Monday, August 6, 2012
Gallery Panel Discussion
Finally got my notes organized, sorry about the poor quality of the panel photo. At the last meeting of our pottery guild, Potters' Guild of Florida, we had a panel presentation and discussion with four gallery owners/managers from the St. Petersburg area. From left to right are Nancy Markoe, Mindy Solomon, Jeff Schorr of Craftsman House Gallery, and Maggie Duffy, manager of Florida Craftsmen Gallery. The goal of the discussion was to help our group better understand what galleries look for when they are selecting work and what is the best way to approach them for representation.
Gallery owners are looking for artist's who have a line or body of work. A line or body of work can be a set for functional or one to five pieces for sculptural work. The work should show beauty, design, function, quality, and price. The artist must decide on their wholesale price for the work which should include their profit. Functional work should include a set which buyers can purchase repeats of. Gallery owners agreed artists should not over price work since price can always go up, but it's hard to go down in price.
Before approaching any gallery for representation research should be done by the artist to see if their work is a fit for the gallery. Research can be in person, via internet, or via magazines such as Niche or Craft magazines and check the ads in the magazines. Then find out if, how, and when a gallery is accepting new artists.
Some galleries purchase work outright and others take work on consignment. Some galleries have a combination of both. Some galleries represent local artists, some national, and some international. Artists should also research other areas besides their own location for gallery representation. Other area galleries may be a better for fit for an artist's work.
Gallery owners do not want to be approached without an appointment. Each gallery owner has their particular way they wish to be approached. Some owners prefer photos and prices of work to be sent through the mail, some prefer an email introduction with a link to a website, some have artist applications and review those at a set time of year, some have membership requirements and review applications, some represent only national or internationally known artists, some only sculptural artists, etc.
Be creative in exploring representation in galleries by perhaps offering to do a group show, a pop up show, or perhaps your guild will organize and do a group show. The bottom line is for the artist to make excellent work, have a body of work, decide what the goal for their work is, and do the research. Many thanks to all four gallery owners and managers for taking time out of their busy schedule to discuss this important topic with our guild. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.