Gallery money can be a fickle thing, says Abigail Kreuser.
"Sometimes you have a show where you sell out, and sometimes you have a show where you sell one piece," she says. "It depends on who's walking through the door."
Kreuser, in addition to her photography and her coffee roasting business, owns and operates Kreuser Gallery, located in the Depot Arts District under the Colorado Avenue bridge. She shares the former Smokebrush Gallery space with three other small galleries. She says that first Fridays turn the area into quite the happening place.
"First Friday weeks are my busiest week of the month, and they are the most exciting week," she says. "It's like a natural high." Where some might find challenges in running a small gallery, Kreuser finds only excitement.
"Recreating my gallery every month with a different artist brings in some kind of different energy," she says. "I see new faces because of each artist that I bring in. The community is so supportive."
She even organizes a few shows for charity each year. She's raised money for Access Fund, CASA of the Pikes Peak Region, Ormao Dance Company, the Pikes Peak Arts Council, Silver Key and the Susan G. Komen foundation. So far, her record is $2,000 in one night — not much next to a city budget, but when's the last time you dropped $2K on charity?
Kreuser gets a lot of joy from exhibiting newer artists, especially first-time exhibitors. She loves giving them their first chance to get their name out in the public eye.
"I get calls from people, and they'll say, 'I want to show my work, but I don't know what to do. Can you help me?'" She says, "I'll sit down with them and look at their work. You can kind of tell, looking at an artist's work, where they're at." From there, based on the work, she decides whether the artist would be a good fit for her gallery or for one of the other three locations she curates for. Right now, she chooses art for the Perk Downtown, Bar K and Sacred Grounds Coffee.
If there's a challenge in her field, it's making sure there's enough space to support all of the artists in town.
"There's so much talent and creativity in this town," she says. "I think it's missed so often — people think they have to go to Denver and Santa Fe, and I just don't believe that... the support and camaraderie that the creatives in this community have is absolutely amazing."