The Great Western Tiers from Rosevale, Tasmania.

What are the responsibilities of art galleries?

One of my friends is having an exhibition later in the year. The gallery where he will be showing his work asked him to curate the exhibition and were going to charge him 33 1/3% commission. Can you believe that!!

Galleries must ‘earn’ their commission. They have a duty to promote the artist before and after the exhibition.

A couple of years ago a gallery was interested in my work. They wanted 50% commission, and I declined the offer. I did my sums and realised that if for example, I wanted $1,000 for one of my drawings (retail), the gallery would pocket $500 and I would receive $350, allowing for framing and art materials. This is not fair!!

A ‘good’ gallery should:

Have a broad, active buyers’ list.

Promote each artist on their website.

Provide professional invitations and catalogues, newspaper, magazine and radio advertising.

Provide a catered, official opening.

’Encourage’ each artist by retaining some of their work for interested clients.

All this isn’t free of charge and artists are expected to pay a fee, but this should be realistic and not just a ‘money grab’.

Tomorrow: What are an artist’s responsibilities?


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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