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gallery fees: is this normal?!

JustJazzie

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I live in a super small mountain town. Last week I ventured into our new, very small......maybe 20x20 foot local art gallery.

Of course I got to chatting with the owner/operator and he said they were still looking for more artists to display. So out of curiosity asked what the terms were to display there. The fees are as follows:
6 month contract
$20 a month for one Apple box displayed
$50 a month for space on the shutter's/room divider displays.
He didn't quote wall space because it was already full.

Then he charges 30% commission on top of that.

He said best sales are priced under $25 and are matted prints.

So basically, after fees and product cost-I have to sell 4 avarage prints a month just to break even on an Apple crate display that I am hoping someone gets on the floor to thumb through.... Or sell I think 6 a month to rent a "premium" zone....

The shop is closed on Sunday/monday, and closes at noon on Saturday. 11-6 t-f.

Are these normal or even profitable terms?.....
 
I live in a super small mountain town. Last week I ventured into our new, very small......maybe 20x20 foot local art gallery.

Of course I got to chatting with the owner/operator and he said they were still looking for more artists to display. So out of curiosity asked what the terms were to display there. The fees are as follows:
6 month contract
$20 a month for one Apple box displayed
$50 a month for space on the shutter's/room divider displays.
He didn't quote wall space because it was already full.

Then he charges 30% commission on top of that.

He said best sales are priced under $25 and are matted prints.

So basically, after fees and product cost-I have to sell 4 avarage prints a month just to break even on an Apple crate display that I am hoping someone gets on the floor to thumb through.... Or sell I think 6 a month to rent a "premium" zone....

The shop is closed on Sunday/monday, and closes at noon on Saturday. 11-6 t-f.

Are these normal or even profitable terms?.....

Sounds extremely profitable. Well, for the gallery owner.. for you.. eh, probably not so much.
 
I live in a super small mountain town. Last week I ventured into our new, very small......maybe 20x20 foot local art gallery.

Of course I got to chatting with the owner/operator and he said they were still looking for more artists to display. So out of curiosity asked what the terms were to display there. The fees are as follows:
6 month contract
$20 a month for one Apple box displayed
$50 a month for space on the shutter's/room divider displays.
He didn't quote wall space because it was already full.

Then he charges 30% commission on top of that.

He said best sales are priced under $25 and are matted prints.

So basically, after fees and product cost-I have to sell 4 avarage prints a month just to break even on an Apple crate display that I am hoping someone gets on the floor to thumb through.... Or sell I think 6 a month to rent a "premium" zone....

The shop is closed on Sunday/monday, and closes at noon on Saturday. 11-6 t-f.

Are these normal or even profitable terms?.....

Sounds extremely profitable. Well, for the gallery owner.. for you.. eh, probably not so much.
That's what I was thinking.... Did people even do the math before setting up with him?....
 
That's what I was thinking.... Did people even do the math before setting up with him?....

Nope. They think, I'm going to be an arteest! I'm going to be featured in a gallery! I'm sure that if you go back a few months later you'll find a lot of the stuff that was featured by this artist or that artist isn't there anymore as they discover that they are spending more money than they are making.
 
I don't see this as any benefit to an artist unless it was in a large city with a lot of customers.
 
That doesn't seem too high for my area which is more urban, 30% is pretty good, it can be higher. Depends on the location and how much space, it varies; usually less at someplace like an artists co-op or community art center and more at galleries.

Although at a co-op you have to be a member except for seasonal/holiday shows where they may accept works consigned. One in a college town near me is a nonprofit so is only $5/mo. and 20% commission, but you have to volunteer hours each month to work the store. The money goes toward running the community art center.

I've done submissions to juried exhibits and those entry fees vary but run maybe $25-45 for up to 3 entries that if accepted would be on display for a few weeks. In my area a matted and framed photo depending on the size sells anywhere from $1-200 up to $4-500 for more well known local and regional photographers.
 
30% commission is fairly standard, the renting space would be a deal breaker for me though. I'd pass
 
He said best sales are priced under $25 and are matted prints.

This is a no-lose for the gallery owner.
He makes his costs and profit from the artists, he doesn't care what is displayed as long as the space is rented.
The low cost prints are a draw for low cost buyers.
He wants traffic so low end shoppers will buy prints and he can say that the gallery sold lots of prints to entice more artists to rent space.
Ugh.
Avoid this like the plague.
 
I don't know what pricing is like in our area, but last gallery I was in was run by about 6 of the "artists" that showed their work. They seemed to simply rotate who sat in the gallery that day. I wasn't really impressed by their work.
 
30% is fine, nothing out of the ordinary, but a surcharge to display and only being opened 1/2 day on Saturday and not at all on Sunday? That would be the deal-breaker for me.
 

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