Ten Women Gallery is an artists co-op, gallery and gift shop located in the heart of Santa Monica. What began as a group of 10 women has grown to 27 local artists.
Two art teachers and several artistic parents and friends of Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH) started Ten Women in 1994. The husband of one of the art teachers and one of the parents had just had a gallery showing in a small space at 2651 Main Street, available at a reasonable rent. We cleaned, painted, built shelves, and moved in
After we were all set up, we calculated how much we had spent to open: business license, paint, cash register; supplies, etc., and divided that amount by the number of members. We decided that that amount would be what we would charge new members coming in (New Member Fee). When a new member joins, we use the new member fee for advertising, improvements, or to reduce the amount of rent for everyone.
We ended up with ten members (that’s all our little space could hold) at the original store and we still didn't have a name! When a customer would come in we would explain that we were a group of 10 women artists. One of the members came up with the logo and Ten Women was born!
Each artist has their own space roughly equal to everyone else's. When a piece of art sells, all of that money goes to the artist, the gallery does not take any percentage or fee. All expenses rent, telephone, utilities, bags, wrapping, etc., are divided equally among the members.
When we outgrew that gallery, we stayed at Main St. but expanded to a second gallery to Abbot Kinney Blvd., and renamed the gallery Ten Women Venice. We were at that location for eleven years before moving the second location 1128 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. We renamed that gallery Ten Women on Montana Ave. There are 21-26 members. We remain there to this day.
The original gallery has been operating on Main Street in Santa Monica since 1994. Come in today to check our recently expanded location and shop our selection of local, handmade, artisan goods.