You may, like me, have received an email from Florida this week titled, “Inquiry your artwork.” The letter says you are talented and that there’s an artist agency interested in representing you. This agency offers “gallery exposure,” “multimedia marketing,” “art book artist profiles” and “art fair exhibitions.” The letter includes links to a PDF brochure and a website.
In an effort to save you some time, I’ve drafted a reply. You can feel free to make your own changes.
Thanks for your message and the links to your brochure and website. Your materials clearly state that you take zero commission on artwork sales, but I wasn’t able to find any specifics regarding your business model. A little digging on Google has shown that you charge a fee of $5995.00 for showing two pieces at a time in your gallery for one year, a two-page profile in a double issue of your magazine and a quarter wall at two art fairs under your gallery banner. Commissions are not charged until the fee amount is met. After that, you charge a 25% commission on artwork sales. Please let me know if this is correct — as I mentioned, I had to look for this information in online artist reviews.
Since your business is not based on commissions for sold artwork, I fear there’s no real incentive for you to nurture collectors, who are a backbone of financial survival for artists. A vague, predatory email that attempts to exploit an artist’s legitimate need to exhibit and find gallery representation clutters an already challenging professional landscape. Artists thrive when they work with gallery partners who are passionate about supporting both artists and collectors over a lifetime of professional development, creative growth, expression, archival support and cultural enrichment.
Please consider changing your business model to one that truly recognizes the value of artists and collectors — one based upon conscientious and ethical programming, not fees.”
PS: “The Truth is the only thing you’ll ever run into that has no agenda.” (Adyashanti)
Esoterica: I met an art friend for a drink recently and after a couple of superior gimlets, she told me about a project she’s working on called SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. She mentioned that galleries are sometimes weakened by lopsided rosters; one or two art stars or one or two supportive collectors who, if something changes, can make a gallery vulnerable. I asked her to lay a SWOT analysis on me. (The bartender leaned in.) She thought for a moment, then reminded me to work strengths (honing quality ideas and craftsmanship) and to be aware of weaknesses (fear, avoidance, risk aversion, comfort.) “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet,” wrote Helen Keller. “Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
The group exhibition Winter Wonderwalls opens at Kimoto Gallery tonight, Friday, November 30th, 2018 in Vancouver, BC from 6-9pm and continues until December 22nd. Happy Holidays! https://kimotogallery.com/
“Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams, / Unloose the cord, and they will wrap you ‘round.” (William Butler Yeats)
I am very happy to be teaching two workshops at Casa Buena Art Retreat Center again next year. Register for one or stay for both.
THE FIGURE – Feb 20 – 27, ’19. Enjoy working with a live model using dry media. We will deal with proportion, measurement and likeness.
PLEIN AIR – Feb 27 – Mar 6, ’19. Paint authentic Mexico – village life, beaches and landscape. We will deal with composition, light & shadow, color, value and more.
Cost: CAN $1800 + GST. Includes instruction, some art supplies, accommodation, all meals, transportation to and from Puerto Vallarta airport, visits to surrounding areas, a jungle boat ride and a lot of fun.
Contact Jane Romanishko firstname.lastname@example.org for the extra 3 day “no-pressure” painting option.
Christine Hanlon, whose work has been compared to that of Edward Hopper, creates ‘urban landscapes which quietly exude atmosphere.’