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galleries - my rant praising them / long

updated sat 20 dec 03


ccpottery@BELLSOUTH.NET on fri 19 dec 03

I have been working with galleries for only twelve years, but I am going to sing their
praises since I have dealt with at least a hundred galleries in that time and have only had
negative experiences with maybe 2 percent of them.

( I am not going to even speak about the Big City ones as they are not valid examples
for what the typical potter can expect day after day. )

But .... for the most part ...

These people are doing what they love. Often they are not really making a ton of money
but clearing expenses and feeding a family.

They take abuse from artists and customers.

They get stiffed by artists and customers.

They slog across the country to visit shows and artists. Many take the time to visit
studios, talk to and get to know the artist ... and let the artist get to know them.

They get hit first when the economy goes south .... and many were financially ruined in
the past three years ... losing not only their galleries but their homes.

They get blamed for everything ... from the artist they are to blame for bad sales ....
from the customer they are to blame for poor quality and artists who do not deliver on

They have the thankless task of telling artists their work is not ready to be shown yet
....oh and doesn't that rankle the 'super talented' artiste who was expecting the $1,000
price tag.

They also have the task of explaining the value of your work to those who don't get it.

So don't be so quick to lambaste the Mom & Pop galleries all across this country who
are working honestly to represent our work. I have the privilege of dealing with them all
year long and have made many friends doing so. They are mostly good people doing
the best they can.

You can avoid 90 percent of your problems with a gallery by acting in a business like
and professional manner.

Be upfront with what you can do and get in writing everything they say they are going
to do.

Get a contract stating what and when you are going to be paid.

Deliver your best quality work on time. Notify them if you are going to be late.

Pack your work so it arrives in good shape and let them know you expect it to be
packed the same way if they have to return it.

If they promise you anything, get it in writing.

Happy Holidays to All

Chris Campbell - in North Carolina - how beautiful it is outside right now ... clear blue sky
but somehow snowflakes blowing past my window.