With the close of 2023, we prepare ourselves for what’s in store for the gallery in this brand-new year. We have several new artists showing at the gallery – some in their first ever solo show, and some in their first ever group show.
As exciting as a new artist is for the gallery, it can also be something that causes a bit of anxiety for me. With a new artist comes a big responsibility not only for the gallery but the artist as well.
For an artist to have a successful show with us, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration.
First and most importantly, does the artist have a full body of work at varying price points and sizes?
In a gallery show, one size fits all is a huge fail! An artist needs to have pieces made at different sizes to attract diverse buyers. These pieces need to be at various price points, so everyone who comes to the show can buy a piece from the artist.
I call this strategy the “Exit through the gift shop”.
Here is how it works…..
When you go to Disneyland, you might not be able to afford the huge 6’ tall collectors Mickey Mouse sculpture made out of bronze, but you will find other items in the gift shop that will fit your budget and commemorate your Disney experience…..maybe the size medium $40 Disney shirt is just the item or the Minnie Mouse plate! You make your purchase according to your budget, the smaller token from the gift shop is the perfect way for you to remember your time at Disney, you are happy, the gift shop is happy and then you exit the gift shop.
If the Disney gift shop only had 6’ tall bronze Mickey Mouse sculptures, they would have limited their customers and their sales.
All artists need to have an “Exit through the gift shop” strategy.
Price and size…..two things that cannot be ignored.
Pricing your pieces too high and making them too big can be the soul killer of any show. Most people have limited wall space and budgets. If you only work in 4’x 4’ pieces, at $1000 price point, you are sure to limit your audience and with a limited audience, you have limited collectors and sales.
Artists can become very attached to their work. The one way I can always tell if they have become too attached to a piece is by the price. Some artists love a piece so much they overprice it. When the piece is overpriced, the artist is going to lose, the collector is going to lose, and so is the gallery. If you love a piece you created, then keep it for yourself! The work you create for a show should be “priced to sell” so you can create more work and have another show. The idea is to sell the art…..right?
Over the last 4 years, I have had to have the uncomfortable “Price” conversation with many artists. I try my best to understand where they think their prices should be and why. I also understand what it is to be a buyer of artwork and what it is like to run a gallery. I get to see both sides of the coin – artist and curator. Over pricing pieces is a sure way to kill a show and to turn off buyers.
An Artist should listen to the curator or the person running their show when it comes to the pricing of pieces, they typically have a very good understanding of price points and what it takes to get that sale! If you choose to ignore the person giving the pricing advice, I can almost guarantee your show won’t go as well as you hoped….. The idea is to sell the art…..right?
I have seen beautiful works that we could not show because of the price of the work and in some cases the shear size of the work. Size and price…. They can’t be ignored for a successful show.
Inclosing, the reason to have a show is to sell the art…. right? We will let you answer that one.