Launch Pad Gallery: Featuring the work of local emerging artists.

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.

How can I get involved at Launch Pad?

How do I submit work to the gallery?

How do I make a portfolio?

Do you show only local artists or artists from out of town also?

Can I use Launch Pad to throw my awesome event/party?

What percentage do you take on sales?

Who runs Launch Pad?


How can I get involved at Launch Pad?

You can volunteer!

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.

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How do I submit work to the gallery?

Launch Pad is happy to look at your portfolio and discuss it with you!

Our ideal artist is one who is extremely self motivated and can truly make the most of having their work on display at our gallery for a month. We are not a full service gallery, in that we don’t represent artists work after the show, but we aim to help you develop relationships with other galleries in Portland, give your work exposure to the local community of artists, collectors and curators, create new collectors of your work, and step up your game as an artist.

You can Email Us your resume & letter of interest along with a few images of your work to start out (please include title/media/year/price/WxHxD), or a link to your work/info on the internet. You are welcome to drop by your portfolio with a SASE DURING GALLERY HOURS, with the understanding that it may take us some time to return it to you. Slides are okay, but unfortunately, seeing as we don’t have a slide projector the best we can do is hold them up to the light, so really, CD’s with accompanying information or printed images are better.

PLEASE NOTE:
It takes time to look at and contemplate a portfolio, and we likely won’t get to looking over your work right away, but really, truly, it will be viewed. You are welcome and encouraged to follow up, but please understand that, as you would hope, the primary focus of our efforts goes into promoting the current show and preparing for shows we have coming up next, so please be patient!

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How do I make a portfolio?

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, 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 seperate sheet piece of paper. It is strongly encouraged that you include a hard copy of your image list even if it’s already on the CD. 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 when ever possible!

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 us, basically we’d like to know why Launch Pad? 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? How can we in particular help you succeed and vice versa?

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 guidlelines, 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.

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Do you show only local artists or artists from out of town also?

Well, both, kind of; Launch Pad’s official slogan has been “new work by local emerging artists” since the begining (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 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, we’ll be happy to steer your work to it.

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Can I use Launch Pad to throw my awesome event/party?

Nope, sorry. too many people rely on this space for their livelihoods to be renting it out; try WORK/SOUND, they have beautiful, spacious rooms and not as much extra curricular activity.

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What percentage do you take on sales?

The short answer is that we take 30%.

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 30% commission doesn’t reflect the ammount 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.

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Who runs Launch Pad?

benpinkLaunch Pad is the financial liability of Ben Pink, whose real name is Benjamin Rhoads Pinkowitz. Ben does things like pay rent, get permits, organize shows, schedule volunteers and generate web content, but he is by no means the only person who makes Launch Pad the awesome place that it is. 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 Pink, but one of the many people who volunteer their time to make the gallery work, so introduce yourself and marvel at what we can accomplish when we work together.
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