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The Daily Tar Heel

Let’s be FRANK: New gallery on Franklin shows promise

If you’re interested in what is happening in the local arts scene, it might be a good idea to check out FRANK, the new art gallery that opened last Friday on Franklin Street.

The gallery’s grand opening attracted about 600 people. The nonprofit collective prides itself on featuring the best of local artists, while providing an elegant atmosphere for patrons.

The gallery was founded thanks to a generous no-interest loan from the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and the town of Chapel Hill.

Its business model is different from those of other conventional galleries, which might help the gallery’s chances of securing financial stability.

Currently there are 26 member artists associated with FRANK, who have to pay a fee up front in addition to monthly fees while committing to a membership of at least two years.

Member artists receive a commission of 75 percent for sales of their work, while the gallery collects the other 25 percent. They also have to come in to work at least one day a month.

Non-member or consignment artists receive 50 percent commission, but have less responsibility than members.

The gallery also will showcase the work and spread awareness of activities of local musicians and writers.

It is exciting to have a new arts venue in town, which we hope will enhance the arts culture and community within Chapel Hill.

If residents value the importance of a vibrant arts presence in town, then they are encouraged to give the new gallery a test run.

There are many reasons to be optimistic about FRANK’s long-term viability. It has already received tremendous support from the local business community.

The gallery’s landlord has been very supportive, charging less than the standard rate for the lease. Much of the expense for fixtures and other needs has been donated to the venue.

With continued support from the community, the gallery could become a highly regarded attraction in Chapel Hill for years to come.

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