November 27, 2021 at 11:02 am #254436Boss MareKeymaster
There is some great information here and here is my two cents worth.
My wife and I owned a gallery in Los Olivos CA from 1990-94. It featured my photography as well other artists that worked in wood, etched glass and silk. I was doing a lot of farm work at the time which helped get it going as most galleries do not make money. That is why there is such a high turnover.
It was early on in the game for a photography gallery, and well before digital! But I did learn than my generic work, seemed to sell better than my more recognizable shots. Also, the big prints were harder to sell because a lot of folks did not have the wall space. The smaller accent prints did well. I also sold a fair amount of non horse images.
The problem with gallery sales is the cost of getting a print to a gallery in the first place! As you all know, it isn’t cheap to print, mat and frame a print, then ship to the gallery, then have them take a healthy piece of the pie… So, the margins are not all that great. If you try and put together show for a gallery, you really compound the price. I had the great good fortune to hang a show in the Kentucky Horse Park’s International Museum of the Horse and it was a five figure sum to print, mat and frame the images!
I been in a few other shows, and find they are nice ego boosts, and good PR, but don’t really result in a lot of sales. But the PR can be beneficial and is certainly a consideration depending upon the location of the gallery.
I also had the opportunity to sell a series of western images to a facility here in Ft. Worth that was looking to redecorate an entire hospital floor. I knew somebody that knew somebody that was looking and made a pitch and sold them 30+ images in sizes from 11X14 – 24X30 on canvas. That has only happened to me one time… but I think it is a market that can be considered and that is working with interior decorators.
I have recently been contacted by a real estate agent in TX selling expensive homes in horse country looking for big prints to hang on the wall. Sounds great, but they wanted me to print them etc.. and then hope somebody would want to buy them. I suggested a rental basis instead, and we are talking about that now… I just am not willing at this stage of my career to work for good will. I learned long ago it doesn’t pay the bills!
It is a wonderful feeling to see your work, hanging big, in a nice gallery. But I am not all that certain that it brings a great return for the cost and time involved in getting them ready for display.
I would never discourage any one to try and do it, but just be aware that it is a difficult venue to really make good money.November 27, 2021 at 11:04 am #254437Boss MareKeymaster
I do belong to 3 local associations: the very disjointed photography club, the cohesive, well run artist association and the artist association in the next county. (Yep! me, the hermit, Joan! One meeting a month to get familiar with the folks.) The artist groups have good sized local shows once or twice a year that accept photography (new), and a couple of groups that transport art to shows on our side of the state. Also the local art group has an “Art in Motion” where we hang art in different places (banks, therapy centers) for 3 months. Fortunately for me, not that many people have enough to hang, so I usually have 1 or 2 spots to hang 5-6 pieces. Next (May 1) is a bank. I sold one from the Critical Care Therapy Center, and other artists have sold work from these situations. If your local group doesn’t do this, it’s a great thing to suggest and maybe offer to manage. Artists usually jump at a chance to display their work, and the hosts (banks, hospital) are usually very pleased to have quality art hanging that changes every quarter. For me this is about my work getting out and seen. I’ve only lived here for 23 years
, but didn’t ever leave the farm much, being busy breeding sport horses and such.
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