Re: Pay to show in galleries? When to make that choice if at all....

Date: 02/06/04-12:02:36 PM Z
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I really like the sound of what you are doing.&amp;nbsp; I wish there was
something like this in Chicago.&amp;nbsp; It sounds very up front and appropriate.&amp;
nbsp; It is a good deal for both the artist and the gallery... a win win

Mark Nelson
In a message dated 2/6/04 10:00:02 AM, writes:

> Christopher,
> I thought I'd weigh in on this topic since I own a photographic gallery that
> operates by renting out wall space for group shows.  Our space started a few
> years ago as a place for myself and my two partners to show our own work.
> We found a serious lack of options for showing in my city, especially for
> new photographers that weren't established.  After a few shows and some hard
> work getting a good mailing list together, we started getting approached by
> other photographers wanting to show their work.
> Our solution was to charge for the space (in order to make our rent
> payments) and then produce the show including all promotion, invitations
> (database now contains approx. 1500 names), food &amp;amp; other opening
> reception
> costs.  We DO NOT take commission on any work sold, and view our rental fee
> as commission up front.  We also allow our photographers to promote
> themselves by displaying business cards and portfolios along with their
> display.  Any one that sees their work can contact the photographer directly
> to enquire about other images, etc., and visit their website.  I think we've
> allowed some photographers to get into the gallery scene that might not have
> otherwise had the opportunity, and then use our show as a stepping stone to
> other opportunities.
> Our openings are very well attended with about 200-250 people coming out for
> opening night.  Sales vary depending on many things, but many of our artists
> have done well and sold at least enough to cover the cost of the rental fee.
> Some photographers have sold their entire show and have participated in
> three or four shows with our gallery.  Others have been approached by stores
> wanting to carry their work and one of our photographers received a
> commission for 250 - 11x14" prints for a corporate Christmas gift for
> employees.  We've also created a catalogue of images for the design industry
> and have sold prints through that (for which we take commission).  Our next
> goal is to get a website up &amp;amp; running, but again, we'll need the rental
> fees
> to pay for that as well.  And it will be clearly indicated on our website
> that we charge for showing, I promise!
> I realize that no comparison can be made between my city and the galleries
> of New York, but I'm sure this is the only way for many galleries to start
> operating.  We provide a service, and that service costs money, we can't
> guarantee sales, but we do guarantee that many people will see your work.
> Incidentally, we don't accept anyone and everyone's work, we still have a
> jury process and there are many that are denied.  We are however,
> approachable and genuinely interested in seeing images from anyone.
> Here's my final point, would I like to get rid of this rental fee and just
> take commission?  You bet, but I'd also like to stay open.  Not just for
> myself to participate in gallery showings, but also because we are finally
> establishing a photographic presence here in Calgary.  Without the rental
> fee, we would have certainly had to close our doors by now.  It's a hard
> business operating a gallery, and I'm sure many don't stay open for more
> than a year.  We don't make a dime of profit, all proceeds go directly
> towards rent and the cost of the show.  Our prices range from $250 - $475
> per wall for a six week showing which we feel is a reasonable cost.  $2400
> sounds incredibly steep to me, and I would bet that those galleries are
> making a tidy profit on the inexperience of others.
> Claudia Lorenz
Received on Fri Feb 6 12:05:07 2004

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