An art gallery is a cultural institution dedicated to the exhibition of works of visual art. Traditionally, galleries exhibit the work of living artists and, in some cases, historical figures and objects. An art gallery’s primary source of income is from the sale of the artworks exhibited. However, it may also generate funds through various professional services it offers within the context of the arts.
The most obvious function of a gallery is to act as a representative for its artists and sell their artworks, promoting them internationally and building their art careers. To achieve this, a gallery creates a curated program of exhibitions for the artists it represents. This consists of the planning, curation and installation of an exhibition as well as the communication with potential collectors.
Additionally, an art gallery can provide advisory services for the public with advice on home art, interior design, and sourcing and purchasing art. It can also offer a range of investment services such as the management and administration of an art fund, offering advice on asset allocation and management, and acting as a custodian of client assets.
In addition to this, an art gallery promotes its artists by submitting their works to public and private collections, museums, and biennials. It can also organize art fairs or salons for the artists it represents in order to increase their global visibility. It can also take care of the artists’ books or follow up on book publishing.
Furthermore, a gallery can offer a variety of educational activities such as art classes and workshops. This can be a great way for people to learn about different artistic techniques and inspirations. It can also help people build confidence and creativity.
An art gallery is often a hub of activity with the opening of an exhibition or ‘vernissage’ being one of the highlights of the calendar. The event gives visitors the chance to discover the exhibition and chat about the artwork with other art enthusiasts. Moreover, it is a chance for the artists to get to know their customers and make connections.
In order to earn the artist’s commission, an art gallery will do all of the logistics of selling their work, including shipping and invoicing, as well as monitoring their value on the secondary market. The amount of money the artist will receive will depend on their agreement with the gallery (usually a 50/50 split). It is important that both parties are clear about this beforehand, as collaborations between galleries and artists are usually based on trust. A written agreement is recommended. This can be helpful for future reference if there is ever a dispute. It can also be useful in avoiding confusion and misunderstandings. In addition, it will save time and resources if both parties are clear about their role and responsibilities. This will ensure that everyone is happy with the results.