Wade Blocker on wed 7 feb 01
There are indeed galleries that have art shows based on a theme.
You are correct when you say that gift shops do not bother to do so
There are of course galleries and galleries. The good ones do have shows
featuring different artists at different times. There are galleries that
have one man shows, or shows for several of the gallery artists. That
requires a lot of work of the gallery owner,rearranging the gallery for
every show, advertising , refreshments, mailers etc. The smaller the town,
the less likely will you find a gallery that will engage in this practice.
In Albuquerque there are art crawl nights every three months, involving a
different sector of the city. I have noticed the same practice on a recent
visit to Scottsdale,Arizona, In one of the galleries that carried my work
in Los Angeles, there were nine or ten shows yearly, featuring a different
artist.Galleries in tourist areas do not need to do that, because the
clientele is never the same.Mia in ABQ
Snail Scott on wed 7 feb 01
At 03:07 PM 2/7/01 -0700, you wrote:
>Well, I knew we would all get it when you returned. I've been
>thinking about your post while working, and it occurred to me that when we
>in the U.S. say "gallery", we aren't talking about the same thing. Most of
>us on this list are Americans, and I wonder if galleries in America and
>galleries in Britain and Europe might not be very different from one
There are definitely two kinds of gallery.
The first sort which carries work by a 'stable'
of regular artists. This could be a 'gift shop'
or craft outlet type gallery, or it could be a
very high-end fine art dealer. They're usually
retail, but may acquire their wares outright or
on consignment, or both. They may be for profit
The second sort sponsors juried or curated shows,
which may change every month or so. These are
usually more in the fine-art vein, and less the
'gift shop' sort. They usually make their money
from a combination of entry fees and a percentage
of sales. The percentage is usually lower than in
the retail-type gallery, though. These also may
be nonprofit or for-profit.
Many galleries do both. A gallery that I once
showed with had its regular artists' work
displayed continuously, but used the main front
room to mount juried or invitational exhibitions.
Cindy Strnad on wed 7 feb 01
Well, I knew we would all get it when you returned. I've been
thinking about your post while working, and it occurred to me that when we
in the U.S. say "gallery", we aren't talking about the same thing. Most of
us on this list are Americans, and I wonder if galleries in America and
galleries in Britain and Europe might not be very different from one
There's an art center in Rapid City where they put on themed shows. I've
never known a gallery to do this, though. Of course, I'm sure I've visited
fewer than 1% of the galleries in the U.S., but I'm reasonably sure that no
galleries in Western SD do this sort of thing.
All the "galleries" I've ever worked with have a consistent theme or style
which they keep year round. They don't want work for 3 months--they want it
until they either sell it or decide it's not going to sell. I suppose you
would call them high-end gift shops, not galleries.
I wouldn't object at all to participating in the kind of shows you put on at
the Chapel of Art. In fact, I'd love to have the opportunity. Please
understand that when we talk of "galleries", I'm pretty sure that most of us
are talking about expensive and (one hopes) tasteful gift shops.
It's one thing to submit one's work for a timed show, and another thing
entirely to stock the shelves of a gift shop.
We think we're communicating with one another because we believe we're
speaking the same language. At least, the words sound familiar--but
sometimes they mean different things, so we disagree when we might otherwise
Earthen Vessels Pottery
RR 1, Box 51
Custer, SD 57730
Janet Kaiser on fri 9 feb 01
Yes, Cindy, that is exactly what I wanted to
point out... The difference between a gallery
and a shop. Just because a shop calls itself a
gallery, does not mean it is one. And if a
gallery sells work, that does not necessarily
mean it is a shop!
If the two terms are interchangeable in the US
that is very sad... >sigh< But isn't it really
just sloppy use of language?
The "educational" factor of the gallery must
come first... Whether public/non-profit or
private/commercial that is - or should be -
their main remit as a true gallery. This is
seeing the gallery as the home of contemporary
work versus the art museum type gallery. What is
in the gallery today, will be in the art museum
This distinction also naturally reflects (in
part) some of the old snobbishness of art being
above commercialism. It is no longer and really
never has been true, but we all pretend it is.
There is actually method in the madness... High
Art commands a high price. Given the right,
rarefied environment and those prices everyone
dreams of become reality. That is not going to
happen to shelves full of work stacked up in a
cluttered shop, however tastefully displayed.
A lot of the interminable broo-ha-ha could be
cut out, if everyone followed a simple principal
and sold their work outright to shops and had
work on short-term assignment in galleries. But
that can only work if there are real galleries
around and people (artists and clientele)
recognise them for what they are.
I am really very surprised to hear that you do
not have changing named or themed exhibitions of
work more in the USA. How do you capture and
hold public attention without? Maybe this is
part of the problem promoting work? The
difficulty finding suitable outlets? Public
apathy would soon set in here, if we did not
change exhibitions at least every six to eight
Our exhibitions should be much shorter than
that, but Eckhard and I quite honestly do not
have the energy. It is bad enough doing a change
around in one so-called day off, but by the time
we take out all our public holidays, we only
have ten days free between Easter and November
each year and we simply could not physically
manage with less. Nor could we stand the stress,
time and increased administration and added
costs of more...
I don't recall who said galleries in tourist
areas do not need to change their exhibitions,
but this is not true for us. We have a healthy
number of visitors who visit us several times a
year. Many have holiday or second homes and
would be very disappointed to find the "same old
things" on exhibition each time they called.
This includes work by "resident" and local
exhibitors. We have to carefully rotate them so
they all have a fair deal re exhibition space
and dates. Easter is (for example) the busiest
and best time of year, closely followed by the
first two weeks of August and the week between
Christmas and the New Year.
Easter, August and Christmas therefore have to
be completely and violently different and the
times in-between have to be exciting to attract
local people and keep them calling in... We only
have a resident population of around 2,000 so to
achieve our 10,000 per annum numbers (plus
children) we have to work hard at keeping
ourselves in the public eye. A lot of local word
of mouth in hotels, clubs, homes, churches and
cafés can only be achieved if we catch and hold
that local interest.
We do have certain restrictions which galleries
in towns and cities do not... For example, local
landscapes are the No. One Best Seller, so we
have a bias towards them because we do like to
eat, not because they are our speciality. But
even galleries in the big towns and cities which
do have a single subjects - say maritime,
figurative, landscape, religious & icons,
impressionist, modern or whatever - regularly
change exhibitions, so they hold their clients'
Which makes me return to the staid shop attitude
of "galleries" in the US... No wonder buoyant
sales are pretty difficult to achieve if there
is a permanent, unchanging "stock". No buzz
there. Few return visits to see what's new. No
sizzle worth mentioning... Surely you are very
much at a disadvantage as a maker or artist in
that sort of situation?
Now I see why the staff sit around drinking
cappuccinos... There must be a minimal amount to
do. No wonder they have to take a larger
percentage and you as makers keep dropping
prices or keeping prices low in the hope you
will sell more that way. In my not so humble
opinion and if I understand the situation as you
describe it correctly, there needs to be a big
shake up and re-evaluation all around...
No wonder the craft fairs were so popular... It
represented a welcome change from an ordinary
shopping type situation presented by galleries.
That enthusiasm for craft fairs should be
spilling over into the galleries, now the fairs
have fallen from the popularity ratings... I
wonder why they have not taken that on board?
Apathy perhaps? Or does the artist versus
gallery attitude shared by so many stop them??
I must stop! You all of course realise it is
full moon? :-)
The Chapel of Art . Capel Celfyddyd
HOME OF THE INTERNATIONAL POTTERS' PATH
Criccieth LL52 0EA, GB-Wales Tel: (01766) 523570
----- Original Message -----
> Well, I knew we would all get it when you
returned. I've been
> thinking about your post while working, and it
occurred to me that when we
> in the U.S. say "gallery", we aren't talking
about the same thing. Most of
> us on this list are Americans, and I wonder if
galleries in America and
> galleries in Britain and Europe might not be
very different from one