Owner and Founder of Studio Associate
Jen Hitchings runs Studio Associate, a new online gallery model. Hitchings operates her business out of the studio where she makes her own work, thereby keeping costs low. The monetary splits of her enterprise resemble that of a consultant more than they do a gallery; Hitchings takes 20 percent of the sale, the artist takes 60 percent, and the remaining 20 percent leaves room for discounts and other business costs. Although Hitchings lists several artists she works with on her website, she doesn’t formally represent them. “I felt like there was a loose movement away from the brick and mortar,” she told Observer. “These artists can show wherever they work. They can sell their work. I act as the dealer when it’s helpful for them and me.”
COVID-19 kicked the business into high-gear; before the pandemic, Hitchings worked for a gallery four days a week and one to two days a week for an archivist. Once furloughed, she had a lot more time to focus on Studio Associate. Now, Hitchings spends her days promoting the work of her artists. In addition to her daily administrative work, Studio Associate promotes its artists’ news through artist interviews distributed via their new newsletter, Switchboard. “At some point, I will have an exhibition that will take place IRL,” she says, looking into the future. For now, though, the business does just fine virtually.