Gallery rapresentation cost?!?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by photo8x10, May 11, 2009.

  1. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    :confused:
    I would like to ask you an advice, if you can help me.
    Some month ago I sent some prints in a contest in New York, I didn't
    win, but some week after I received by this gallery an e-mail where
    they were interested in review my portfolio, so I say Yes. Last Monday
    I received another e-mail, where they are interested to give me a
    representation, because my work is good,my first reaction was
    euphoric, because my work is been appreciate, so after I aske my-self,
    how it should cost a representation.
    I printed the rules, they offer me Advert, 10 feet wall for my prints,
    a collective exhbition in their gallery,a 1/4 page on an Art Magazine,
    and they manage to sell my prints, I thought "wow, it's good think,
    but the cost?" the cost I think is quite high, $ 2900 for a year of
    representation,so now I don't know what to do.
    I don't know the world of gallery yet, so what do you think? I saw on
    internet other galleries and the cost is always high. First all I
    thought could be an opportunity, my work shows to a large audience, on
    the other hand I'm a bit "afraid" of it

    I hope you could help me to make a decision about it,
    thanks for every yours reply...

    Stefano
     
  2. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    Don't walk... RUN. Anyone that has the desire to represent you will NOT charge you. They will present a contract to begin negotations.
     
  3. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I guess you need to contact someone who has a deal like this. Can they give you examples of people who are selling well and have made a profit above the $2900? Maybe you could then email/ring them and discuss. If they cannot show you cases of 'success' then ask them why they expect you to do it!?!?!? It may work very well, but I would be careful that you are not being asked to enter into a glorified advertising deal which does not translate into actual sales (not exactly rare). Of course they are interested as they get $2900 whether you sell lots of images or none. There is no risk for them, only profit when you sign up. There are some sharks out there, so quiz them on their successes.

    This reminds me of wedding fairs where you pay about this amount for a booth for two weeks and sell your services. If you get twenty bookings you make a great profit. Sounds like commercial advertising to me, but it wont be hard to find out.

    Normally galleries do not deal with people like this, not real galleries anyway. Sounds like a company selling advertising space is catering to artists, in which case they are not a real gallery with a real established client base. Theres lots of unsolicited crap that will come your way just by having a website... claiming to be galleries, all sorts. Just be very careful.
     
  4. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This sounds like one of those "rent the wall" type galleries. And because YOU are paying to have your work shown there, they don't have the credibility among collectors as a gallery that truly represents artists. It may seem like you have "arrived" in an NYC gallery, but when you are dealing with one of these galleries you really have not.

    Proper gallery representation should not involve upfront fees. They will take a percentage of your sales, usually 50%, but that happens when they've sold your work, and not before. I would run in the other direction!!
     
  5. jbridges

    jbridges Subscriber

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    This sounds like Agora Gallery. Same thing happened to me, and I am still a little miffed about being "phished". I thought I was in the serious juried exhibition domain, so I don't enter that one anymore.
     
  6. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    Hi SuzenneR, you get the target....
    This is a NYC gallery, also to me it's more rent a Wall, but I don't know the gallery world,and everythings for me could be true.
    I think I have another gallery interested on my work and they don't want fees, but as you have written they get 50%.

    Thanks
    Stefano
     
  7. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    Yes it's the same gallery.

    Stefano
     
  8. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Co-op Gallery

    I suggest a more near by co-op.
    I at one time was a member of a mixed
    arts and crafts co-op gallery. We shared
    space rental costs. Some one or ones
    were on hand when open. Dan
     
  9. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    True, it's NYC, but there are scores and scores of galleries here, and rather sophisticated buyers, so just being shown in "the city" isn't going to make anything happen. Go with the one that's interested in your work, and leave Agora to the vanity artists who get "phished" (and who have $2900 bucks with which to indulge themselves...phew...that's a fistful of dollars!).
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    magazines and newspapers sometimes work the same way ...
    they will charge you to publish your work or write an article about you...
    it is an exercise in PR ...
     
  11. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    A much better suggestion, dancqu. My Wife and I are members of two of this type of gallery. No charges until you sell, and then it's 40% to the gallery. That's what pays the rent. In this way there is incentive for the gallery to sell. At 'rent-the-wall' galleries, they don't seem to care if they sell or not - just keep the walls covered!
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i just realized that we should be charging them to rent the work for their walls.
    in the commercial-world it is called a "usage fee" ...
    and if it sells off the wall, they take a commission like a traditional gallery.
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Or, as suppliers of merchandise, cash in advance or on
    approved credit. Dan
     
  14. Stay away from these kinds of galleries. They're called "vanity" galleries. Following some sort of contact with them, whether it's subscribing to e-newsletters, visiting the gallery, unsolicited correspondence, they often attempt to contact artists for submission of work. Upon "evaluation" and follow-up critique, a sales letter (of sorts) goes out informing the artist of their "exemplary talent(s)", with an offer to exhibit. This usually turns out to be a solicitation for the artist to pay heavy fees for "advertising" (in a journal that no one sees or reads), rental of wall space (in linear feet), subsidising of opening receptions, payment of announcement printing and mailing, etc. In the end, you're out of a lot of money, and end up no further in your "art" career.

    The quality of work shown in most of these kinds of galleries is second rate, at best. The gallerists don't really do much of anything to promote your work; YOU'RE the one covering the costs of showing in the space. There's RARELY any critical review (most writers stay clear of these places, anyway). Be careful when approaching them.

    A quality gallery or dealer will not take any money from you (be aware, however, it's a sweaty business, and many artists have been "taken for a ride" in the past, even by so-called reputable dealers); normally (as stated in previous posts above), you're compensated about 50% of any sales with the dealer, following approval of representation. He/she will pay for promotion, sales efforts, framing (sometimes split with the artist), etc. Some artists are even fortunate to get an income/stipend (usually against sales) on a monthly basis to cover production expenses. An organization that can help with deciphering gallery contracts and legalese is the Volunteer Lawyers of the Arts (http://www.vlany.org); they charge nothing, or sometimes a very nominal fee for their counsel.

    For quality art exhibitions in New York and beginning reference for the types of galleries offering the best quality art and representation, check out the following: http://www.artdealers.org (ADAA - Art Dealers Association of America) and http://www.aipad.com (Association of International Photography Art Dealers). The gallerists and dealers belonging to these organizations abide -- usually -- by agreed-upon business, sales, and representation guidelines, and professional industry ethics.

    Good luck.
     
  15. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    Thank you everyone for yours advice, I decided t say NO at their offer, and I'm going to accept their offer from Germany, but I'm looking at the links that you had wrote down to see for a good gallery there in USA.
    Thank so much...

    Stefano
     
  16. Stefano,

    The links I provided are just a starting point. These organizations are the "elite", and the member galleries-dealers are a good place to start looking to see who's doing what in New York and other locations around the country. New York is not the Alpha-Omega of art and exhibition. There are also numerous other venues: restaurants, independent book stores, upscale wine stores, etc. Not to sound patronizing (and I apologize if I come off that way), but begin finding valuable relationships in your own "backyard".

    I live in the metro New York City area, but one of my favorite art galleries is the Michael Werner Gallery in Koln... go figure.
     
  17. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The most elite galleries tend to have full rosters. To get into such galleries means you already have a proven sales record with your work. I agree, local galleries and venues are the best place to start when seeking representation. And with the internet, a lot can be accomplished on your own without the 50% commission.

    All that said, I have found Edward Winkleman's blog full of good information about the gallery scene, especially in New York. The link below is to a particularly useful post, but you might get a cup of coffee, and really read through his blog. It's full of good information.

    http://edwardwinkleman.blogspot.com/2009/02/advice-for-artists-seeking-gallery.html
     
  18. Nice suggestion, Suzanne.
     
  19. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    I've just put on eye on your link Suzanne, very nice....
    now it's quite late, but tomorrow I'm getting a big cup of tea better with good chocolate cookies and I'm starting to read it carefully....

    Stefano