Marketing Mondays: What's on Your Mind?


I started Marketing Mondays on January 13, 2009, after having written several posts on the the topics of professional practices and the art business. Two-and-one-half years and some 114 columns later, here we are. The topics, all live linked, are listed on the sidebar.

Is there a topic you'd like to see me cover? Or a covered topic that you'd like me to revisit? Heavily researched posts are usually out of the question, since I write this blog in my "spare time." But I have a lot of information in my head--you don't work in this business for 30 years without retaining quotes, contacts, gossip and minutiae--and a fair number of contacts who will respond to an email query, so it's possible that I have or can get what you need.

Please post your requests in Comments section.  Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Over the years I've worked with three galleries. One by one they've closed and now I'm left with no representation. How does a middleage artist start all over again?

DeborahS said...

How about exhibiting in libraries? I'm a (paid) curator for a public library in Groton, Mass, and I'm aware that most libraries are pretty much a do it yourself show for the artist, but perhaps there are others like mine where it might be worth the artist's time to search out such venues if they're early in their career or just looking to increase their exposure. Some libraries, like Newton, MA, have a huge number of people walking through the door everyday. If you've already covered this I missed it and I apologize.

Susan Schwalb said...

Perhaps you might want to do a post on how to document ones career? This is important for young artists and especially important for older artists. I am more than happy to serve as a resource for you.

Joanne Mattera said...

Anon: I have just such a post coming up later this month.

Artists Valentine: I did mention libraries in a two-part post called, "Where Can I show" at the beginning of this year. If you email me next week, we can talk about this a bit. Maybe there's a longer post.

Susan: I'd love to discuss this with you.We're gong to visit this summer, so let's set aside a little time to talk about that.

Thanks Everyone. And please keep your suggestions coming.

Philip Koch said...

I'd very much appreciate good advice on what to do with estate planning for an artist. I've read what articles I could find on the topic and none of them were written by an artist. All tended to gloss over the difficulties involved for us working down in the trenches.

For example, some of the articles recommend giving away a certain amount of one's work each year to lessen potential tax problems once one has died. What they don't address is how one would do that without taking work the artist would need to have available for future exhibits and sales out of circulation. In my experience an artsit needs a big inventory to be ready for opportunities for shows and sales whenever they arise.

For extremely well know artists with a large following of collectors there are probably going to be established galleries all to willing to step in (with dollar signs in their eyes) to handle the remaining art work. But for artists who haven't broken through to "big name" status, i.e. most artists, things are more murky. Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

This is not a "fun" topic. Most of my artist friends deal with it by just not thinking about it. But we own it to our families and to our own artistic legacies to not leave a mess for the future.

Anonymous said...

Hello Joanne, I first would like to say I always read your posts and appreciate them all. This is my first post. I know you've touched on subjects like: if you should or shouldn't sell your work from your studio if you have a gallery and speaking with your gallery about your sales. But I'd like to get some clarity on if your gallery represents you in one market, but introduced you to a collector who has been connecting you to other collectors and galleries outside that particular market with opportunities; should you direct them to your main gallery or handle them yourself? Is it unethical to handle it yourself? My issue is that the collector I was introduced to came through my gallery, but that collector has been getting me involved in other things outside of the gallery's representational area. Now my gallery feels that the collector should go to them with all of those opportunities that they are providing me with. My gallery feels they're being left outside of the loop, although I've told them I will keep them updated on what's going on. My gallery (seems) to want to be connected to everything I do, even if its outside of their market. I feel obligated to the gallery, but the gallery isn't able to do some of these things this collector and the gallery the collector has connected me with can do. Not to mention the other gallery doesn't seem to work in the same fashion as the gallery that represents me. Maybe this would go under navigating through different markets and/or when should one allow their gallery to create opportunities and when should one do things on their own, although they may have a gallery. thanks said...

It would be helpful to me and probably other artists who primarily sell through their studios on how to introduce prices. Should price be on labels, price sheet? On the website. I do have a one price policy...same at my studio as it is in a gallery). I do get that part. should they be oft off entirely? let the client approach the artists about price?

Artist valentine- the Groton Library has come to me highly recommended.

Philip- copy rights is the big estate issue. When you give your art away or bequest it to another they do not get the copy rights along with the piece. Copyrights must be dealt with in an artist estate or that becomes very contentious.

Copy rights and collaboration copyrights could be an interesting topic?

Anonymous said...

You seem to have such a good understanding of the gallery system. You're an excellent writer and your blog is one of the best out there.

Could you please consider a post on "gallery programs"? Maybe shed some light on how galleries DEFINE their programs or mission for themselves. What IS their own thought process in defining their gallery's aesthetic?

How can artists actually KNOW/UNDERSTAND what the gallery's program is - before we apply ? Galleries, collectors, etc. all want to UNDERSTAND the artists work and process. Seems a fair question to them.

Like many other artists, I live outside of any major US city, and therefore research galleries mostly via websites. The "usual advice" for approaching galleries is "see what types of exhibits a gallery has; view their artists' work, etc. WELL, EITHER I'M AN IDIOT OR NAIEV because I see "variety" in galleries, in their exhibitions, themes/styles, and artists represented too. Based on what I see, I HONESTLY think my work does "fit" with these galleries, yet when I contact them - via direct mail, or email (if that's their preference), I'm usually rejected. And let me say, I'm always professional with a cover letter and materials (and fully compliant with any gallery instructions). I'm also not "mass mailing" or being unrealistic with my reach. I understand when the response is "we have no openings for new artists", but when the response is a compliment about my work, followed by "your work just isn't a good fit with our "PROGRAM" - I'm STUMPED! How could I be so far off base?

I think this would be an excellent topic, and one that wouldn't require too much research for you, since you "know" gallery owners, museum curators, etc., and are successful in the system.

I've gone through your blog archives, and although the subject of "how to approach a gallery, or curator, has been done in some way, before - I don't see anything specific to UNDERSTANDING A GALLERY'S "PROGRAM." I've also read everything on Winkleman Blog too.

THANKS FOR CONSIDERING THIS REQUEST. Otherwise, are you available for private consults?

Anon. Wednesday.

Joanne Mattera said...

Philip: Estate planning is an excellent topic, but outside the scope of what I can reasonably research and write in my "spare" time--since it involved legal research. Still, it's a topic that interests, me, too--anyone over 35 probably needs to start thinking about it--so let me think about how to approach it. This first thing I want to do is see what current books, like "The Artist's Guide (Battenfield) or Art/Work (Bhandari and Melber)have to say on the subject. But thanks for the suggestion on this. Maybe down the road when I can make the time necessary for the research. . .

Anon: I will definitely write a post on The Gallery's Program. Expect it later this summer. (As for consultatations, yes, I do them. Email me next week--I'm running a painting conference this weekend--and I'll send to the info:

Joanne Mattera said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to ignore your comment. I got a phone call while I was posting and my attention gor distracted.
I think your question about posting could be answered right here.

Considering that so many people are intimidated by visitng artists' studios and discussing art, I think it's a good idea to have a price list available for perusal. Having a document in hand allows a visitor to make the rounds of a studio (or gallery), offering a chance to engage with the work visually, up close and from a distance, with the information right there. Most galleries don't put their prices right on the wall, and for a studio show I'd take my cue from the galleries.

Anonymous said...

Joanne, more things on Ageism please. Sometimes I think "why bother" with the whole exhibition/gallery thing - but I have so many good ideas and time to execute them. As a 61-year-old (though I look early 50s, I'm told) how receptive will gallery owners be to me when they seem to be flocking to the 20-something-new-MFAs? (I have an MFA too, but not a new one, that's for sure!) I have so many ideas, time to execute them a bit more financial stability that allows me to be a full-time artist. But, who is interested, really?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear your take on the "right time" to ask a gallerist to take a look at your work...navigating the dance of not being to pushy and not being too passive...

Joanne Mattera said...

Great suggestions, everyone. You have given me a ot to think about for upcoming posts.