What Is a Gallery?


A gallery is a space where visual art is displayed. It can be a room in which paintings or sculptures are shown, a building where an exhibition of artworks is held or even a virtual gallery on the Internet. It is also a place where art is sold.

Commercial art galleries are businesses in which the primary mission is to nurture visual artists and promote their work to the public, collectors, media, and cultural institutions. It is not uncommon for a gallery to be the sole link between an artist’s studio and the professional art market in the form of private or public collections. Galleries are not only responsible for promoting the works of the artists they represent but they must do so efficiently, effectively, and financially, balancing the interests of both parties.

To be considered for gallery representation, an artist must have a strong and consistent oeuvre of work with a coherent theme or storyline as well as a professionally prepared artist profile or CV including accolades, process and statement. It is also helpful for artists to build a solid presence on social media and create a website that showcases their unique style, artistic vision and body of work. It is also important for artists to participate in group shows and build a rapport with local galleries as well before applying to larger ones.

Gallerists will look at how an artist interacts with their clients, how they handle a sale and how they market their own artwork. They will also look at the artist’s portfolio to make sure that all of the work is consistent with the artist’s vision and style. It is a collaborative effort and the better the gallery understands an artist’s style, the more successful they will be at making sales of their work.

Another very important role of a gallery is to present its artists’ artworks for inclusion in public or private collections, including museums, biennials and salons, which helps build the artists’ careers and establishes them within the professional art world both locally and internationally. In addition, galleries can buy artworks from other dealers and collectors – not directly from the artist who produced them – at auction or at an art fair and then sell them in their own gallery at a higher price to make a profit – this is called the secondary market.

Long galleries in houses can be designed as separate rooms or spaces that are accessed from the main staircase. They often feature high ceilings, mirrors, decorative woodwork and other features to enhance their beauty and make them more attractive. They are often a desirable space in the house for people who love to collect and display art.