The Role of an Art Gallery

An art gallery nurtures visual artists, promotes their work and helps establish them in the professional art world locally and globally. In addition to showcasing their artists’ works, galleries provide an array of services such as administration and curatorial support, representation, relationships with customers, and marketing.

When it comes to gaining exhibition opportunities in galleries, artists need to have a well-established portfolio of art and credentials that reflect their skills, experience and professionalism. They also need to present their work to galleries in a way that shows their dedication and passion for creating art. This approach is usually the most successful and has a positive impact on a gallery’s decision to collaborate with an artist.

The most important role of an art gallery is to act as the link between the artist and the art market. This is why the majority of galleries build a carefully curated selection of artists and/or artist estates that they are committed to representing on a long-term basis. These artists are referred to as represented artists, while those that collaborate with the gallery on a one-time basis are called exhibited artists.

Besides the selection process, galleries need to know how much an artwork is worth and establish its value in the professional art market. This is done through collaboration with the artists who either set the price or have their prices defined in a written contract with the gallery. It is important that the artist’s CV and the gallery’s reputation are balanced, and the prices reflect the true quality of the art.

Another vital part of the gallery’s job is to educate the public about the value of art, which is accomplished through a variety of programs such as lectures, workshops, school visits and guided tours. Gallery staff are also responsible for providing a library of books and magazines on contemporary and historical art.

Gallery spaces are designed with specific aesthetics in mind to highlight the art. Some of the more prestigious galleries have spectacular architecture and a dramatic interior that attracts visitors. However, critics point out that these designs often distract from the paintings they are supposed to showcase.

In general, galleries choose to represent artists who have a proven track record in the art world, a cohesive and consistent body of work, previous exhibitions in reputable venues, a strong social media presence, press reviews and awards. They also have a professional website and presentation materials. Artists should visit their nearest art gallery and have a consultation to learn about the gallery’s requirements and artistic direction before approaching them with an application.

Many people think that when they enter an art gallery, they automatically adopt a group of customers ready to buy the art they see. This could not be further from the truth. Although galleries do have a regular customer base, they need to be very creative and innovative in order to create new clientele and increase their sales. Therefore, they must continuously strive to find and develop the most interesting art in the world.