Marketing Monday: Demystifying the Art World, Another Baker's Dozen

There's a reason for my "bakery" offerings last week and this (and next): I've been focused on exhibitions of my own. But I take seriously my commitment to Marketing Mondays, so I've rounded up another baker's dozen of posts, this time pulling back the curtain on how the art world works. If you're new to Marketing Mondays, this information will be fresh. If you've been with me for a while, it's an edited package worth re-reading.

You know the old saw, It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. The who you know part is certainly true for us. The art world is full of referrals.

This was a big one. A vanity dealer threatened to sue, and 72+ readers weighed in with their stories, and comments continue to be posted. A related link: Co-op Galleries, Yes. Vanity Galleries, No.

Want the real inside scoop on what art dealers' concerns are? New York dealer Edward Winkleman has written a book for dealers, How To Start and Run a Commercial Gallery, that every artist should read from cover to cover--especially the chapter on How to Find Artists.

While the Dow is edging up and there seem to be more red dots in the galleries, the art world is still reeling from the recession. I talked to 12 dealers from around the country.

Do your homework. Keep networking. Galleries are split between those that look at unsolicited packages and those that don’t. Best advice here: Read the gallery’s submission guidelines. What’s equally relevant now: Understand that times are as tough for the dealer as they are for the artist. Keep working. Don’t give up. .

Over the past few years, I've spoken with a number of museum curators about my work. Other curators, over the course of several semesters, have spoken to a careers class I teach. Some advice from the curators themselves.

Mary Birmingham talks about how she selected the artists for a show she curated at the Hunterdon Art Museum. Hint: The more visible you are, the more likely a curator is to see your work.

Dealers struggle. Critics struggle. And very few people are making big bucks. This post started with a comment Jerry Saltz made on his Facebook page and developed from there.

The dealer is not cutting into my price. She is taking 50 percent of the retail price, which typically gives each of us the money we need to keep doing what we do.

If you look at the artists who have big careers—I mean those big-ass international careers in the bluest of the blue-chip galleries and on the covers of the few art magazines left—you realize they have not done it alone.

If you’re thinking about how to price your work, you have a lot to consider. Start here.

9.27.10 and 10.4.10:  The Academic Gallery, Part 1 and Part 2
One of the great opportunities for unrepresented artists, academic galleries offer a place to exhibit--indeed, to learn to exhibit--in a venue where you're freed from the pressure of sales. I spoke with Patricia MIranda and Jane Allen Nodine, artists who direct institutional galleries.

So you’ve got a painting in a gallery show for the first time. Or a new gallery has taken a work of yours to an art fair. What’s your relationship to the gallery? Are you represented? What do you owe the gallery and what does it owe you?

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1 comment:

Sessions College said...

Thank you so much for the compilation, Joanne! You are an excellent resource that we will be sharing frequently. Thanks again!