Nan DeVincent-Hayes, Ph.D
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is a "Gallery"?
There are several different types of galleries.
Many are also frame and poster shops, while others are co-op or
cooperative type of galleries which means that there is a couple or
group of people who have united to share the costs of running a
business (gallery) that will display their work; this display may be
in the form of a permanent exhibition or a one-artist or multi-artist
show at name galleries, for example).
Then there are galleries that are owned by expert business people
who put together, with the help of artists and designers, art displays
for sale that look like museum quality work, where high end art is
sold to collectors and non-collectors, or those who are just beginning
to collect. Art work
ranges from $1000.00 to over a quarter of a million dollars, though
there are fine originals by local artists and reproductions by masters
that cost under $1,000.00.
This kind of store is designed to look and feel like a metropolitan
gallery, with its marble and lighted pedestals on which to display art
work, mirrored walls to reflect all angles of the art, and finely
tuned lighting to properly highlight the various artforms. Just as one would find in a true museum, this type of gallery
displays professionally printed information cards on each of the
exhibits, and the staff is well trained in art and equipped to educate
the public about its artists. Seminars,
tours, workshops, and other teaching methods, are offered to the
general public to better educate them about art while providing an
enjoyable outlet. Various purchasing plans are also available to help the
first-time collects acquire their initial piece of art.
Such galleries are also staffed by individuals trained and
educated in the arts, such as the owner who may or may not always be
present in the gallery, the director who runs the day-to-day
operations and sets policy, markets the store, serves as the community
relations specialists, directs staff, acquires the art work, and
handles the budget and all major aspects.
The assistant director of the gallery may also be a design
specialist who is knowledgeable in how to properly display the art
work. Other positions
might include fine arts consultants, archivists, art apprentices or
interns, and preparators.
Galleries may be large or small, new or old, but in either
case, their integrity is foremost in the business.
People who buy art for its aesthetic and/or investment value
want to be reassured that they're dealing with a reputable company
that stands behind its word and each of its products.
Galleries may also be established as profit-making or nonprofit businesses. Nonprofit galleries often seek private funding or grants from the government, while profit-making businesses have to rely strictly on sales in order to remain in existence. Both types of galleries frequently take on "consignment" work by artists. This means that the gallery will gamble on the artist's talent to sell the piece in exchange for a split profit which may range anywhere from 30-70 (in favor of the artist) to 50-50. By doing this, the gallery offers the artist "hanging space" which is often at a premium in most art establishments, as well as exposure, and income. Most galleries are very selective about which artists they'll consign.
All galleries welcome the general public.
Not only is it an educational experience to learn about the
different artists and artforms, but it's also fun to ooh and aah over
another's sense of creativity. This
is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with a friend or loved one.