By Staci Wolfson
Like its quirky neighborhood in Fells Point, TAG Galleries is also unique among its peers.
Fells Point is known for its eclectic, try-anything-once attitude, making it the perfect home for TAG, a gallery that takes an inside-out approach to displaying art. While most galleries display original work, owners and brothers Ian and Cory Woods have made TAG a place to find reproductions, making art more affordable and more accessible.
“You just have a lot of innovation here [in Baltimore],” said Ian Woods. “People are really interested in trying different things and being creative and trying new business models and seeing what works. It’s almost a little incubation type of city where some companies can come in there and see what works, see what doesn’t, and there’s room for us to develop ourselves and grow.”
Growing and testing the waters in Baltimore has been an approach that has worked for TAG, which displays decidedly urban and edgy art, appealing to the young residents of Fells Point and its surrounding neighborhoods, as well as tourists visiting the waterfront.
“We have everyone who is part of the Baltimore community walking through our doors at some point in time,” said Cory Woods.
In addition to hand-selecting a distinctive mix of local, national and international artists, the brothers set their gallery apart from the rest with its products and services. To make art more affordable, TAG specializes mainly in reproductions. For prices ranging from $15 to $1,000, customers can purchase everything from stretched canvas prints to hoodies to skateboards with the images of their choice.
“Technology is really a huge part of this,” said Ian Woods. “The idea of reproducing artwork is really not some ingenious insight. However, 20 years ago, it wasn’t really possible on the scale that it is today. So when artists wanted to make reproductions and make their artwork more affordable to the public, before the newer print technologies were around, what they would have to do is go to a larger print manufacturer, a graphic manufacturer, and do massive rounds of prints, thousands of prints, which obviously has a lot of up-front costs. You’re not going to make that kind of investment except on certain pieces of art that you know you can sell at a high volume.
“What’s nice about the technology these days is it’s No. 1: affordable, and N0. 2: you can print one at a time. So what that means is we can offer a much wider range of artwork because we don’t have to invest thousands of dollars running each piece of artwork. We can literally show an infinite amount of artwork digitally and we can print one as needed. So if a customer sees something that they like digitally, we can always print it up for them at that point.”
And what that means for art lovers is a wider range of established and upcoming artists showing their works at reasonable price points.
“I think our long-term vision is really to help create a more creative community,” said Cory Woods. “And we feel that where we fit in is … exposing people to the type of art that’s being created today.”
732 South Broadway (Fells Point)
Baltimore, Md. 21231