In the Pricing Your Art with Confidence program, Debby Williams and I stressed several times (Debby delivered the drill down) that you should never ever undersell your galleries. Artist Cherilyn SunRidge asked for clarification. I thought I’d share my responses here.
How does an artist end a relationship with a gallery if it is not going well? How do you keep it civil and friendly while looking for another gallery in that same city?
The Art Newspaper recently reported that the gallery system is structurally weak. How are your galleries doing?
Want to make your gallery even happier that they’re doing business with you? Send them business! Here’s how.
You may think that galleries, curators, and critics have the power. And they do. They have as much power as you give them. You’re in charge of your career. It’s the first of the 6 Principles of No-Excuse Self-Promotion.
The most important lesson guest blogger Kesha Bruce learned from opening a gallery was that a gallery is not a substitute for using your contact list and taking care of your biggest supporters.
Guest blogger and gallerist Maren Bargreen says “Artists of all levels of talent and experience don’t know how to approach galleries. It’s a rampant annoyance in our industry, and one issue that is easily solved.” Advice for how artists can avoid mistakes and bruised egos.
While there is no standardized format for submitting your portfolio to galleries, you can earn points by being professional from the get-go. Fewer galleries = fewer artists in galleries. There isn’t much room for error. You must behave professionally in every way.
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From the Vault: About Galleries
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The last episode of the Art Marketing Action podcast was November 22, 2010. You can listen to or download any episode on iTunes.
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Last fall I was asked, by a national publication, to write an article about innovative marketing by art galleries in this economy. I said I couldn’t. I explained that I have yet to see galleries doing anything truly innovative, so it would be impossible for me to write such an article.
The truth is, artists are far more innovative with their marketing than galleries or museums are. Perhaps it’s because they aren’t constrained by institutional traditions. Nonetheless, galleries need to take note of what is possible. They need to watch how artists are promoting themselves.
Here are some ideas for galleries.
Make education a core mission.
Fact: Most of the US population does not have a visual education. They don’t know how to look at and appreciate art. Every museum professional knows this, which is why curators and educators create
From the moment a work of art enters a museum, it is treated as the special one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable object it is. It sits in a crate in the loading area and acclimates to its new surroundings.
Martha Marshall, Harbor Triptych. Acrylic on canvas. © The Artist
After sufficient time has passed, it is uncrated by the preparator or registrar who is wearing white gloves. A condition report is conducted–probably by the registrar. She will use the right lighting, magnification, and perhaps even ultraviolet light to ensure nothing has changed since the original condition report that accompanied the piece on its travels.
Loan and insurance forms are completed. Data is entered into the computer.
Gallery lighting is meticulous and at the appropriate foot-candle level for the medium. Labels are uniform. Floors are cleaned and artworks dusted (by someone with authority