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Author Topic: I got my first offer to show in a gallery  (Read 3893 times)
Justan
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« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2010, 11:18:24 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
To add to what Chuck just said: What George Barr did was consignment. A good gallery may take a piece -- photograph, painting, etc. -- either as an outright purchase or on consignment. An experienced gallery owner normally will buy a piece outright only if he's quite sure he can sell it within a reasonable time. But the markup on the purchase is going to be better than the commission he'd make on consignment. The legitimate way for a gallery to reduce risk is to take pieces on consignment. The artist is responsible to deliver complete, saleable pieces -- in this case prints properly signed, matted and framed. The gallery owner insures the contents of the gallery, including the consignments, pays for the advertising, pays the general overhead including wages of gallery workers, etc., and may or may not bear the price of an "opening" for a new artist. That's why, unless the consignor is a regular seller, the gallery's commission on a sale may be 50% or even more. The consignor bears the cost of producing the complete, saleable piece, and he also bears the time cost of the part of his inventory that hangs on the wall before a sale.

To me, a "gallery" owner who charges for display space and has no voice in what gets hung isn't running a gallery. He's a landlord, renting space on his walls.

On the other hand, with the economy in its present condition gallery owners are going to be very careful and very picky. It's really hard to sell photographs unless you're in New York City, San Francisco, or Santa Fe.

This is just silly.

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ognita
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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2010, 05:24:35 AM »
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Hi Justan,
In my part of the world, 30-50% is at par. But, there's no hanging fee. Cost is all yours.
In Manila, it will depend with the talk you're going to have with the gallery. They may ask you for a hanging fee and 30% cut OR no hanging fee but 50% cut. Cost is all yours for both instances.
We cannot generalize every gallery.

I currently have a gallery that covers all my cost, no hanging fee and a 40% cut if I sell. And considering I am being printed platinum/palladium - I am thankful.

Anyway, think about it. What's the main reason you want to exhibit your work? and if the answer is to share with others - then go for it. It may open doors for you.
But if your main reason is to be famous or to get money - there are other ways. Having a bit of fortune and fame is not a bad thing, but I believe none of us started with that in mind.

I'll stop before I go around in circles.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 05:28:53 AM by ognita » Logged

ckimmerle
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« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2010, 08:09:23 AM »
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Justan, despite this being your first show, you seem to pretty much know it all. Apologies for trying to help.

On a less sarcastic note, I sincerely hope it goes very well for you.

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Justan
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« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2010, 08:50:36 AM »
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Quote from: ognita
Hi Justan,
In my part of the world, 30-50% is at par. But, there's no hanging fee. Cost is all yours.
In Manila, it will depend with the talk you're going to have with the gallery. They may ask you for a hanging fee and 30% cut OR no hanging fee but 50% cut. Cost is all yours for both instances.
We cannot generalize every gallery.

I currently have a gallery that covers all my cost, no hanging fee and a 40% cut if I sell. And considering I am being printed platinum/palladium - I am thankful.

Anyway, think about it. What's the main reason you want to exhibit your work? and if the answer is to share with others - then go for it. It may open doors for you.
But if your main reason is to be famous or to get money - there are other ways. Having a bit of fortune and fame is not a bad thing, but I believe none of us started with that in mind.

I'll stop before I go around in circles.

Thanks!
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Justan
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« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2010, 08:57:01 AM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
Justan, despite this being your first show, you seem to pretty much know it all. Apologies for trying to help.

On a less sarcastic note, I sincerely hope it goes very well for you.


Know it all?

You’re the one claiming that every gallery is the same as you experienced. Take a look in the mirror, sir.
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RSL
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« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2010, 11:45:10 AM »
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Quote from: Justan
This is just silly.

Justan, It may be silly but this is the way the world works.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2010, 12:28:45 PM »
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Quote from: Justan
This is just silly.
What exactly? Russ' post contained predominantly factual statements and useful information, with only a couple of his opinions (clearly denoted as "to me..."). I may not agree with his every opinion, but I can hardly find it silly.

On a related note, while I may not always agree with Russ' (and Chuck's) opinions in this thread, I do think they are sincerely trying to help and they do offer a number of factual observations. While it is ok not to always agree with their interpretations of what those factual observations mean, I am nevertheless surprised by the antagonistic tone in your exchanges with them.
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« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2010, 02:24:43 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Justan, It may be silly but this is the way the world works.
The other notable feature of the way the world works is that some people who ask for help are offended to get help they didn't expect and don't like. They generally learn, one way or another.

Jeremy
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« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2010, 04:19:42 PM »
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Justan, I didn't take your "silly" comment as an insult. I took it as an observation about the way the world works. I spent ten years in conjunction with my wife, who was the better business person, running a gallery. Various galleries run in various ways, and ours ran our way. But we were in contact with a number of other gallery operators -- here in Colorado Springs as well as in Santa Fe and Taos -- and I can tell you that the way we ran our gallery wasn't at all unusual. I'm sure there are a few very wealthy people out there running galleries as hobbies. I think that would be fun. But most gallery owners have to make a buck or close their doors.

What I didn't go on to explain is that if we found someone who was a regular seller we were able to buy the artist's output outright on a regular basis because we knew the pieces would sell. Some regular sellers preferred to stick with consignment and in that case we were able to reduce our commission -- in some cases to as low as 25%.

In the long run my wife was able to launch a number of painters and potters who are still making a living, though not a lavish one, from their art. The gallery pretty much paid for itself but never really made money. On the other hand it was a lot of fun. Finally it got to be just too daily for both of us and we closed its doors.

I haven't given you any actual advice yet, but I'll go way back to Slobodan's first comment: "Go for it." For $150 you hardly can go wrong, and seeing your stuff on a gallery wall -- even if it's not what I'd call a real gallery -- can be fun and instructive. If you're in a tourist town or some place where a lot of people flock on the streets on weekends it's a lot of fun to hang around the gallery and watch people looking at your prints without letting them know they're yours. Just don't be insulted if someone turns up his nose at them. Some people just don't get it. You might even make some sales, and that's really exciting.
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2010, 09:45:24 PM »
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FWIW, far from being just silly.......I've been showing regularly since like 1972, maybe 70 shows between group and solo exhibits, and I found Russ' points pretty much true for the gallery market.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 09:49:38 PM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

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Justan
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« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2010, 10:24:50 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
Justan, It may be silly but this is the way the world works.


Oy what a mess. Okay, let me go through this again to clarify a bit:

A good gallery may take a piece -- photograph, painting, etc. -- either as an outright purchase or on consignment. An experienced gallery owner normally will buy a piece outright only if he's quite sure he can sell it within a reasonable time. But the markup on the purchase is going to be better than the commission he'd make on consignment.

The content above is logical.

The legitimate way for a gallery to reduce risk is to take pieces on consignment.

The statement above is nonsensical and begs to rationalize means of resale as “legitimate” and by inference, not legitimate. Any agreed method of resale that doesn’t violate law is “legitimate.” That is why the statement is silly. I think you probably meant to write “traditional” rather than “legitimate.” And I’d go along with that. But that is not what you wrote.

The artist is responsible to deliver complete, saleable pieces -- in this case prints properly signed, matted and framed. The gallery owner insures the contents of the gallery, including the consignments, pays for the advertising, pays the general overhead including wages of gallery workers, etc., and may or may not bear the price of an "opening" for a new artist. That's why, unless the consignor is a regular seller, the gallery's commission on a sale may be 50% or even more. The consignor bears the cost of producing the complete, saleable piece, and he also bears the time cost of the part of his inventory that hangs on the wall before a sale.

Above is one model of resale. I'm guessing many here don’t know it but when one goes into many, even most larger retail stores, the vendors pay the store for their shelf space. Many vendors also stock and maintain inventory of their products within the store themselves. FWIW I see no functional difference between a 50% commission and a 30% commission + a wall fee. The latter is in fact a better value for the seller, unless, of course their product sells for less than the hanging fee.

To me, a "gallery" owner who charges for display space and has no voice in what gets hung isn't running a gallery. He's a landlord, renting space on his walls.

First, I know of no comment within this thread that suggested that a gallery owner has no voice in what gets hung on his or her shop. So yours is a traditional straw-man argument. Second, the vast majority of gallery owners are essentially landlords, who rent space on their walls. The form of payment may vary from straight commission to consignment to any combination of commission consignment and a fee for wall space, but it still amounts to space rental. That is why the comment is silly.

On the other hand, with the economy in its present condition gallery owners are going to be very careful and very picky.

This comment is logical and not owing to the economy. If you have a vested interest you logically would act with prudence. Not that all do at all times, of course.

It's really hard to sell photographs unless you're in New York City, San Francisco, or Santa Fe.

This is again a nonsensical statement and is what I was commenting on primarily as silly in my previous statement. It presumes that few photographs are sold outside of these 3 cities. There are probably 30 or more shops within 10 miles of where I write this who sell photos primarily. Every larger city in the country and at least the western world is about the same. While I didn’t make a formal study, common logic suggests they would agree with me that your comment is silly. Otherwise they wouldn’t have shops, now would they?

I have no expectation or pretensions of how galleries may or "ought to" make a living. That gives me a different view from some views as expressed in this thread. If I'm out of line then I sincerely apologize.
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Justan
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« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2010, 10:30:45 AM »
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Quote from: Slobodan Blagojevic
On a related note, while I may not always agree with Russ' (and Chuck's) opinions in this thread, I do think they are sincerely trying to help and they do offer a number of factual observations. While it is ok not to always agree with their interpretations of what those factual observations mean, I am nevertheless surprised by the antagonistic tone in your exchanges with them.

Clearly I have done a bad job of communicating. Regarding Chuck’s comments, I didn’t disagree with him, but only pointed out that he had no knowledge of the particular gallery. If you read closely you’ll see that I did in fact thank him for his useful suggestions, of which he made several. He was not content with that and sought to portray his opinion as something more than an opinion. His last comment was openly flippant. I have no reason to endure flippant comments. That is what I dismissed.

I sincerely appreciate and accept the views about how galleries work in general – that also means in the abstract for those paying close attention. That is why I started this thread. Many here have traveled far down paths I'm just looking into and I would be a fool to not listen to the experiences generously offered. All the same, unless they have first hand experience with a particular gallery owner, then their comments are only useful in the abstract and most definitely not as applied to a gallery of which they have no knowledge.

For those who believe a hanging fee as unacceptable, which is really the core point of debate, well, gosh, thanks for your opinion.
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RSL
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« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2010, 11:35:40 AM »
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Quote from: Justan
The statement above is nonsensical and begs to rationalize means of resale as “legitimate” and by inference, not legitimate. Any agreed method of resale that doesn’t violate law is “legitimate.” That is why the statement is silly. I think you probably meant to write “traditional” rather than “legitimate.” And I’d go along with that. But that is not what you wrote.

Okay. If "traditional" floats your boat, go with it. I'll stick with "legitimate" with regard to a respectable gallery. More on that later.

Quote
I'm guessing many here don’t know it but when one goes into many, even most larger retail stores, the vendors pay the store for their shelf space. Many vendors also stock and maintain inventory of their products within the store themselves.

Well, yes. That's the way a lot of grocery stores operate.

Quote
First, I know of no comment within this thread that suggested that a gallery owner has no voice in what gets hung on his or her shop. So yours is a traditional straw-man argument. Second, the vast majority of gallery owners are essentially landlords, who rent space on their walls. The form of payment may vary from straight commission to consignment to any combination of commission consignment and a fee for wall space, but it still amounts to space rental. That is why the comment is silly.

And that response really is silly. A good gallery will attempt to establish a brand that points it toward a particular clientele. That entails making all the decisions about what gets hung and what doesn't. It also dictates the kind of advertising the gallery owner will countenance. An experienced gallery owner may even turn away someone who has a good sale history if his work doesn't fit the brand he's trying to establish. If a "gallery" charges you for wall space it hardly can control what you hang unless what you try to hang is obscene or otherwise illegal. Establishing a brand, advertising, training gallery employees, conducting openings, etc., etc. hardly amount to "wall space rental."

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If I'm out of line then I sincerely apologize.

Okay. Apology accepted.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2010, 12:04:23 PM »
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Quote from: Justan
Oy what a mess. Okay, let me go through this again to clarify a bit:
...
Justan,

When in a hole... stop digging.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 01:54:04 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2010, 12:45:55 PM »
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> Okay. If "traditional" floats your boat, go with it.

Ok

> Well, yes. That's the way a lot of grocery stores operate.

Most retail stores.

> And that response really is silly. A good gallery will attempt to establish a brand that points it toward a particular clientele. That entails making all the decisions about what gets hung and what doesn't. It also dictates the kind of advertising the gallery owner will countenance. An experienced gallery owner may even turn away someone who has a good sale history if his work doesn't fit the brand he's trying to establish. If a "gallery" charges you for wall space it hardly can control what you hang unless what you try to hang is obscene or otherwise illegal. Establishing a brand, advertising, training gallery employees, conducting openings, etc., etc. hardly amount to "wall space rental."

In my case the gallery owner wants to review work before agreeing to show it. They can and do control what appears on their premises. But don’t let that little detail trouble your theory…
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« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2010, 02:29:49 PM »
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Justan, Slobodan gave you some really good advice above. I'm out of this rant now. As he said and I echoed, have at it. For $150 you hardly can go wrong, and the experience may even be illuminating.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2010, 07:09:55 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Justan, Slobodan gave you some really good advice above. I'm out of this rant now. As he said and I echoed, have at it. For $150 you hardly can go wrong, and the experience may even be illuminating.

I'll echo that suggestion, too.


And if you do "have at it," I hope you'll report back here on how it went.

Eric

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Chris_T
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« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2010, 07:59:58 AM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
A gallery exhibit is a partnership between an artist and a gallery.

The names have changed, but it works just like in the oldest profession. There can be good relationships that benefit both sides, and there can be bad. I'm not being critical about either the professions or the partners. Just noting the similarity.
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