Art market

Ruth Swaine

Photo By Christopher L. McCargar

Most seeds do not take root and sprout in the fall, but as some businesses move out or close down in the arts and commerce district of downtown Reno, other businesses are popping up. Ruth Swaine’s Creative Connections is one of them. This art gallery, formerly the Gallery Cui-ui, is nestled in the Riverside Century Theater building, just across from the Parking Gallery. Relaxing, sometimes mystical new-age music covers over street sounds that try to creep in the gallery windows. But Creative Connections is more than just a place to purchase art that runs from $10 to $10,000. It is a place where Swaine brings artists and buyers together. For more info, call 786-7722.

Is this your first art gallery?

Yes. I worked in business management teams for 25 years, but left it in January. I worked for two of the largest medical component distribution and manufacturing firms. Now I am marketing artists into corporate environments.

What exactly is “marketing art into a corporate environment"?

Companies have art programs and invest in fine art. I am an artist myself, and I just wanted to marry the two. Creative Connections allows artists to sell art directly to corporate buyers. Like prints for hotel rooms, doctor’s offices and lobbies. I am comfortable in corporate environments, and I know how art can help to manage teams. With various aspects of connections, I promote live artists through a business built on integrity.

What sort of art is needed for a business setting?

The art I have to offer works in any environment for both small and well-established investors. The difference that art makes when put on the walls is profound. Art is healing. It carries energy of creation and calm and helps people to relax. A nice painting in a lobby or waiting room can calm people. Art can improve camaraderie and teamwork.

Why set up in downtown Reno?

The opportunity came up. This area has an established association of merchants that generates attention as an art district. So this location is good for a small business with limited advertising funds. There was a gallery here previously, so this space had a positive aspect to it.

Where are your artists from?

I have 33 artists contributing and all but five are local. There is one from South Africa, one from Central America and three from Arizona. Connections is also hiring five employees and will soon have a Web site.

How did Reno attract you?

I’m from Phoenix. Many circumstances brought me here, but Reno is a wonderful place. I love being so close to mountains and close to the river. I love hiking, but good trails are being closed off here. I will have to find new places to go.