What is an Art Gallery?

An art gallery is an institution that exhibits a range of works by visual artists such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. It is usually a business with professional staff and an exhibition space for the public to view and purchase works. Many galleries also offer advisory services to clients and provide other support for artists, such as promoting their work on social media or arranging commissions with new collectors.

The main way galleries earn money is from sales of the artworks they exhibit. This is typically a 50% split between the gallery and the artist. However, there are other ways that galleries make their income such as by providing advisory services to clients, running workshops, and giving talks and lectures on the art they represent. Additionally, some galleries also take in private collections from the general public and can charge for their storage and care.

While art galleries can display a wide variety of genres, styles and eras they often specialize in a particular sector of the art market. For example, some galleries concentrate on photography, whereas others specialise in modernist or antiquities. A small number of galleries will also focus on a particular medium, such as oil paintings or drawing.

Many museums and art galleries offer a guided tour service which is free of charge. This is a great way to gain an initial overview of the displays and focus on a particular theme or period. The tours are also often accompanied by activities such as colouring pencils or collage to encourage creative responses to the works. Many galleries also have apps which allow visitors to create personalised tours and interact with the collection remotely.

Visiting as many exhibitions and openings as possible is a great way for an aspiring artist to get noticed by the local art scene. This can help build up a network of contacts and will also give the artist a chance to learn about other practices within the art world. This will be helpful when it comes to applying to other galleries in the future.

A good art gallery will carefully curate its collections and be mindful of the space available. This will ensure that the work is arranged in a way which will draw the attention of viewers and increase the impact of each individual piece. It will also pay close attention to the details of each painting, such as the scene, subject, and colours used to create the image.

The gallery should also include a comprehensive description of each work in its catalogue and information booklet. This will include a list of the materials and techniques used to create the artwork as well as a short biography of the artist. The gallery should also ensure that the information is clear and easy to understand for all visitors.

A good gallery will display the prices of its artworks clearly on the website and in its brochures. It will also be willing to discuss price enquiries with potential buyers. The gallery should also be able to arrange for its artists to be included in other prestigious exhibitions and events, such as biennales and salons, which will further their careers and increase the value of their work.