about the economics of art galleries, explaining how the three main reasons art is forced into the secondary market is death, divorce and debt. He mentioned how galleries discourage reselling art on the secondary market.
The audience for buying paintings, he says, is the million millionaires on the planet, emphasizing the market of buyers is limited. One of the problems with this paradigm is that investors of art who rely on the "greater fool theory" distort the meaning of what makes art valuable in the first place. When people invest in art they don't even believe in just to flip it to another investor at a higher price, it disrupts the meaning of art appreciation.
Here's a look at local digital artist Charr Crail's work from a 2013 exhibit. It features enhanced digital photography of several local figures including Tower Records founder Russ Solomon. The exhibit was held August 22, 2013 at The Vanguard, across from the State Capitol. Charr was once a photographer for the Sacramento Bee and captured many photos of famous musicians performing onstage.
One of the solutions for local artists to consider for the future is to create a pop-up shop showcasing art at street fairs and other special events. In 2016 about a dozen artists including coordinator Marsha Mason launched a pop-up shop in Rancho Cordova, which doesn't have an art gallery, despite a thriving arts community. The venture was supported by Cordova Community Council. The pop-up shop was located at 3161 Zinfandel Drive.
For entrepreneurs who want to help enhance the local art scene, here's an inspirational conference presented by gallery owner Guillaume Tropin on the art industry and how to run a gallery. He believes galleries are powerful places to share ideas for society. He shares tips on building lasting relationships and helping young talent. He does not view "business" as a dirty word for creative minds and supports helping independent artists reach audiences.