Be careful Nicole and all others who are thinking into making an exhibition space.
If you haven't checked the post I made on that thread about photographic movies,
there was this soft porno I caught once on TV in which a gallery was turned into
an orgy just because it featured midly erotic BW photography...
Come to think of it...sexy salespersons, stimulating music and aphrodisiacs on the fruit punch on the buffet could endanger even a flower or landscape show!
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
no digital additives and shit
I recently went into a frame shop and the girl "working" there proceeded to read her book and offered no help until I asked. After that she neglected to follow up my enquiry and lost my business. I recently went into a electrical appliances shop wanting to buy mini-DVDs for a DVD videocam and not one of the five people "working" there helped me so I walked out. There is a fine line between helping and being unhelpful, and Graeme, I'm sure you have the balance right.
The idea somebody mentioned of seats would probably work well in your gallery - just a simple bench seat across the middle. And from what I recall, you had nice music from the radio, which I agree helps avoid that annoying silence Nicole mentioned.
When the price per print is in the thousands I'm only telling the truth when I say, "I'm just looking."
Originally Posted by Graeme Hird
Most substantial galleries know who their big buyers are and don't mind the browsers. I try not to be a pest and ask peevish questions that waste their time.
Over the years I've gotten to know some of the gallery personel and owners and they realize I'm there to visually sample. In fact most of the time I think vistors are encouraged to enjoy the hangings whether they are potential buyers or not. Exposing the public to their artist's work is simply advertising.
My 2 cents,
Most professional place I've been in, the owner was a stylish but seriously dressed woman who walked all the way to the front of the gallery when I came in, said, "hello, please let me know if you have any questions," and then went back to her desk to file correspondence. I hate to see a gallery owner or an intern dressed like a slob, eating or on the phone, not getting up from their desk. In my mind, that's not caring about discourse with the public, which is what a gallery owner is supposed to do. I really don't like the use of interns because they seem to always be reading or making personal calls.
I probably differ from others in this, but I like the owner to engage me and tell me things about the work. I don't like to be asked questions, but a nice back-and-forth about technique or content is pleasant for me. But I can see how people who aren't necessarily art majors don't want to risk embarassing themselves by seeming uneducated. People are insecure about that, so sometimes they say things like, "nice use of linear perspective" (actual quote from a real person) and then they may feel dumb.
Also if there's a catalog or any printed matter I want to be offered it without having to ask for it like it's a favor. I went to see an exhibit of new work by Odd Nerdrum a few months back, and some bimbo had her feet up talking loudly on the phone. When I asked her for a catalog, she heaved a sigh, looked around for it, and then thrust it in my face without saying a word.
My opinion is that art is about communication, completely aside from selling work, somebody there should be trying to engage you anyway. If you're not there to do that, then why are you working at a gallery? Because if you only want to "help" people buy something, then why don't you just work at the Circuit City or something?
Sorry if I offend anyone, but I feel very strongly about the social role of art galleries.
Part of the problem here is what you may like, may not sell any pictures. If you are just allowed to browse like a museum chances are you will not buy any art.
I agree that sales people following you around is annoying, but the good ones will tell you about the various artists and their work without seeming like they are pressuring you.
I also agree that sometimes you wish to be alone, and just snoop but I would bet that from experience that the owners know that leaving you alone does not sell art.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
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It would go like this-
"Hi-let me know if you have any questions, I'll be over here"
Pretty much what everyone here has said.
As a viewer/buyer I agree greatly with Nicole's posts. I'm a very private person and hate the pushy approach of some. The salesperson should be kind of "in the shadows" but able to sense if I linger over a certain piece of work and then perhaps approach me. I know that it is an individual thing and difficult to have that skill in sales but I guess I am thinking of the perfect situation.