Most of us know about Andy Warhol and Kara Walker, but for non-famous artists who produce art about gay, black, female, or otherwise marginalized identity, making a living can be a hard thing to do.
When we began working on Westminster Press, we wanted to do one thing: make gay art. But as we began to sell our products online and at fairs around the St. Louis area, we discovered something else. Despite the many customers and admirers genuinely excited to see work like ours, we noticed a definitive lack of space in which to critically engage with identity based work that reflects historically underrepresented experiences. So we've decided to take action by creating such a space, not just for ourselves, but for all artists of oppressed identities--inclusive of women, queer folk, and people of color, and all other makers whose work currently exists in the margins of the traditional art world. And so we plan to establish a gallery, retail consignment store, and screen printing studio in St. Louis, Missouri that will not only bring awareness to the issues affecting diverse groups but also allow these artists to profit from their own work. Our goal is to build agency for minority artists and to foster community around art that is inclusive of all experiences. We plan to support this endeavor through gallery and consignment sales as well as the sale of our own work, which includes printmaking, fiber art, and crafts. We believe that with the successful funding of this project, Westminster Press will be positioned to financially sustain itself as it continues to transform the art world in St. Louis and beyond.
A Business With A Mission
Our business model is the combination of art gallery, retail consignment storefront, and custom screen printing shop, all with a focus on promoting work made by artists of marginalized identities. The art gallery and retail consignment store will feature both local and national or global makers whose work critically engages with underrepresented cultures and/or themes of social, political, and economical marginalization. These artists will have the opportunity to sell their work in our store at a significantly reduced commission (typical galleries can claim more than 50 or 60 percent of all sales, while we plan to keep less than 40 percent of profits). Our aim here is to provide these artists with a space in which they can profit from their work while being featured in a fine art environment.
In addition to the gallery and consignment storefront, we will supplement revenue with sales of our own work, which deals largely with queer identity and experience. We hope to demonstrate that a market does exist for identity-based art, even if a marketplace has yet to emerge. Our goal is to empower other artists to embrace identity in their work, so that the art world may become a more accurate reflection of the issues affection various communities.
We will also generate revenue through sales online and at festivals and art shows around the United States, workshops and classes, and by renting out our space for various special events.
Use of Funds
All funds raised through this campaign will be used in the most judicious manner possible. This will include the costs of establishing the business itself (via permits and licenses), purchasing equipment for our own screen printing studio, and covering overhead expenses on the space such as rent and utilities. A condensed budget appears below:
- Rent, $1,200 per month, $14,400 annually
- Screen printing equipment (press, exposure unity, flash dryer, power washer, screens, ink, emulsion, paper), $2,500 total
- Utilities, $250 per month, $2,000 annually
- Build-out of storefront and gallery $2,000
- Insurance, $1,500 annually
- Permits and licenses, $1,000
Our funding goal will allow for the purchase of necessary startup equipment as well as cover the first 3 months of rent and utilities. Funds received beyond our goal will be put towards future months' expenses, gallery improvements, and the purchase of additional equipment.
Westminster Press Original Miniprint
A 4x6 inch screenprint featuring the Westminster Press boys themselves, with a handwritten thank you note on the back.
A completely unique pin, "drawn" on felt using nothing but a standard sewing machine (see how it works in our video). Design of our choice. PLUS the $5 miniprint.
VIP Grand Opening Invitation & Westminster Press T-Shirt
You'll get a sneak peak of our new gallery while enjoying light refreshments and the company of other illustrious art patrons. General opening, featuring music, great art, and teary eyed speeches to immediately follow.
You will also receive a 100% cotton shirt featuring our "Stay Fierce" design to remind you that we think you're awesome, and you should too. PLUS the $5 miniprint.
"Together Like" Silkscreen Poster
A 9x12 inch 4-color handprinted poster, signed and editioned on French Paper. PLUS the $40 VIP invitation and $5 miniprint.
Custom Sewn Portrait
A 8x10 inch custom sewn portrait on felt. Send us a picture of your cherished memory, favorite pet or loved one, and we'll turn it into a one-of-a-kind portrait (you saw this technique in the video!) PLUS the $40 VIP invitation and $5 miniprint.
Sewn Portrait, Color Poster, and T-shirt
A combination of our $25, $50, and $100 rewards. Get the pin (design of our choice), T-shirt, and custom portrait PLUS the $40 VIP invitation and $5 miniprint.
Screen Printing Party
Host a screen printing party for you and 5-10 friends at the new Westminster Press gallery and storefront. We'll supply all the materials, teach you the screen printing process, help you print the design of your choice, and provide light refreshments and excellent company! PLUS the $40 VIP invitation, $25 Westminster Press T-shirt and $5 miniprint.
Rent Our Space for a Day
You can borrow our space for one day or night to host a party, art pop-up, or other special event! We'll work with you to make the storefront and gallery a perfect setting for your next big occasion. PLUS the $50 color poster, $40 VIP invitation, $25 T-shirt, $15 postcards and $5 miniprint.
Custom Design Work, T-shirts, Totes, & Postcards
We will work with you to design a beautiful logo or graphic (yours to keep), then we will print you a run of 10 T-shirts, 10 tote bags, and 10 postcards to share with with your friends and family. PLUS the $50 color poster, $40 VIP Invitation, $25 Westminster Press T-shirt, and $5 miniprint.
Name our new press!
We'll be needing a 4-station screen printing press to make all these wonderful rewards, and you'll get the honor of choosing his/her/its name. We'll even have the name you choose permanently etched onto base.
"Hey Tucker! How's [Glenda, John, Freud] doing today?" "[She/He's] great, I just cleaned and oiled [her/him] this morning-- yay!"
PLUS the $100 custom portrait, $50 color poster, $40 VIP invitation, $25 T-shirt, $15 postcards, and $5 miniprint.
Dedication of the Westminster Press Gallery
We will recognize you as the generous benefactor who made the Westminster Press Gallery possible with a lovely plaque, engraved with your name (or the name of your business or organization) hung prominantly in the space. PLUS the $100 custom portrait, $50 color poster, $40 VIP invitation, $25 T-shirt, $15 postcards, and $5 miniprint.
Risks and challenges
Like any art or retail space, we are at risk of failing to generate the revenue needed to sustain our business. However, we have not taken on this endeavor lightly-- we have made every effort to hone and refine our business plan, make genuine connections to key allies, and plan for every foreseeable obstacle. We are so lucky to be surrounded by a community that is incredibly supportive of our mission and project, and we know that with help from folks like you, we cannot fail. So please contribute to our cause and share this page with your friends and family.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)