Annals of dealing–Shelleyware

Matt Fisher Ghost Rider
Matt Fisher, Ghost Rider

Imagine my pleasure in seeing former Spector Gallery gal, Shelley Spector, in Philadelphia Magazine. There she is, the feature creature in the Good Life section, which (like most of the magazine) pitches consumer goods.

She looks great, but not at all like her bouncy, energetic herself (although there’s a more characteristic little image in the table of contents). The photo is a marketing image, by gum, Spector in a black preppy top, representing the new Spector Projects. She looks poised and posed to sell you her art products in your own livingroom–or someone else’s. It’s the Shelley-ware model of art selling.


First she had the gallery, which brought to Philadelphia a new, hipper, low-end collector. And now she wants everyone else to discover the joys of buying art.

Matt Fisher Resource Photo
Matt Fisher’s resource photo for his image, above, will be part of the slide show to explain how this artist works.

The first Spector Projects party will be Sept. 29, and it’s being held by a collector from the gallery. “It’s the one-year anniversary of the gallery’s closing party,” she said, although when she planned that first event, she didn’t make the connection.


“There are many parallel missions for this project.” All the missions come down to one theme–to make art accessible, to move Philadelphia art outside the gallery into people’s homes where it can find a new audience. Spector has hopes that Projects may even reach the West Coast–but that’s counting chickens.

The prints themselves were all created with some element of digital technology, Spector said. None of them is a straight reproduction of a handmade artwork. Artists in the first portfolio are Jim Houser, Thom Lessner, CW Wells, Matt Fisher, Rebecca Westcott, Ben Woodward, Keith Shore, Elizabeth Haidle, Randall Sellers and Zoe Strauss. The portfolios are 10 limited edition prints in a box; the prints are also available individually.

Randall Sellers Detail
Randall Sellers detail


“The printer, Silicon Gallery’s Rick De Coyte, invited me to do a project like this,” Spector said this morning on the telephone. “He offered me an opportunity and I took him up on it.” De Coyte is a partner in the venture. The long-range plan is an annual portfolio of new prints.

I asked if Philagrafika saw this as competition for their annual Philadelphia print portfolio. She said she hadn’t given that a thought–until someone else asked her recently.

Piranesi Detail
A detail of work by Piranesi, providing context for Randall Sellers’ work, part of Spector Projects slide show.

The best deals from the collection will be the first sales after a portfolio is released. “The later you get in the edition, the more valuable the prints become,” she said. As they sell, she will change the prices to reflect the popularity and the availability.

As of today, the first two parties are almost booked, Spector said. Party hosts invite their friends for half the crowd; the others at the parties will be individuals. You can call her at 215-238-0840, email at Now that’s access.

“It’s the flip side of the giant art fairs,” she said, which are inaccessible to most. But Spector wants to bring fine art not just to art mavens but to people who might never step into a gallery because it’s too scary. Hope it works!