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Thread: gallery %

  1. #1
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    gallery %

    hello,
    i was just hoping someone could tell me the average % i should expect a gallery to take when i sell my artwork through them.
    thanks
    -meghan


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  3. #2
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    I hear guys around the school talk about it alot. It's somewhere around 50%, give or take 10, based on how good you are, how new you are, the gallery, and luck.

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    mine takes 40%, but thats in CT.
    NYC is more like 50%.
    i have seen smaller galleries go as low as 25%
    really, it depends on how good the gallery is, not you.
    - Dan Dos Santos
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSillustration
    mine takes 40%, but thats in CT.
    NYC is more like 50%.
    i have seen smaller galleries go as low as 25%
    really, it depends on how good the gallery is, not you.
    I agree, it depends on a lot of things, what part of the country your in , how established the gallery is, how established you are. What do they do to earn that commission? I know of some galleries that ask more than 50% but that's pretty rare,a lot of galleries will close within a couple of years cause it's hard to keep the doors open especially if they have a good location ( the rent's usually much higher), also it takes a while to develope a reputation and get established. Going with someone less established has it's advantages too, perhaps they're more willing to take risks on someone new. A more established gallery might put you in a smaller section of their space till you start to get established, you might have to lower your price range for a bit as well.

    So you might want to know if they seem to be moving a lot of artwork? How's Biz? You should do just as much research on them as they might on you, go to some shows if your in the area. Talk to some of the people who work there and see how they treat you.

    They're going to choose you and your work cause it's a good fit for their gallery, style and personality, and maybe they don't have anyone else that does what you do.Your going to do be dealing with them on a regular basis so it might be nice if you get along with them.

    They're going to want to know certain things from you;
    Price Range ( if you go to the gallery ahead of time you you'll have an idea what they sell work for)

    Size of your work

    Availability of your work, do you still have the pieces that your showing them in slides? Make sure they are copies ofthe originals cause sometimes you don't get them back. Start documenting your work now and get in the habit of doing it.

    Resume

    And a leave behind, postcard with an image and contact information, business card etc. The more professional you look the more serious they'll take you.

    You can go in ahead of time and ask them what they like to see from artists submitting work and who you should submit it too.

    Think about things like framing as well and factor that into your cost.

    I know I've probably given you more questions than answered them but I think you should go for it, It's just another aspect of the business.
    Good luck.
    "absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and keep what is essentially your own." - Bruce Lee

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    We (my company, we set up exhibits for local artists in cafes/restaurants etc) have been approached by a gallery that takes no pourcentage from our sales but that 'rents' it's wall space, say, 75$ a week for a 20 foot wall. They organize a vernissage when a new exhibit comes in and stuff. Does anyone have experience with galleries that work that way?

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    qitsune- $75.00 seems a little steep for 20ft. wall but you've got to start somewhere. Doing something like that is a good way to get experience as your work developes, then you start shooting for better venues. There are lots of Cafes and bars that'll let you show your work for free if they like it, some will even give you a reception, credit for your own reception etc. It really depends on the place your showing at. Hope that helps.
    "absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and keep what is essentially your own." - Bruce Lee

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  8. #7
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    The gallery I'm showing at right now takes 30%, but I've heard anywhere between 15% - 50%.

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    Mine also gets 40%, but it's in the minority around here. yeah, 50% is pretty average. I think I've read some place that the bulk of US galleries are 50%. If you're looking at showing in galleries, there's a book that you should read. I give it my highest recomendation as far as the subject goes: "How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist" by Caroll Michels. It will at least touch on just about any questions you might need answering, and most likely answer plenty of things you'd never even thought of, including percentages and pricing philosophy. Get it at any Borders.

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    Bojee,
    We already are in contact with cafes and restaurants and have an exhibit right now, are on the waiting list of many other places, we were considering the possibility of such a gallery since people don't go to a restaurant to buy art, but that's usually different in a gallery. We're trying to get exposure that would lend us deals with 'real' galleries.

  11. #10
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    Sounds like you've got it figured out, for $300 a month is there any other place that you could rent out for your own show? Split among a lot of people ( say 5 to 10 )the cost could be minimal and you'd probably have more room to work with than a 20ft wall.
    Last edited by Bojee; August 19th, 2005 at 09:59 AM.
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  12. #11
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    It's almost always a 100% mark-up. Just like retail.
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    .......

    thanks for all your replies. it's not the numbers i was hoping for, but i guess the galleries have to get paid too.
    -meghan

  14. #13
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    What were you hoping for?
    "absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and keep what is essentially your own." - Bruce Lee

    Bojee's Monkey Brain
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    toe jam- what vegans put on their toast

    i don't know what I was hoping for, it's just that I feel a little embarrassed about doing a 100% mark up. If I do mark it up 100%, I'm putting a price on my work that's twice what I feel it's worth, but if I sold it for what I feel it's worth, I'd get half what I feel I deserve. I guess what I'm really trying to say is I'm totally neurotic I actually was expecting the % to be around 50, but coming from doing little shows at coffee shops where they don't take anything, it's still a bit of a shock to the system. I had 2 gallery owners see my work at a coffee shop last month, and they both expressed interest in having me do shows with them. I haven't even called them back yet. Part of the problem is I'm a socially retarded person with an anxiety problem, but also I'm trying to find out a little more about the business end before I reveal to them my naivete and lack of confidence (which is a combination I fear could lead me to sign a ,for lack of a better word, shitty contract).
    Thanks again for the replies, you've all been a big help.
    -Meghan

  16. #15
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    Meghan- All you need to do is figure what you want to get out of it, what's a fair price to you, counting framing cost,supplies etc, you tell that to the gallery owner and they'll probably double it cause they want to get their money out of it.

    If it's a good gallery that's a fair deal because your showing with them because they will supposedly have a better ability to sell your work than you do but it can also be a chance for you to learn some of the business from them. See how they interact with people, how they go about it. They'll also have other clientel that you don't have, get new people to see your work. It's sort of guilt by association too, if the other artist at the gallery are good then your work starts to be associated with them, your on the same level etc.

    It might be a good thing for you since you sound shy but it doesn't mean that you have to be passive about it either. You can still be working to sell your work in conjunction with the gallery ie promoting it etc. Most contracts are for a city or region so it doesn't mean that you can't show other places.
    You could also have galleries repping your work in multible cities, a lot of artists do that, it's kind of the next logical step after you work with one gallery.

    Hope this helps, good luck.
    "absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and keep what is essentially your own." - Bruce Lee

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