I'm not a fan of vanity galleries, those money pits that take your cash and offer little in return. But artist-run galleries understand the balance between opportunity and cost. Let me share two current offerings from venues where artists are in control.
Here's how the gallery is billing the event: "10 simultaneous exhibitions each week for five weeks with space available for both two- and three-dimensional work. Each artist will be able to fully avail themselves of approximately 12-17 running feet of wall space with 10+ foot ceilings or approximately 80-100 square feet of floor space."
While I'm not pushing anyone in this direction, I will note that it's in Chelsea, in a much-visited gallery building (The Painting Center, another artist-run gallery, is in the building). The price is reasonable ($275 for your portion of the space) and any money from sales is yours. Stefany Benson, an artist, is the gallery manager. If you're thinking about something like this, come prepared with great work and promote the hell out if it: website, blog, postcards, Facebook. And take advantage of being in Manhattan and all it has to offer.
Here's how the gallery is billing it: "Artists from around the world are invited to a call-to-artists process that guarantees a spot on the wall for the first one hundred applicants. This truly democratic process will result in hundreds of works being submitted and chosen. Creating a grid comprised of 12" x 12" individual spaces with works of all styles and media, including painting, drawing, photography and sculpture, Projects Gallery provides artists an opportunity to be part of the Art Basel Miami art fair events."
Again, I'm not pushing it, but it's a square foot of visibility in Miami, not only during fair week but for well over a month (late November- early January). And again, I'd say, promote the hell out of it if you do it. (Disclaimer: I show with the gallery at Aqua Art.)
Should you commit to opportunities like this? It's your call. I've been to both venues. I know they're legit. If you want visibility in a city where you may not have had it before, check it out. And if you get in, promote, promote, promote.
Last word: I'm a believer in artists taking control of their careers. If you know of other artist-run opportunities, or if you are an artist who runs a gallery or project space that is inclusive of other artists, feel free to note the who/what/where in the Comments section. Include a URL.