Specto Art Space
I believe “Specto Art Space” holds “call for entry” events and never has actual exhibitions. I applied for a show and didn’t get in, which is okay… BUT they have yet to announce show dates, winners of their call for entries, or any updated information on their website. A friend of mine in the area says the gallery doesn’t exist, or in their defense, may just not be up and running yet. I have contacted a couple places that list their calls to make them aware of the situation. The owner is responsive to e-mail, but it is incredibly fishy to me that nothing has been listed anywhere. Once artists are notified, there should be a notification of who is exhibiting and when. The show dates and deadlines are continuously pushed back – something isn’t adding up here. They claim to print, frame and mount your images, and that they give away tons of prizes.
Jeremiah Morris here, the Founder of Specto Art Space! I want to take this opportunity to address some concerns and clear up some confusion. All points listed are absolutely valid. The road to this point has been one of learning and mistakes being made. I definitely understand the frustration with our various setbacks until this point.
First I want to address any belief that we are not a legitimate gallery, which is absolutely not the case. Since opening we have been able to award artists with thousands of dollars in awards and grants, and have exhibited hundreds of artists. Admittedly, in my beginning stages I was not as good with communication as I could have been, and I do sincerely apologize for that. The learning curve for dealing with a lot of artists was definitely one I had to spend time with, and I do want to apologize for any communications with artists that felt like they were lacking. I make my best effort to be responsive and timely with communication, but I haven’t always been. So my sincere apologies to anyone affected!
Being focused on bringing more art to our small community and beyond, I initially had a lot of hopes that I quickly learnt weren’t reality. Our various setbacks up until this point have always been due to our inability to find physical gallery spaces to meet our needs. Our small town has pretty locked in retail areas, and as such it proved a much longer process to find leases than expected. Unfortunately, being a gallery such as ours, we can’t open our spaces without a show to exhibit, so this means jurying a show in advance. These shows were plagued with delays, and the frustration that has caused is completely understandable and shared.
Even with all the delays of our first exhibitions, our first exhibition year was a success and showed us that our community enjoyed the perspectives we were able to bring from around the world to our small gallery setting. As such, Specto is still in the process of moving into the heart of our local downtown arts scene. There have been some delays in this process as well, as part of our space needed some updating and the landlord has been kind enough to work on those for us, but they did cause some delays.
Work at Specto is always for sale, unless artists themselves do not wish the artworks to be for sale. The works we hang for exhibition we archive at the end of each show. Otherwise, we print limited edition prints on demand at the time of sale, or arrange to sell the original artwork in the case that the piece is a one-of-a-kind work, 3D, etc.
We are opening at 91 North Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA on August 2nd, 2019! I encourage everyone to come visit our new space!
Thanks for reading! I am always available to answer questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 540-874-2962
I don’t think this gallery has hosted an exhibition in months yet they still have calls for entry posted. In checking the website, it went from a physical gallery to a more online platform and just today I saw on that the home page of the website says the gallery will be moving in March. I’ve checked their social media and none of their accounts have shared this information yet.
Speaking of social media, Specto only seems to be regularly active on Instagram where they post images of work from the last “exhibition” they held which I am led to believe was online only.
I was really trying to hold out hope for this gallery but it’s been almost a year and it feels like it’s been one hiccup after another. This is more than just start-up problems but a totally identity crisis. They made a lot of big claims in the beginning but it looks like their plan hasn’t been sustainable.
This is what they say now…Nov 2018, “transitioned to online space”, per notice on Hours oin their website:
What we believe.
Art. No bullshit.
Specto offers outlets for artists of any level to have their work seen and purchased. We started in February 2018 as a physical gallery located in Bridgewater, VA. Specto has since transitioned to an online entity, working to engage proven art markets through art fairs and pop-up exhibition opportunities, and anything else we can dream up. We seek to offer innovative and engaging avenues for artist exhibition.
Specto wants art lovers to be able transform any space in their home, into an art space. Offering limited edition prints from artists on exhibition, available for purchase from the comfort of your home. We believe art should be accessible and affordable. We pride ourselves in bring you the best work, with ease for you and the artist.
Specto Art Space was created to focus on giving opportunity to any and all artists working within contemporary photography, digital art, and graphic design. Monthly international juried shows are open to artists of any background, from hobbyist to professional artist and everyone in between. Specto believes in the exhibition and critical evaluation of works within these media, as well as the support artists creating these works deserve.
I was notified of this change after submitting to the Featured Artist call and inquiring about my submission status two months later. I am more weary of Specto now than ever. The gallery wasn’t physically open a year and they have transitioned to an “online entity” which is a big red flag in my opinion. I had hoped that this would be a great new venue to show photographic art but I fear that they couldn’t keep up with the promises they had made to the community.
I believe the space exists, and I understand there may have been some start-up issues. Kudos to Specto for figuring it out. I want to mention here that it’s a little strange to me that I have yet to see images of their physical space, and I have yet to see what their printing/framing/all-inclusive package looks like.
They have solo shows and grants listed on their website (where you have to pay $35 to apply) and they claim to have two simultaneous shows (one solo, one “international juried”) but who is the jury? This Jeremiah guy? This continues to be very strange to me.
Their website specifically reads (copy-pasted) “Each month Specto exhibits two shows simultaneously: an international juried show, and a featured artist solo show. Featured artists calls are open to all artists, internationally, regardless of experience/education level. Artists chosen for this opportunity will receive their own solo show, as well as the ability to choose the theme of the accompanying juried show, and the opportunity to curate the pieces included in that show. This is a unique opportunity to allow artists to have more experience in all aspects of art exhibition. International juried shows will be themed, monthly exhibitions open to all.”
I have also unsubscribed to their e-mails, but keep getting added back, which is part of why I’m here.
Something feels off to me here.
I reached out to a couple artists shown on their page, and both responded saying they have asked for images of the exhibitions (to see how they were framed or to see an install shot) and they have yet to see physical evidence of the show.
The address and number associated with the address pull up a karate studio. I called the number lady affiliated with the address (granted this could be outdated) and asked if there was a gallery nearby… he didn’t seem to know what I was talking about.
I have also been watching their website and social media. I was interested in applying to the Black and White exhibition but was skeptical since they didn’t have a physical presence yet.
Their social media accounts have been pretty quiet. This was on their Facebook page at the beginning of November:
“A quick update: Our Black & White: 2017 show is all ready for exhibition, and it’s going to be great! We’re working to line up the perfect space to hopefully open our doors in December! Stay posted for more concrete information soon! It’s been a long road with twists and turns but we couldn’t be more excited, thanks for everyone’s support!”
They may be having start up issues but there is no list of participating artists and still no dates. I’m going to continue watching for updates but their original calls almost seemed too good to be true and I fear that’s the truth.
After reading the lead post here, I contacted Specto. I wrote, “You have not posted the dates of the B&W photography exhibit. When will it open? How long will it run? Will it also be posted online?”
Someone named Jeremiah replied: “Hello! Black & White: 2017 will be our inaugural show in our physical gallery space. The show will take place the month of January, with a digital version of the show available the week following our opening reception. More information will be posted soon…”
This is the message I had seen. It was on their website. It seems that it has not been updated at all since July.
Specto Announcements July 2017
July 12, 2017
First of all, thank you to everyone who has supported us so far by applying for a show or art opportunity! We are excited to be able to bring together the work of so many artists from around the world, and we hope we can continue to provide more opportunities for artists.
Specto Art Space is dedicated to creating a space which allows artists to exhibit their work in a professional, and hassle free manner. When we started, we had hoped to have our doors open by September, but now we are realizing we have to push that back a little. We thought we had found an ideal space, but it didn’t work out. We found a second space, which was nice but not perfect for our needs. We weighed the idea of opening our doors just to meet our initial deadline, to just jump into a space as quickly as possible. Creating something like Specto is a continual lesson in compromise. However, there is one thing we won’t compromise on, and that’s the quality of the exhibition space. We want to create a space which is professional, polished, and focused on allowing the viewer to see your work in the best possible manner. And with that in mind we have to continue our search for the perfect place for Specto to call home. We do this in favor of finding a space which is better suited to our needs and free from limitations which would compromise the integrity of the exhibition of artwork.
Our new hope is to find the perfect space, renovate it to our needs, and open our doors to the public by Fall 2017, January 2018 at the latest. We’re being a little generous with this window because we don’t want to promise something we can’t deliver. We hope to open our doors as soon as possible, but it depends on a lot of factors. In the mean time, we are excited to soon announce our first decisions in featured artists for our upcoming exhibition year.
Everyone who has already applied – Thank you! Our first shows are going to be phenomenal and we’re very excited to get started showing this amazing work.
Thank you for your support. If you have any questions, please contact us!
Director, Specto Art Space
I sent an email just now and received an almost immediate response. Jeremiah says the gallery is set to open on January 6th with the Black and White exhibition. He even provided an address for the gallery. I replied with a question about the grant program and received another swift response. I’ll be keeping my eye on this one as it nears the opening date.
After reading your message, I contacted Specto (through their website, as posted above by you) and asked for dates of the B&W photo exhibit and if the participants’ photos would be shown online. I received the following. “Black & White: 2017 will be our inaugural show in our physical gallery space. The show will take place the month of January, with a digital version of the show available the week following our opening reception. More information will be posted soon…”
Perhaps Specto is having start-up problems. Who knows? We’ll see. Thank you for bringing Specto to the attention of this site and various photographic communities. I, too, had been wondering about them—and still am.