Letter to Prophets
Response by Christine Pfister, Co-Owner and Director of Pentimenti Gallery
The availability of affordable spaces for art galleries has always been a determining factor in the development of artistic districts. This September, Pentimenti Gallery will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. Throughout my years in Old City, I have seen this district expand from only one fine art gallery (The Rosenfeld Gallery) to there now being 22+ galleries in the area. As this happens, I see real estate prices continue to rise, and therefore causes established art districts to shift to more accessible areas. This phenomena is happening throughout metropolitan areas world wide. In Philadelphia, the most recent example of this type of movement has been seen in Northern Liberties/Kensington over the past 10 years. I see the market eventually becoming over saturated and too expensive there as well, which will open new roads for artists and galleries to explore.
Along with real estate prices, another major determining factor is government funding. Throughout Europe, many governments actively fund artists and artistic institutions through federally mandated grants. The system in the United States, however, is almost exclusively limited to funding for nonprofit organizations. I would like to see an adaptation of a similar federally funded system that has the potential to expand careers within the arts, elevate artistic ingenuity for all, and fuel innovative industry on a global scale.