An eventful year

by Dec 30, 2018

December 25, 2018

It’s 6:30 AM on a cold, gray Christmas morning and I find myself at work. The gallery is not open today and there is no “art emergency” calling me. But this has become my norm over the past two years. Work has become my refuge – my place to withdraw from the world.

2017 was not a stellar year in art sales but I entered 2018 with hope. However, our annual Super Bowl art sale late January was down. And it is that sale that carries the gallery through the lean months of March (spring breaks) and April (tax time) until things pick up again. And yet, things did not pick up. There is no way to catch up when month after month is down. The stress was taking hold of me mentally and physically and bad eating habits returned offering brief comfort but resulting in weight gain. Something needed to be done and I finally asked for help. It was not an easy thing to do but friends were there to help me through the difficult time. I also believe the Lord was there as well.

I reached a decision that to be able to continue with the gallery I would need to cut my overhead. My building lease was coming up for renewal and I felt that if I could find a more affordable space then I would be able to weather the storm. For three months I searched but Nashville had become the “It” city and everything seemed overly inflated. However, one Sunday morning as I rode around hoping to find a new For Lease sign displayed, I saw a friend coming out of his building and I stopped to chat. I told him what I was doing and he said that he was about to rent his building and wondered if I would like to take a look. I did and struck a deal for what will be the new location of York & Friends Fine Art.

Once a decision was made I could begin planning. My former building mate, when I owned my previous gallery, was also looking for a new location. I was able to offer him space and beginning January 8th, 2019, we will share my find as well as share the overhead. Next came a very successful moving sale which has left me with the feeling that I can breathe again – that I will be able to continue doing what I love.

In spite of the turmoil going on in my business life, I released my second book, Songs from an Imperfect Life, to another standing-room-only crowd at Parnassus Books. The overwhelming positive response to this soul-baring account of my childhood sexual abuse and adult sins reinforced my belief that I am on the right path. Of course, winning two awards for my writing effort has been the cherry on top.

I am once again entering the new year with hope. With the gallery back on track I plan to focus on getting my personal life back on track as well – physically and mentally. And while I will always be an advocate for those who have been abused, I have recently focused my writing on something lighter, more fun – a bit of escapism. I will be releasing my first novel, Nathaniel and Midnight Movers, early 2019.

Happy New Year!

J. Ronald M. York, author of Kept in the Dark, is also an accomplished musician and founder of York & Friends Fine Art Gallery.

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