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Invited to join a gallery ..... so...

Rick Otto

New member
So here's the deal...

$50 one time membership fee
$30/month with a 12 month commitment
Commissions paid to the gallery are 25% for Art Council members (another $35) 45% for non Art Council members

Requirement to serve on the standing "Hanging and Food" committees at least 2x year.

This gets you a 2 month showing every year.. you have a room where you can display a lot of photos with prices..

So, I'm into just the fees for about $445/year... to break even, I'd have to sell about $575 for those 2 months..

Think I'll pass.... Anyone know if other galleries have such requirements?
 

Joe Hardesty

New member
I have only had may work in two galleries. I paid nothing except the cost of having the prints made. But this sounds like a co-op gallery.
 
Where are you from?
Maybe some members in your area, can make other suggestions.
This sounds quite expensive to me, depends also of the "celebrity" of the gallery. Apart of you, who's displayed here as well - if you want to broaden your audience I mean.
 

Ken Tanaka

pro member
Rick,
This does sound a bit like a co-op type of gallery. They were not uncommon in the more bohemian arts areas of NY during 1950's and early 1960's until real estate prices made them all but impossible.

In the traditional sense gallery representation means more than being able to hang your stuff on someone's store walls. Gallery owners become agents and business partners on your behalf. In their own financial self-interest they try to ensure that your work gets seen not just when it's on their walls (which may be rare, particualry if you're a no-name) but also for a myriad of other opportunities such as shows and lending placements. If your work merits attention some will even publish special catalogs or write pieces for art periodicals.

But your scant description suggests that this is not an opportunity for representation beyond hangin' your stuff on someone's walls...for a fee. Before walking away from the proposition you should ask yourself if such a collective experience might be useful and instructive for a year or so. The vast majority of the big art world's activities represent little more than entropy, as this might be. But who else participates? How is the traffic at the gallery? Where is it? How are events promoted? Are the other participants genuinely committed artists or just weekend hacks? What do other gallerists in your area think of this operation?

If you're an art world outsider and/or a hobbyist with zero representation or experience it might be a good way to get a taste of how the bigger art world operates. I could think of a hell of a lot worse ways to spend $450.
 

Alain Briot

pro member
As far as paid gallery exhibition goes, this is not a bad price, especially if that's for 2 years. Some galleries charge much more than that. Besides gaining exposure, who knows, you might even sell something, although I would count sales as tertiary benefit in this type of venture, not as primary benefit. The primary benefit is what you will learn. The secondary benefit is exposure you might gain, and the tertiary benefit is you might make sales. Notice my use of 'will' and 'might'. You will learn something for sure. But you might make contact and sales.

Or you could buy $450 worth of gear and take more photos.

What are your goals?
 

Rick Otto

New member
As far as paid gallery exhibition goes, this is not a bad price, especially if that's for 2 years. Some galleries charge much more than that. Besides gaining exposure, who knows, you might even sell something, although I would count sales as tertiary benefit in this type of venture, not as primary benefit. The primary benefit is what you will learn. The secondary benefit is exposure you might gain, and the tertiary benefit is you might make sales. Notice my use of 'will' and 'might'. You will learn something for sure. But you might make contact and sales.

Or you could buy $450 worth of gear and take more photos.

What are your goals?
What are my goals ?? - Guess I never really took the time to answer that.. Right now, all I really want to do is get my photographs out for as many people as possible to see them. Sales would be nice, and I HAVE sold several pictures in the past, but - not my primary goal at this time... "I" don't think I'm that good yet, but if others do, then I certaily wouldn't pass it up...

I'm in a small town of about 42K .. appears to be the only gallery in our area that offers an opportunity for 'untested' artists to display their work..

I think I've reconsidered.... After all, where else can you 'rent' public space at an art gallery for under $10/day ?? I'll have my pictures on display for 2 months, and I can help the rest of the artists the rest of the year.... Perhaps, someone will remember my name if they're looking for a photograph, and want to support local artists...

Appreciate the input !!!

r
 

Alain Briot

pro member
Rick,

Let us know how it goes. I think you're looking at it the right way. That being said, I recommend taking some time to define your goals precisely. Someone asked me recently what was my 'big break.' My 'big break' was when I defined my goals, made a plan to get me there and put this plan to work.
 
And I'd have a talk to some of the other artists, particularly those who do work in your genre, and ask if they have sold things.

Send Press releases to your local newspapers and electronic media when your months are coming up

If you don't have one, start a blog - and if you do add stuff about the gallery regularly and make a big front page link if you can - and let people know when your work is being exhibited

Think about what you are doing - photos on a theme - eg 'a day in the life' can be really good sellers, and montage type ones - eg triptyches, can be too.

You have to think outside the box to sell.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Rick,

Feel free to link to the gallery if there's a URL address. Make your own blog and maximize your exposure. This of course means your selections need to be your very best.

Good luck. If you want to try out your gallery here, use "Riskit!"

Asher
 
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