Monthly Archives: December 2009

Dr. Debra Miller – The Art Doctor Is In @ Da Vinci Art Alliance

Dr. Debbie - The Art Doctor Is In

This year DoN got to know Dr. Deb Miller of the Da Vinci Art Alliance; Miller is a driving force behind the production of themed art shows for the gallery at the Da Vinci Art Alliance, Smile Gallery, Bartram’s Garden Gallery, the Black Box Gallery @ The Lantern Theater and more.  This year art exhibits included Envisioning Hamlet, Darwin & Carnivorous Plants, Windows on the World, Heroines & Harlots.. collaborations with The Lantern Theater, Bartrams Garden, Smile Gallery & more.  As a result of these concept shows DoN won more awards for art this year than in all previous years of entering shows.  Dr. Deb always takes an extra moment to praise the artist when presenting awards, tells an anecdote about the work, shares tidbits about her life in Andy Warhol’s circle and makes sure all the artists even though they may not win anything, feel special, that it’s worth all the time & effort to produce art.  Twice, Dr. Deb has whispered in DoN’s ear during award ceremonies that she thought he should have won first prize instead of honorable mention – DoN bets Dr. Debbie says that to all the boys.

Dr. Debora Miller

On the move – Dr. Miller makes sure the audience moves through the gallery and presents awards by the art work instead of from a fixed spot as many other juried shows do.  Her gregarious banter and knowledgeable comments always are educational, informative and frank.

Dr. Debora Miller

Dr. Deb Miller @ Bartram’s Garden Gallery.

Dr. Debbie - The Art Doctor Is In

DoN in awe of Dr. Deb‘s comments on his “Botanical Print” @ Bartram’s Garden Gallery.  Actually, Dr. Deb always makes sure DoN say a few words about his work and she always gets jurors to speak about their decisions.

Dr. Debbie - The Art Doctor Is In

Dr. Debra Miller, Liz Niklus, Alden Cole, David Foss & Ona Kalstein @ Da Vinci Art Alliance.  The board at the Da Vinci Art Alliance performs an essential function in the Philly art community, providing a creative outlet, a great social network and a vibrant array of shows, lectures and parties.

Deb Miller & DoN Brewer

Dr. Deb Miller presenting DoN with an award for his digital photograph called, Denmark, for the Envisioning Hamlet Show @ The Black Box Gallery in the Lantern TheaterDoN recently eves-dropped David Foss and heard there will be continuing collaborations with the Lantern Theater and the International Opera Theater – coolness!

Dr. Deb Miller

Dr. Debra Miller gives a great lecture about Andy Warhol, here she’s presenting her talk @ The Fleisher Art Memorial.

Dr. Deb Miller

Philly Art Stars @ the Windows on the World opening @ Smile Gallery.  That’s the back of Liz Niklus‘ head, Dr. Deb, Lilliana Didovic & Betsy Alexander, that was a great show, in fact the three winners are having their show at the gallery next month.

Dr. Deb Miller

Photographer Jon Naar with Dr. Debra @ Photosynthesis 2008 @ Da Vinci Art Alliance.

Thanks to Dr. Debra Miller and the entire board of the Da Vinci Art Alliance for providing such an outstanding platform for artists to exercise their creative muscles.  DoN can’t wait to see what 2010 has in store at the venerable art alliance.




Bruce Gast – Alien Anthropomorphism @ The Dumpster Divers on South Street

Bruce Gast

Bruce Gast @ The Dumpster Divers Gallery on South Street.

Bruce Gast

Like some alien tribal mask collection, Bruce Gast‘s found object constructions tell the story of an art collector from a galaxy far, far away who loves to capture and mount the heads of his trophies from space safaris.  Each piece has a personality from another dimension, tapping into race memory and cell consciousness like some wacko Venus of Willendorf on a moon of Jupiter.

Bruce Gast

Bruce Gast @ The Dumpster Divers on South Street.

DoN Brewer For Sale

Shoshka, Alden & DoN have had many spirited conversations about how to sell art.  DoN‘s background is business-to-business sales and many of the sales techniques don’t translate to the world of art sales which blends from faceless to face-to-face to artist worship.  DoN finds it frustrating that several of the “free art galleries” on South Street have disappeared, is it because of poor sales effort or lack of interest from the public?  DoN thinks it’s a little of both; as a Sales Manager, DoN assigned quotas for selling particular services – is it enough to simply gallery sit and let visitors come & go?  Or should the artist, who already is struggling with identity crises, be responsible for “selling” the work, too?  Suppose the gallery sitter had a sales quota?  Or a lead generation goal?  A little sales training would go a long way:

Sales Stages

The foundations of most modern sales techniques lie in five stages of action. These began in the 1950’s and include:

  1. Attention: You have to get the attention of your prospect through some advertising or prospecting method.
  2. Interest: Build their interest by using an emotional appeal such as how good they will look to their boss when they make this deal that will save the company thousands of dollars!
  3. Desire: Build their desire for your product by showing them its features and letting them sample or test-drive it.
  4. Conviction: Increase their desire for your product by statistically proving the worth of your product. Compare it to its competitors. Use testimonials from happy customers.
  5. Action: Encourage the prospect to act. This is your closing. Ask for the order. If they object, address their objections. There are then many variations of closing techniques that can help get the business.

There is a plethora of closing techniques that range from hard sell to soft sell and everything in-between. Some of these include:

  • A Direct Close – Simply ask for the order when you are sure your prospect is ready.
  • A Deal/Concession Close – Using this closing technique gives the prospect the feeling that they are making a smart choice and saving money (or getting more value). Use it with phrases like “Order today and I can add this other module for only 10 percent more.”
  • A Time-Driven Close – This one works well with statements like, “prices are going up next week, so you should go ahead a let me place your order today.”
  • Trial Offer – You can let the prospect use the product at no risk for a trial period. This works well if you’re selling products that make people’s lives easier. They aren’t likely to want to give it back if it has saved them a lot of time and effort during the trial period. On the other hand, if they haven’t had the experience with the product you told them they would then you probably won’t get another chance

Many of these sales techniques found at translate to selling art, if one can change the sales-persons emotional connection to the art into a quantifiable commodity that can be expressed to potential buyers then maybe more art would sell and sustain art businesses.

DoN currently has 25 photographs that are for sale in several venues in the Philadelphia area.  This weekend (12/27/09) is the closing of the Da Vinci Art Alliance‘s Under $200.00 show; DoN created three new images for the show which are priced under $130.00, to encourage sales, DoN is offering any one of the three framed prints for $95.00, the gallery receives a 15% commission

DoN Brewer, Urban Glyph @ Da Vinci Art Alliance

DoN Brewer, Urban Glyph, digital photograph, inkjet print @ DaVinci Art Alliance, Winter 2009.

DoN Brewer Red Zone @ Da Vinci Art Alliance

DoN Brewer, Red Zone, digital photograph, inkjet print   This is one of DoN‘s favorites, the framed print has a silver liner mat which works great with the chrome of the image.

DoN Brewer, Autumn @ Da Vinci Art Alliance

DoN Brewer, Autumn, digital photograph, framed inkjet print, 16×20″ available @ Da Vinci Art Alliance’s Under $200.00 show.

DoN Brewer, Urban Glyph & Red Zone @ Da Vinci Art Alliance

DoN Brewer, Urban Glyph & Red Zone, digital photographs, inkjet print, 16 x 20″, framed @ Da Vinci Art Alliance Under $200.00 Show – special end of show reduced sale price $95.00!  The gallery gets a 15% commission.

Da Vinci Art Alliance

5 Artists Who Will Make You Happy You Spent the Money

The November issue of Philadelphia Magazine had an article called “Five Artists Who Will Make You Rich” by curator extraordinaire Eileen Tognini.  What a task?  DoN is familiar with four of the five artists the esteemed curator gleaned and couldn’t agree more but it made him wonder who he might choose if he could only pick five.

Karl Olsen

Karl Olsen with model/artist Arthur Ostroff @ the MCGOPA show last Fall.  Olsen is driven to achieve a level of technique, style, originality that is fiercely determined, tenacious yet warmly accessible – everyone loves impressionism but Olsen’s squishy brushwork has a darker undercurrent of emotion like a 21st Century Otto Dix, Olsen exposes the hurt, apprehension & fear of life during war-time preserving a moment of great change in our history.  Photo courtesy of Karl Olsen.

Brooke Hine

Brooke Hine was one of Tognini’s picks to make you rich.  DoN finds that just spending time with Brooke makes him feel richer; Hine is warm, empathic, vivacious, sharing, curious and extraordinarily creative – some of her ceramic sculpture incorporate cat whiskers, so poetic.  Her ancient/future ceramic concoctions ooze a dystopian narrative of archeological digs in our own future world or some inter-planetary find by an ancient space visitor.  Bones, spines, claws, spikes, hairs, curves and swirls all meld into interchangeable narratives – spooky yet fun.

Bob Jackson

Bob Jackson‘s ball point pen figure studies on typing paper are like finding the perfect seashell on the beach or a crystal you want to keep while rock-hounding or that great antique find at a Paris flea market.  Jackson’s drawings are expressive and technically precise yet his use of lowly materials raises up ordinary paper to a higher plain because of the lines of ink Bob streams across the page with abandon, lyricism and grace.  Jackson is President of the Plastic Club where you can buy his drawings for around 20 bucks.

Karen McDonnell & Tony Cortosi

Karen McDonnell & Tony Cortosi collaborate on each of their hand-drawn, hand-cut stencil spray-paint paintings skewering modern icons, historic figures and art world figure-heads with equal levels or irony, respect, sarcasm, awe and cultural awareness from punk, pop & hip-hop to Shakespeare to Foxy Brown.  Their mash-ups are a comment on our time bringing a skate-punk anarchistic rock mentality to the gallery setting without giving up on street-cred integrity.

Paul DuSold

Eileen Tognini picked Rachel Constantine because she personifies the quintessential PAFA school of atmospheric realism presenting realistic, emotionally charged, technically accomplished paintings and deservedly so, Rachel’s work is absolute perfection.  But, DoN would include Paul DuSold in his time capsule of 21st Century art investment; DuSold’s paintings are ripe with vivid life brought into the realm of the sublime.  A simple wrapped loaf conveys a story deep with realness, a flower lives only for the moment before fading to obscurity, the portrait a glimpse into a model’s inner thoughts or the patron’s aspirations – Paul DuSold is a modern painter working with techniques passed down through the ages.



Photographic Society of Philadelphia 16 x 20 Show @ Bonte’s Cafe.

Alan Klawans & DoN Brewer

Alan J. Klawans, Rope and DoN Brewer, View from Finger Span Bridge @ Philadelphia Society of Photography exhibit and sale in Bonte’s Cafe, 9th & Walnut.  It’s really cool when the photographers descend on Bonte’s at 6:00 PM on a Friday night and switch out the photos in the ongoing exhibit, the vibe is so interesting since photographers come from all walks of life, photography is a very democratic art form.  But, the work that the Society shows is always above par, adventurous, experimental, thoughtful and professional.

DoN Brewer Photography

Ed Snyder

Ed Snyder, Lost at Sea.  Snyder’s Angels always offer hope, inspiration and introspection, the stone icons emote messages that will take eons to expire.

PSoP @ Bonte’s

 Amy E. McCormick, Will the Hard Way and John Wernega, Adorned in Gold.

Eileen Eckstein & Mina Smith-Segal

Eileen Eckstein, Coachem Castle Window and Mina Smith-Segal, Rollerbladers @ PSoP in Bonte’s 9th & Walnut.  Eileen is the Society President and Mina leads a drawing workshop @ The Philadelphia Sketch Club.

Morris Klein @ Bonte’s 9th Steet

Morris Klein is the Vice President of The Photographic Society of Philadelphia managing the ongoing exhibit of member works in bi-monthly rotation as well as overseeing the one-person shows at Bonte’s on 17th Street.  Morris’ photographs are often dreamy and languid like an impressionist painting as in this view of the city from the Schuykill River.