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out of state galleries

updated thu 9 jul 98


Stephani Stephenson on sat 4 jul 98

Am looking into working with out of state galleries, and would like to
>from those of you with this experience, on how you protect your interests.
Hi marie elaine....

I've had a range of experiences with out of state galeries.I make
ceramic sculpture in the $400- $800 range so most galleries consign my
work. I also make smaller pieces in the $20-$40 range which I sell
outright to the galleries. Long distance consignment is a hassle if you
are trying to keep track of a gadzillion smaller items. You can't assume
the gallery will keep track of them either.sometimes I do a trial run,
send a riskworthy sampling , see how they do.
I would advise visiting the gallery first or getting recommendations
from other artists.
.worst experience involved a gallery which looked great , great
credentials and friendly people. It went bankrupt..inventory,
(including my consigned sculpture) was impounded..the only thing that
saved my work was the fact that the state had a 'consignment law' which
protects the artist,...and a fearless arts commission employee worked
hard to prevent creditors from absconding with all the artwork....make
sure the state where you show has such a law or make sure you have an
agreement....I still had to find someone to pick up my pieces when they
were released one year later....
if you know someone who lives in the same city as the gallery they can
visit the gallery, anonymously or otherwise and see if your work is
displayed,if the gallery personnel are informed , etc. sometimes
galleries will pull, misplace or break work without letting you know.
Other drawback is that it's difficult to keep current with changes in
the look and feel of the gallery, of it without in person visits. And
most galleries would rather stash your old work in the back than pay
shipping on it's return .
On the bright side, my best gallery is out of state. My first contact
with them was in person. we talk on the phone a lot, and I try to visit
in person for an opening, or something once every couple of years. it's
become a long term relationship.
Around here, I have to go out of state to make a go of advice
is, get written contracts, expect a few losses and develop personal
relationships with the gallery owner or manager.Drop the bad ones and
cultivate and pamper the good ones!
Stephani Stephenson, Missoula, MT.

Wendy Hampton on wed 8 jul 98

My only experience with an out of state gallery was not a good one. A gallery
in Alaska wanted to commission several pieces of one of a kind pieces. We
asked for 50% down and 50% upon delivery. They asked if we would just send
them COD. We agreed. We called them when the pieces were completed with the
total cost including shipping and insurance. They said okay. About 3 days
later I called to see if the pieces had arrived and they said they were going
to refuse them because the shipping costs were more than they could afford.
They wanted us to reduce our shipping costs (we only charged them actual
costs) if we wanted them to accept the delivery. Being over the barrel at
that point we made a compromise but I must admit that will be the last time I
send anything COD out of state.
Wendy from Bainbridge Island WA