Ben Ham is a craftsman whose craftsmanship goes far beyond his excellence in landscape photography. When we spoke with him yesterday he was working with lumber for the finishing touches on his newly opened gallery in Charleston, S.C.
We mentioned Ben Ham’s new gallery in a previous Where They Are Now post here at the LexJet blog. What we found when we caught up with him was a growing and dynamic business taking a big step with the new gallery space in Charleston.
Since that update, the Ben Ham Images gallery in Charleston is officially open. It’s a gallery built from scratch with Ham’s personal touch on everything inside the historic building on King Street, which is the epicenter of downtown Charleston.
For instance, due to the historic nature of the building, Ham wasn’t allowed to drill into the brick to hang his large framed prints. Ham’s solution was to build panels that float off the brick wall. supported on two mahogany columns that run to the ceiling.
“I don’t want you to feel like you’re at a gallery where they buzz you in and you don’t belong unless you have deep pockets. I’m trying to be very careful so that it’s upscale while being accessible and inviting,” says Ham.
While Ham plans to have a grand opening of the gallery early next year, he’s offered some limited “sneak peek” preview events where some who attended asked about renting the space for charity events.
“I’m excited that people are seeing the space as a venue for charity events, but instead of renting out the space we’ll partner with them,” says Ham. “I’ve done a lot of work with charities over the years, and that’s been very good because you get great people in there and you get to give back. I’ve found that it’s best to work on something together that’s for everybody in the community.”
And, when Ham puts on event he spares no expense to ensure a memorable experience for all who attend. His theory is that how you put on event is a direct reflection on how much you value your work.
“We never pour cheap wine or use plastic cups, and we have it catered. You shouldn’t create a special event around art and try to do it on the cheap; you’re saying something about the work. I think the work is special, so I’m going to provide a special experience for coming out,” says Ham. “You should go all out, but artists are sometimes resistant to that. I’m an artist, but I’m also a businessman. It’s important to treat yourself that way, and that’s how you stay in business.”