Running an art gallery is much like running a small business. The purpose of the gallery is to sell art which will keep the gallery going.
Art galleries are one place where you can raise the price and customers don’t seem to mind too much. When art collectors see that the prices of work are increasing it shows them that the artwork is growing even more valuable within the art market.
When it comes to opening an art gallery you are going to need a few things to begin with:
– If you have a commercial gallery you will need art collectors
– A stable full of artists
– A love for business as well as art
– A vision of your brand
– A business plan
– A gallery site among a prime location
– Plenty of patience
– The capital needed to cover around 6 months operating costs
– Different types of art storage for shipping
Ensure you know the market first before you start up a business. Owners tend to begin with potential clients, and this can merely be a few people that are happy to buy your artwork to help your business get above ground level. Once you have started a relationship with the collectors, they will hang your art in their home and from there people will admire and get in touch with you to purchase a piece of your artwork. Most times your best asset is word of mouth once it grows so does your business. If your gallery is more a showcase that is merely experimental at this stage, then you need to have sources for funding like art grants.
Remember the art world would not exist if there are no artists. In order to open a gallery that is successful you need to begin with a strong roll of artists. While art is very subjective most times it is based on individual taste and personal intuition. Galleries often choose their artists by theme, style, trends and how much growth your artwork has. Having a specific collector’s group where be individual or corporate that you are able to sell your artwork to is the key to success.
With all business’s location is an important key. If you have a heavily trafficked area full of tourists means you will have endless chances to sell work of local artists to all people all over the world. If you are located more in the art centre, then you are looking at gaining the attention of the art world cognoscenti. Some art gallery owners will even have a virtual gallery on the web.
Every business needs money up front. Start up costs can be from the space rental, the equipment you need in order to run the business and hiring the staff you need. These are just the main things there are many other factors like operating costs that come into play to.
Networking is important. Networking among artists, art dealers and critics all need to have a connection in order to increase their art networks. Attending museum openings and galleries is important. The best time to network is to visit biennials and art fairs when the opening press previews are out. Have some business cards ready, catalogues and postcards all organised ready on hand to give out to everyone. If one of your artists is in an exhibition, then stand with the artwork and be available to give out more information and arrange personal visits.
Something else you need when running an art gallery is patience. Being patient is the key to growing your business with success. It doesn’t happen overnight it will take time to grow.