This month, &gallery, 419 N. Fourth Ave., celebrates its first anniversary with Cynthia Naugle as its owner.
Launched by the graphic design company Eat Sleep Work in 2018, first at its original location on West Grant Road, then in the old Mabel’s kitchen supply on North Fourth, Naugle took over the operation in 2022.
To honor that milestone, Naugle decided that instead of a big party, she wanted to give back to the community by hosting a day of panels with local artists offering advice to other artists. The free event takes place at the gallery from noon to 4 p.m., this Saturday, Jan. 28.
“The ideas came from the main things that artists ask about when they come in (the gallery),” Naugle said. “The biggest question that we get all the time is ‘How do I get my art in here?’”
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The panels, four in all, will cover different aspects of the art business as it stands today. One will look at the things artists need to work on, such as biographies and presentation, to successfully sell their pieces at &gallery. Another will tackle the different ways artists can monetize their work, particularly when it comes to merchandising.
There will be a panel on how to transition into digital art using graphic design apps, such as Procreate, and a chat about self-care for artists, managing expectations and finding a healthy path through art.
Naugle said hosting these panels is a way for her to help give back to the community.
“My moral compass always goes back to what would I have wanted, what were things my friends were struggling with as young artists,” Naugle said. “For me, honestly, the best thing I ever got from any of my mentors or friends was information… if it wasn’t for them sharing that information, I wouldn’t be the artist I am today.”
Naugle in the past has hosted artist-themed panels at the Tucson Festival of Books and Tucson Comic-Con. She has wanted to host panels at &gallery for a while, with artists she describes as “powerhouses” participating.
Illustrator Karina Moreno is one of those artists. She’ll be sitting in on the “Digital Art 101: Printing & Selling” panel this weekend. Moreno has sold with &gallery before and has contributed works to past exhibitions. She has known Naugle for about four years.
“I have a printing background, so I know how to set up files, how to print them and what to look for,” Moreno said. “I’m hoping to share all of that knowledge because there were a lot of trials finding the right setup and everything.”
Moreno has been drawing since she was a young girl but got serious about it once she entered high school. After graduating from the University of Arizona in 2014 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration, she started her art career in 2017.
“I’ve always loved being a part of the Tucson art community,” Moreno said. “&gallery especially does a lot of anime and comic-con convention artists. I feel included and grateful for (&gallery) because that kind of art is stigmatized, especially in the fine art scene and even the (UA) college scene.
“Now we have this platform where you can run a business and you can definitely survive off art that you want to make.”
Artist Tanya Verdugo will participate on the panel about selling art at &gallery. Verdugo, who uses the pronouns she/her and they/them, has known Naugle for about nine years.
“I’m excited to see people make money off their artwork,” Verdugo said. “It feels really nice to be a part of a panel that is dedicated to helping other people understand the proper etiquette of (selling art).”
Verdugo has sold works through conventions as well as with &gallery, and is hoping to help others further understand the level of professionalism that comes with presenting art.
Verdugo first got into art in high school when a friend lent them a Japanese graphic novel known as manga. Verdugo started selling at conventions in 2011.
“The most impactful thing is meeting people face to face when they’re buying a piece,” Verdugo said. “I love knowing the places that they’re going to or the people who bought them, it makes it that much more special.”
&gallery is open from noon to 6 p.m. daily. For more information on the anniversary panels and the gallery, visit facebook.com/andgallerytucson.
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