Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spaces: Exploration of Art Venues, Notes 4: Galleries/Secondary Markets

On Saturday, March 9, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition offered the Artist Survival Kit workshop, "Spaces: An Exploration of Art Venues." During this workshop, five speakers shared their experiences with different art venue types including retail, restaurants, commercial galleries, non-profit venues, and auctions/secondary markets. In this series of blog posts, we share notes from each speaker thanks to ASK Committee Co-chair Sarah Atlee.
Painting by David Crismon
David Crismon: Galleries and secondary markets

After your work leaves the studio...

Price your work to cover your production costs. If you're unsure about how to price your work, a gallery can offer guidance there. [Holly Wilson mentioned that it is very important to have your work priced the same at every venue, so as not to undercut anyone.]

50% commission is typical for commercial galleries. Keep in mind all that the gallery does to earn that portion: overheads, promotion, hanging and lighting, shipping, and more.

A gallery might be more interested in selling your work than in its content.

David recommends asking friends for gallery recommendations.

Auction houses mostly sell work by artists who are deceased, though occasionally work by living artists is sold at auction. An auction house will typically take a flat percentage from a sale below a certain dollar value, after which their commission will increase incrementally. Auction houses may inflate prices, in part because they invest a lot of money into potential sales by producing expensive catalogues and other advertising.

For living artists, auction prices will affect that artist's retail prices.

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