Courtney Scanlan, 23, is taking the Paoli art scene into the world of social media one gallery at a time.
Courtney is currently running the social media marketing campaigns for both Zazen Gallery and Cluck the Chicken Store in Paoli, WI. She’s also working with the Paoli merchant’s association in helping draw a younger crowd to the town, which has long been known as an artist community.
Zazen Gallery is owned by Richard Judd, a renown furniture designer whose work includes seats and tables made of beautifully bent wood. Cluck the Chicken Store is not only a chicken supply store, but also an art gallery.
Courtney’s professional career started much like many of her generation. She graduated college from Truman State University in Missouri with an English degree and didn’t have a job or much money. So she moved back to her hometown of Monticello and started hitting the streets trying to garner some experience. She sent emails to every art gallery in Paoli.
“I loved working at my school art gallery. That enlightening process and watching people be inspired was amazing,” Courtney said. “I told Richard I would work for free, but he decided to hire me.”
Courtney realized during an internship that a lot of artists and creative people are struggling to keep up with marketing themselves, and many of them are not taking advantage of various social media such as Facebook, Instagram and e-newsletter campaigns. She hopes to user her experience and continue in artists management.
“I’m really interested in taking the load off these people so they can focus on their craft,” Courtney said. “They don’t teach in art school how to get your work in a gallery. It takes a lot of stamina, and there are so many factors involved.”
Zazen Gallery has been open for 15 years, and Richard Judd has been making furniture for 30. His pieces are so beautiful one would hate to actually use them as furniture. The gallery also features a variety of artwork, including other woodwork and furniture, paintings, glasswork, pottery and more. Judd has his woodworking studio behind the gallery.
I have three chickens of my own, so Cluck the Chicken Store is an amazing gem for supplies, information and best of all, a place where you can “talk chicken” without people thinking you are ridiculous. While the store doesn’t actually sell chickens or eggs, when I visited, the store had three “tween” chicks inside and a few adult hens outside just for fun.
Susan Troller, owner of Cluck, was inspired to start the store in 2012 while doing book readings from “CLUCK, From Jungle Fowl to City Chicks,” a book of stories and essays Sue wrote with the artist Sue Medaris.
The store sells everything from beautiful and quirky chicken-related art and jewelry to chicken supplies such as food and pre-built coops.
“I have always loved the decorative arts,” Susan said. “And I thought, maybe you can have an art gallery and a feed store at the same time.”
Cluck carries the work of many local artists in the form of painting, pottery, jewelry and more. Most of the art is chicken or farm centric. Together with Zazen Gallery, they are hosting a double artist reception Oct. 25, which features the work of local painters Cynthia Quinn and Jan Norsetter. “They both have such beautiful work, and they’re both really well respected with a lot of fans,” Susan said.
The theme is Whole Fresh Local Farmscapes & Landscapes. Cynithia’s work will be at Cluck and Jan’s at Zazen. Together the businesses are trying to make art more accessible and less intimidating for people.
“It’s just this wonderful camaraderie between businesses,” Susan said about Zazen. “There’s a lot of shared sentiment and encouragement between us. I’ve always admired Richard’s work. He’s such a good furniture maker, designer and such a nice guy. We’re good neighbors.”
Susan saw how effective Courtney was for Zazen Gallery, so she also hired her to help with social media marketing for Cluck.
“The traditional marketing comes easily to me.” Susan said. “But with social media, you have to have a really strong message. You have to know how to use it effectively, and it has to be beautiful.”