After 6+ years of service, Launch Pad closed its doors in September 2012.
All the information and imagery presented here are presented as a resource for the local community and a record for posterity. Keep supporting your local art spaces and programs!
At Launch Pad, we view the arts as an excellent vehicle for communication, community building and inspiration; Launch Pad tries to expand these views to the greater society by concentrating on three main goals:
- to get talented emerging artists out into the local art world by encouraging professionalism and confidence while simultaneously building their resumes and connecting them with local and national opportunities to show their work;
- to get the general public interested in the arts (and art collecting) by presenting work in a non-exclusive, welcoming and fun environment;
- to encourage people to show art in non-traditional spaces with the belief that art is for everyone, not just those individuals fortunate enough to afford it, and that art belongs in our community at large, not just in the gallery and museum environments.
We and a volunteer-staffed gallery and sincerely appreciate your help in all of these areas, so don’t hesitate to contact us with ideas and/or resources!
Launch Pad has been putting on monthly shows since December 2005 and features new art every First Friday in conjunction with other Central East Side Art galleries. Our openings are always free of charge and open to all ages, though we encourage parents to visit our website or call ahead to determine if the art is appropriate for their children. There is always a DJ and very often live music at around 8pm- it’s fun!.
Launch Pad exists thanks to the generous support of the businesses of The Egg (the collective warehouse where we are housed); all of fine people who volunteer their time and skills to keep the gallery running; the artists who believe in the gallery enough to show their work here and you the public who come here to see it.
Frequently asked questions
Here are the answers you seek!
Okay, here are only a few of the answers to some of the questions, but feel free to contact us and we’ll add more info as we see fit.
You can volunteer your time!
Launch Pad is a volunteer-supported gallery and we need help doing all sorts of things, including staffing the gallery, helping with show change, distributing show cards and press packs, updating the web site, tending bar and working at the openings; we are looking for motivated people who can make and keep commitments. You don’t need any special experience to help, just a keen understanding that when you volunteer at our gallery, the artist who is showing is depending on you. Volunteers truly make our gallery happen.
Email us to find out more.
To be clear, we don’t have any paid positions at Launch Pad, though volunteering is a great way to get experience and build your resume, as well as meet tons of artists.
Launch Pad is currently working with guest curators who are bringing in new artists of their choice to the gallery. While we are not currently taking applications for shows at Launch Pad, we will gladly take a look at your digital-only portfolio and keep you in mind for future shows. We will be holding some sort of user-choice show award later this year. If you are interested in participating, please sign up for our mailing list HERE and check the box next to “artist calls”. See information about what belongs in a portfolio below.
A standard portfolio should have at least these three basic things; This may seem like a lot at first, but once you have gathered the information to make one, you can make many portfolios and submit them everywhere, thereby strongly increasing your chances of getting a show and proceeding to art-stardom.
1. A strong set of good-quality, in-focus, labeled, color-accurate images of your work;
go for cohesiveness rather than a comprehensive survey of everything you do- say, 10-20 .jpg’s on a cd or website, slides, color prints- you want to give the person looking at your images an idea of what a show of your work might look like. Include information about each image (title, media, year, dimensions) either on your slides or on separate sheet piece of paper; if your are building a digital portfolio, include information directly in the image border, in the file name and/or image metadata. It is strongly encouraged that you include a hard copy of your image list even if it’s already on the CD. Most galleries have specific things they ask for in portfolios/submissions- be sure to read the submission guidelines of the place you are submitting your work before you send off your stuff!
2. A brief bio/artist statement;
This could talk about where you are from, why you make the work that you do, who some of your influences are, what your work means to you… anything you feel would help the person looking at your images understand your work. Be concise! Don’t hesitate to ask a friend for help in writing your statement- often talking with someone else about your work can make it easier.
3. Your artist resume;
this has your name, your address and contact, any art-related training you’ve had, any shows you’ve participated in an in reverse chronological order, separated out into types (group shows, solo shows, performances, etc) and any other stuff about art- scholarships, grants, awards, murals, charity auctions, reviews,etc. Don’t freak out- we are an emerging artists gallery, there is no expectation that you have had a solo show at the Whitney. Those shows at coffee shops and boutiques count, and they are part of establishing a presence in the local art community, so list them!
A brief letter of introduction is helpful anywhere you submit work. For example, when submitting work to Launch Pad, basically we’d like to know why are you applying here? Did your friend show here and you loved it? Did you participate in a group show here? Do you have a crush on one of our volunteers? Are you at a critical juncture in your career where Launch Pad is the missing ingredient in your success? Why do you feel that the gallery you are submitting to in particular is a good fit for your work??
Hint: the first question I put to artists when they submit work is, “Have you ever been to the gallery?” If you are local, visit the galleries you are considering submitting your portfolio to- Do they even show the type of work that you make? A little research on your part saves time for everybody, especially you.
***Remember, each gallery has their own submission guide lines, and many will return your portfolio without looking at it if you don’t adhere to them, so do your research! For Launch Pad, your portfolio can be in any format, including on the web, on a disk, or printed on paper; you can also submit color photographs or prints of your work as long they represent it well.
DO NOT SUBMIT ORIGINAL SLIDES OF YOUR WORK ANYWHERE!
Those are for you to put in a super special fire proof box and not send to galleries who may lose them.
Well, both, kind of; Launch Pad’s official slogan has been “new work by local emerging artists” since the beginning (along with some other funnier ones) and we pretty much stick to it, except with our group shows. We work with local artists because we want them to be able to take full advantage of their show, and to do that they have to be here actively pursuing connections, buyers, press and future shows. Artists from out of town are totally welcome to participate in our open-call group shows, and I’m open to talking about how a solo/duo show here would uniquely benefit you, the gallery and public and how you would take advantage of it, but the short answer is that Launch Pad is focused on the local art scene and on helping artists who live here achieve goals involving the local scene.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send your portfolio! Art is always appreciated here, and if the right match presents itself at another gallery that I know of, we’ll be happy to steer your work to it.
Nope, sorry. too many people rely on this space for their livelihoods to be renting it out; try WORK/SOUND or our neighbors at Union/Pine they have beautiful, spacious rooms and not as much extra curricular activity.
The short answer is that on solo/duo shows, we take 40%.
The commission is split evenly between Launch Pad and the guest curator, who is expected to help the artist with putting together their work for the show and promoting it.
When we started out in December 2005, the idea was to have a free, all-ages, community dance night, with weird non-commercial music so you could “get down” on First Friday with friends before “going out”; it was an idealistic time; there was no commission on art sales, nor expectations back then. Now, after plugging away for more than a year and having our expectations thoroughly exceeded, we have learned that keeping a bona fide art gallery alive takes at least a little cold hard cash, and we’re not ashamed any longer to ask the artist’s who show here to chip in. Artists share promotional costs equally with the gallery & provide food at their opening; they are also expected to work the hell out of their show- promoting themselves and trying to get more shows and/or representation and taking full advantage of having their work on display at Launch Pad.
As for what we do, Launch Pad pays rent, maintains and staffs the space, maintains this website, designs your show card (unless we decide otherwise), submits press releases to the local media, shares the cost of promotion and provides a cash bar at the opening. The 40% commission doesn’t reflect the amount of work that we put in at all, but it’s really not about the money. When a show does really well, that 30% actually does help to pay down the expenses of other, less commercially successful (but equally valid) shows.
Launch Pad is run by the intrepid team of Sara McCormick and Ben Pink, but we depend on volunteers to stay open and be great!
From it’s beginning, Launch Pad has been a community-supported project, involving many artists, good friends, acquaintances, strangers who have become friends and unwilling (and unwitting) conspirators who were temporarily shanghai’ed into doing our bidding; when you come to Launch Pad, chances are that the person you are meeting is not Ben or Sara, but one of the many people who volunteer their time to make the gallery work.
Sara takes care of the day-to-day work of staffing the gallery, maintaining the website, and coordinating installing shows with the guest curators. Sara is the sensible minded mechanic of the gallery that keeps all of the varied gears meshing together.
Launch Pad is the financial liability of Ben Pink, whose real name is Benjamin Rhoads Pinkowitz. Ben founded the gallery and now does things like pay rent, get permits, schedule shows, and liason with the other member of the warehouse. Ben is the wacky one who comes up with ideas for shows and relies on Sara and the other fantastic Launch Pad team members to make them come alive.