Art galleries who is their customer really? It
Artists seek exposure.
They want sales. They want notoriety.
do, anyway. There are a multitude of ways to go about
gaining exposure and buying customers, but, today, Ill talk
Legitimate Galleries make their money
by commissions on sales, not by
charging the artist money to show their work. Repeat:
Legitimate galleries dont charge the artist money for
Vanity Galleries: If they charge the artist
money, they arent a legitimate gallery.
They are brokering space for you to build your vanity
gallery. Nothing wrong with that, but dont get
suckered into some deal with your eyes closed just because it
flatters you to have been asked to rent space from
them. You, not the art buyer, are their
customer. Therefore, it pays them to flatter you.
But, you say.
Okay. Lets look at real world
galleries a bit more closely.
Galleries, a Test: Heres the basic
measuring stick: Who are the gallerys customer? The
art buyer or the artist? Both?
If the gallery makes the majority of their money on
commissions on sales of artists works, then their primary
customer is the art buyer, not the artist. However, if the
gallery doesnt have a good track record, or, if new, doesnt
have a good location, dont bother. Your art will gather
dust, not buyers.
If artists paying for display space are the
gallerys primary source of income, you the
artist are their customer. If they have good location (a
must have, always, unless they are a really, really big name
gallery) and a very good
track record where the artists showing in their shop always (or
almost always, anyway) make money and gain reputation
points, then okay. It works for everyone
involved. But this is not the norm.
Do your research. Thoroughly. And remember that
good vanity galleries will only ask you if they think your work
will sell and help build their reputation with other artists
means they can raise your rent. (That IS what
you are doing, after all renting or leasing space.)
What about the galleries who charge the artist money to show,
but also take a commission on sales? Then bully for them,
not you. Theyve got it coming and going, now,
dont they? You pay their rent, overhead and
utilities, plus advertising; your work sells, and they get a
commission as cream. You meanwhile get what? Do the
- If the math shows you lose, dont do it.
- If the math shows you break even, and dont gain
reputation points, dont do it.
- If the math shows you make money, but lose reputation
points, I say dont do it, but that choice is up to
you, of course.
- And, finally, if the math shows that you can win (make
money), and you make reputation points, go ahead and
do it. Just make sure you
Now, that said, Im putting in a caveat the art
coop, owned, run, managed by the artists who show in the
venue. This is different. However, it can be
extremely taxing because of:
- the politics,
- the work involved,
- the politics,
- the tempers and emotion,
- the politics,
- and the whims of customer Joe Shopper and
like any business.
Originally posted by DLKeur on her art blog on June 27, 2007.
Copyright 2007 D.L.Keur &/or F.W.Lineberry, http://www.zentao.com . All rights reserved. Reprint rights granted ONLY if linked and credited.