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pay to be in a gallery

updated wed 23 jan 02


Randy Peckham on tue 22 jan 02

Isn't there a national chain of craft stores where you pay to show your
work, and thay also take a percentage. A service tech that I have worked
with from the Alabama area told me about it. $80/month for a few shelves,
plus 18% of sales, I think. If a craftsman/artist has to pay to keep their
stuuf displayed, then the gallery doesn't need to be selective, and supply
vs. demand will prevail, not the gallery owners eye, or judgement. It may
actually open up the venue for more personal expression, that just might
sell. It might turn out to be a warehouse full of crap. Kind of like old
marketplaces, with carts etc..

I don't think paying a monthly "rent" for space is unrealistic. I also
believe that adding on a commision is not ridiculous. $100/month plus 50%,
plus credit card costs is something I probably wouldn't sign up for, but if
it got me what I wanted for my pots, who knows. It depends on clientele.
I know that in some stores a stoneware vase goes for $28, and in other
stores the same vase goes for $68, and sells.

The guy I talked to had a space in one of these stores, and displayed his
wife's flower pots. Plain terra-cotta pots from yard sales etc. that she
painted on. He said they couldn't keep them on the shelves, and it kept
his wife busy. I don't know if they ever made money, but he didn't seem to
care. His wife likes painting flower pots, and he couldn't just keep
stacking them on the porch. They had to go somewhere.

People do crafts for many reasons. Some pay huge amounts to do them, some
actually make a profit. Some are good design, and quality, some aren't.
Some want to make a living doing it, some just want to do it, and don't
care what it costs. Some just dream of breaking even. For some the
non-selective charge as you go gallery may be the only choice. Confidence
demands price etc. etc.