A Definitive Guide To Art Galleries

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Art galleries are the heart of the art world. However, the bitter fact is that the number of artists looking for gallery representation for their artworks is substantially greater than the galleries accepting art submissions. Exhibiting art in certain galleries may do worse to your reputation than good. 

How do you find the right art platform for your creative work? And which type of art/gallery or exhibition is the perfect match for you?

We’ll answer all these queries in this blog, starting from the basics. Keep reading to find the right match!

What Is An Art Gallery?

Many artists consider art exhibitions, art museums, art shows, and art galleries to have the same definition. Although each art platform aims to represent art, they differ in functionality. 

An art gallery can be described as a permanent art exhibition space for displaying, marketing, and selling artworks. Thus art gallery is a commercial enterprise functioning with a portfolio of selected artists where the gallery acts as the art dealer responsible for representing, supporting, and distributing the artworks. described 

However, art galleries have several types depending on their operational procedure and policies for representing. 

Types Of Art Galleries

Commercial Platform For Artists

The most popular category of art platforms is the commercial art gallery. While the term “commercial” might indicate that these art galleries are just money-sucking machines, they are, in fact, one of the best platform for artists to represent their art. 

  • These commercial art galleries collaborate with several artists for varying niches, agreeing to curate, represent and support them. 
  • Therefore when your art gets accepted by a commercial gallery, their art curators will take the responsibility to showcase, market, sell and distribute your artwork. Thus you don’t just sell art. You make a name for yourself and improve your portfolio. 
  • So, you must be thinking, “What’s in store for them?” The commercial art platform follows a commission-based business model. Thus, they’ll charge a certain percentage of your profit as commission when your artwork is sold. 

This business model keeps them motivated to market and push your art, thus supporting your career and brand. It’s a win-win situation for both parties. 

However, conventional art galleries had certain drawbacks:

  • You’ll need to transport your artwork to the galleries by paying transportation costs from your pocket, which can be substantial if the gallery is situated in another state.
  • During the pandemic lockdown, these art galleries incurred huge losses. 
  • Your artwork doesn’t receive international attention. 

All these drawbacks led to the inception of digital art galleries. 

Digital Art Platform

As the name suggests, a digital platform for artists or art galleries leverages digital technology to display your artwork. However, digital art galleries have two subtypes:

  • Physical galleries with digital artwork displays. 
  • Completely digital gallery, having a digital location and exhibition.

Physical galleries with digital artwork displays. 

  • In the first category, artists need to upload high-quality pictures of their artwork to a digital art platform. 
  • These pictures then get curated by art professionals and approved for further processes.
  • Once the artworks are approved for display, the artists can choose physical art galleries (also known as partner galleries), the duration, and the exhibition dates. 
  • Your art will be digitally displayed in the galleries where experienced art curators represent your art to interested clients on your chosen dates and location. 
  • You’ll also receive pictures of your artwork in the galleries, which can help in portfolio creation.

Digital gallery websites

  • These galleries function like online websites, hosting digital exhibitions and displays of artwork. 
  • These websites can function as a powerful marketing tool where you don’t just promote and sell your art but connect with various artists and build your circle. 

Reputed digital art platforms leverage both categories to market and sell art. Thinking about their revenue model? Generally, digital galleries don’t charge any commission. Instead, they have subtraction plans like OTT platforms (Netflix, Prime Video, etc.). 

Usually, the subscription charges are as low as 1 EURO/day. Therefore digital art galleries are a great option for budding and upcoming artists looking for an affordable art platform to market and sell art. 

Mega Galleries

Mega-galleries are the superstars in the art gallery paradigm. 

  • Mega-galleries can be defined as commercial art galleries which enjoyed tremendous growth by supporting leading artists and have now become established, industry-leading art platforms not only in the gallery industry but in the entire art world. 
  • Generally, mega-galleries have multiple locations in a specific country or internationally, employ various art professionals to represent, curate, preserve and market arts, and encompass several square meters of exhibition space similar to major museum institutions.
  • Since these galleries have a reputation and brand image to maintain, they generally work with influential or celebrated artists. So if you’re a seasoned artist with an established brand image, mega-galleries are a great option. 
  • However, these galleries might not suit rising artists as their commissions are exorbitantly high. 

Exhibition Spaces

This type of platform for artists isn’t always a permanent gallery but rather a temporary exhibition space. 

  • You can book a spot in the exhibition to showcase and sell your artwork. 
  • Exhibition spaces don’t have any specific curators, and the artists are responsible for marketing, printing, organizing the store, supervision, invitations, etc. 
  • Such galleries serve as an experiential platform for newbie artists. You can learn the art of curating, presenting, and marketing your works. 

In recent times, digital exhibitions are also becoming popular. In digital exhibitions, your art is displayed digitally to the audience. 

Endnote

Art platforms are the backbone of the art world. Without the influence and existence of the art galleries, the art world would have failed to flourish. Various types of art galleries appeal to different types of artists. Choose an online gallery representing your art style and niche to attract the right clientele. 

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