How to Start

Starting Your Own Art Gallery Business

Let’s face it; it can be difficult for an artist to get his/her work into an art gallery. Help artists get their work shown (with price tags) in cafes, restaurants, and more. Hang the artist’s work on consignment. If a painting sells, you pay the business a commission, take a commission of your own, and pass the rest on to the artist.

If you are an artist yourself, you know how difficult it is at first to have your artwork shown in an art gallery. Once you have a following and are well known in the art community, it is easier to have your work shown in galleries. However, until then it is nice to have another way to expose your work to the public. Placing your pieces in establishments frequented by people is the best decision you can make to introduce your artwork talents to several different communities and types of people. Offer to do this for artists in your area, you could find yourself with a rewarding and popular business.

Approach many types of businesses with this idea such as; coffee shops, sandwich shops, restaurants, cafes, banks, doctor offices, the list is endless. Simply talk with the management and see if they would be willing to hang artwork in their establishments. Be prepared to show some of the art you have hung in other businesses or show what you would like to hang in their establishment. When they can see that art offers a sophisticated atmosphere to their business and brings them a commission too, few will refuse. Some business people may be skeptical at first, so once you have established yourself with other businesses, offer to give them references from other happy business owners.

Virtually any business that draws customers and has wall space for artwork is a possible opportunity. Understanding the types of people that would frequent these businesses could prove to be quite beneficial. The establishment may provide an idea of the type of artwork they would prefer, or leave it up to you to decide. Just remember to keep your artwork choices appropriate to the businesses. For example, in a pediatrician’s office, you will want to offer artwork that would be appealing to parents and children. A dentist might prefer gentle, relaxing, and soothing types of artwork. On the other hand, a dance club or lounge would be a great place to show dynamic exciting works.

You will need to learn how to hang artwork of all types in a professional way. Be sure to tastefully include the price of the artwork and a business card, for interested buyers. Also, make sure you have all parties involved in the selling of the artwork sign a contract. This way you will all be assured of the agreed upon percentages and cost of art pieces sold. If certain pieces do not sell well, rotate them to another business that might be a better choice for their viewing.

Investing in business cards, preprinted contracts, appropriate business attire, reliable transportation for you and the artwork, and the tools for hanging art should be all that you will need to start this exciting business venture. Of course, making the needed contacts with local artists will take some work too. You might start finding local artists by contacting instructors in local art schools, community colleges, and university art programs.

Be resourceful and check the pricing of artwork on the internet and local galleries in your area. Get a feel for what the going prices are for original artwork. Talk to the artists and agree on a selling price, always reminding them that they may not be able to get higher prices for their work until they are well known and able to show their work exclusively in Art Galleries. Helping new artists get their work shown and introduced to the public could prove to be an enjoyable and lucrative business choice.

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