Each activity carried out by an art gallery has a somewhat different method of conducting business. However, most art galleries do a few tasks that may be viewed as the foundation of their operations.
An art gallery develops a carefully planned exhibition schedule of the represented artists—or artist estates—with whom they have a (long-term) working relationship, fostering and guiding their professional development through selling their works of art and other forms of promotion.
This would encapsulate what art galleries do, and all that goes along with it. Let’s get into some particular components in further detail to be more thorough:
1. Curate the exhibition schedule.
The art gallery establishes an exhibition schedule that will be the foundation of the gallery’s personality. To do this, the art gallery must offer gallery space. For excellent visibility to many possible consumers, galleries frequently lease commercial facilities in large cities, often close to other galleries.
Additionally, the gallery carefully selects its lineup, seeking the most intriguing up-and-coming or renowned artists, and invites them to work with the gallery on an exhibition. The gallery handles the exhibition’s opening and promotion, transportation, insurance, supervision, installation, print work, and press attention.
A solo exhibition features just one artist and can be a standout moment in that artist’s career. The show is referred to as a duo exhibition when it features two artists. One speaks about a group exhibition when there are three or more artists.
A new exhibition opens in most galleries every six to eight weeks, depending on the pace of the gallery.
2. Creating an artist and artist estate portfolio
A gallery would not exist without the artists. The gallery must therefore develop a portfolio of artists and artist estates. This portfolio represents the carefully chosen group of artists that the gallery agrees to define and is the result of a protracted partnership between the artist and the gallery. In contrast to artists from one-time cooperation for a single exhibition, those from long-term collaborations are referred to as represented artists.
Any art gallery must have a portfolio. The artists’ quality in your portfolio will determine how well-known the gallery is. Therefore, it is advantageous for the artist and the gallery to see a particular artist’s career development. The reputation of the gallery increases as the artists do.
Since the gallery serves as a conduit between the artist’s studio and the art market, most collaborations include active artists. This phenomenon is referred to as the primary market. But there are also several partnerships with artist estates. Or, galleries can purchase pieces of art from other dealers, collectors, or auctions rather than directly from the creators to resell them in their space for a profit at a (small) higher price. The secondary market is the name given to this occurrence.
3. Make art sales and distributions
One of the most crucial things galleries do is sell and distribute the works of the artists they represent, organize exhibitions, and develop an excellent roster of artists. The gallery serves as the artist’s dealer, taking all necessary steps to get the artist’s work into a particular public or private collection.
As a result, the gallery must handle various tasks, including shipping, billing, recording sales of art, keeping an eye on art’s worth (on the secondary market), and much more. When there are questions about a particular artist, the gallery becomes the primary point of contact.
4. Support and represent the artists
In addition to the apparent work that goes into planning exhibitions and selling artwork, the gallery represents and supports its artists in various capacities behind the scenes. Along with offering helpful guidance, they work hard to advance and maintain the careers of their artists, allowing them to concentrate solely on creating the works.
Participating in international art shows to promote their gallery and artists are only a few instance of these supporting efforts. Additionally, when it’s time for an artist to have a monograph produced, galleries handle or monitor the book publishing process. Then there are the artist archives, which also require attention. Or the study of art history topics for forthcoming exhibits. The gallery searches for additional, appealing exhibition venues for its artists outside of itself, such as at other galleries or official exhibitions. The press relations department must also be mentioned. They seek partnerships with print and online media such as newspapers, art journals, and websites to promote their artists and reach audiences outside the gallery’s physical boundaries.
Galleries perform a variety of tasks. Depending on the gallery’s level of excellence, its services expand in scope as it completely supports the artist in all facets of the art world.