You'd have to be nuts to open a commercial art gallery in Canberra in this day and age.
Which is a shame, because the capital could do with a few more, according to Susie and Martin Beaver, the owners of one of Australia's longest-running private galleries.
Beaver Galleries is also the largest in Canberra, and one of only a small handful left in a city whose arts scene is, ironically, flourishing.
But while being a prominent player in a small town has its advantages, art and the people who love it should never be considered finite, say the Beavers.
"Galleries often in the past squabbled over who gets the biggest slice of the pie… but the whole job is to make the pie bigger, so more people can get involved," Mr Beaver told Fairfax Media last month.
In the 41 years since Beaver first opened, at least 10 privately run art galleries have come and gone in Canberra, and the exhibiting market is now dominated by government-subsidised or artist-run spaces.
And while these spaces have an important purpose in the arts ecosystem, they don't necessarily serve to further an artist's career in the same way as a traditional private gallery.
"It's more than just bang the pictures on the wall and try to flog them," Mr Beaver said.
"It's taking [artists] to art fairs, pushing them to institutional collections - there's a whole lot of things that go into representing artists because you're trying to move their career."
And this, they say, is a round-the-clock job, one that doesn't depend on government funding or successful grant applications, but rather personal investment and private passion.
Beaver Galleries, established in 1975 by Ron and Betty Beaver, began life, as did many Canberra galleries, in the back of a suburban house in the inner south, moving to custom-built premises in Deakin 10 years later.
When the Beavers decided to retire, son Martin and his wife Susie bought the business, and have run it from the same Deakin building since 1992.
These days, they have about 50 artists on their books and stage about 20 shows a year, by painters, printmakers, sculptors, glass artists and ceramic artists.
And in a changing art market, they find themselves constantly explaining what they do and why.
Like Mr Beaver's parents before them, the pair run the business full-time together, employ two staff, do not draw salaries for themselves and invest large amounts of money into the business – with state-of-the-art lighting, for example – to keep it running.
Meanwhile, the building's annual rates have more than doubled in the past four years, to around $50,000, and the art market, particularly in Canberra, is notoriously fickle.
"People don't understand the difference between that kind of subsidised model and a private business," Mr Beaver said.
"We support the artists far more, in a way, than the government does, because we do it 365 days a year, and we're in the business of trying to promote them and sell their work."
The internet has also changed the way they operate, and has made the relationship of trust between artist and gallery even more important.
But Mrs Beaver said a love of art and those who produce it was enough to keep them going.
"We simply love what we do, believe in our artists, are always striving to find new and different ways to promote and sell our artists' work and couldn't think of a better place to work and live," she said.
Beaver Galleries is showing its annual Small Works exhibition until December 24.