Over at ArtInfo.com they have attempted to outline what it takes to start an art gallery and why you should start an art gallery.
I used to have romantic ideas of what it would be like to own an art gallery. To be surrounded with great art everyday, to work with artists I love, and to sell art to people that love art as much as me. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.
I haven’t owned an art gallery or worked at one, but I have had an exhibition at an artist run gallery. Which took all of the romanticism out of the idea.
There’s marketing, hanging, organizing the opening, smooching, and when it’s all up and running, it’s just like looking after a shop. I know an artist run gallery is a bit different to a commercial gallery, but setting up and looking after my own exhibition gave me a lot more respect for what gallery owners do. It almost justified the large percentage of the sale price they take from artists.
Anyway, in part one of “Opening your own gallery” there’s this comment..
“The best dealers are not salesmen in the classic sense of the word. Their passion and their connoisseurship and their knowledge have to combine to convince someone to acquire something that has no ostensible function in life, and that’s not always an easy thing to do. It is distinct from the normal business world because of that.”
And in part two there’s these great tips for starting a gallery (go to the ArtInfo page to see more on each tip).
- If your motivation is purely financial, forget it.
- Those without prior experience need not apply.
- You have to be passionate about it. The “merely interested’ won’t cut it.
- You have to have a precise focus.
- In New York City, you have to be equally certain of where you should set up shop.
- You need a lot of experience in business.
- Just as important, you need a lot of experience with, and knowledge of, art.
- You have to have the ability to make both artists and collectors comfortable with you.
- Then, if there is a secret ingredient, here it is: You have to have “a good eye.”
- In conclusion, you need a wide range of skills, you need to work hard, and you can’t imagine for a moment that this going to be easy.
See more on Running an art gallery here.