Monday, March 19, 2012

The Art Gallery at Betten Imports

The Betten Imports Gallery has been an integral part of our dealership for several years. We strive to showcase and support local artists while providing a cultural experience for our customers. The Art Gallery would not have been possible without the dedication of Chuck Piccard, a Volvo Sales Consultant who has been with Betten Imports for more than 29 years. Here is the story behind the gallery in his own words:

The Gallery at Betten Imports has been entertaining clients and employees since shortly after we first came to our new facility.

Mr. Betten commented to me that the walls in the back of the Mercedes Showroom need something to liven them up. I suggested we should invest in artwork. He wasn't excited about spending huge dollars on original pieces, but thought that I might be on to something. It became my job to figure out how to achieve this goal without breaking the bank. A few days and a brainstorm later VIOLA! The Gallery at Betten Imports was born.

The first two artists were people that I knew from my personal life.

They just happened to be artists of some consequence. I really had no idea how I would follow up with other artists. No problem! They started hunting me down. Service customers had artist friends. Coworkers knew somebody who knew somebody. Within a couple of months, we were booked for the next year.

It has been my policy to use West Michigan artists. We do offer their work for sale, but do not charge them a commission. After all we are in the Car Business and not really the Art Business. This is more of a public service than anything else. Our reward is that we have continually evolving artwork for our and our client's enjoyment.

With each new artist, we have an Open House, serving coffee, cookies and whatnot. This gives the artist a chance for a head start on possible sales as friends and potential customers gather and are prompted by the excitement of the event. Who knows, maybe one day one of them might buy a car. (Actually a number of the artists have.)

It has been a lot of fun for me over the years. I sincerely hope it has been for our employees, customers and area art patrons as well. - Chuck Piccard

For more details, visit

If you're an artist in the Greater Grand Rapids area who is interested in having a show at our gallery, please give Chuck a call - (616) 475-9589.

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