Discuss: Artists: Tell us about your first art exhibit experience. | BrushBuzz by Canvoo
Discuss: Artists: Tell us about your first art exhibit experience.
Submitted by bsherwin at 7/6/2012 5:25:29 AM CST
bsherwin: Tell us about your first art exhibit experience. Where did your first art exhibit take place? Can you describe how you felt during the exhibit opening? What did you learn from that first experience?
It's funny that you should ask, Brian. We had our first exhibition in April and it was definitely an eye-opener. I wrote and article about it (ten things we had discovered, or something like that) and submitted it here.
It was possibly just that particular gallery but one huge lesson for us was that the staff weren't trained to sell. When people entered, the staff would look up from their books or laptops, smile and that was it. We were astonished! The exhibition was only for a week, but we decided that we needed to be there every single minute the gallery was open. We hadn't planned for that.
We carefully tried to educate them about Andy and his art but they really weren't interested. Lovely people but not interested in selling at all. Obviously there was no commission structure in place. We later found out that one of the staff - a very nice girl - was an artist herself. I suspect that she was working there to further her own career and I don't blame her for that in the least, but I had expected gallery staff to actively sell.
Hard working gallery staff can be hard to find. The last time I visited NY I stopped in 10 galleries... I was only greeted in two. I found staff more interested in doing their nails or checking their phones than acknowledging visitors. I've found that gallery staff in small cities have far more initiative. That is just my experience though.
I haven't been to any NY galleries but I've had just the same experience of the fingernails and phones brigade.
Some staff are very friendly but don't sell. We went to a local gallery recently during an artwalk. The staff (one lady) was outside having a cigarette with a couple of her friends. She followed us in and said 'Do help yourselves to a glass of wine and some food' which was all very nice but then she disappeared outside again.
I suppose that another issue is whether the gallery can sell the artist's type of work. There is a local gallery here run by a very smart lady. It's rare for me to see anything in the gallery that I personally like but she sells.
She won't take our work because of 'a bad experience with a well-known photographer'. I translate that to be 'I tried selling photography but can't.' It's true that she did represent a well-known photographer and I KNOW that his work sells. So I don't know what the 'bad experience' was.
I tell myself that selling photography was outside her comfort zone and that's why she sticks to traditional artwork. Maybe the photography didn't sell as well as she expected. Maybe that was her lack of knowledge about the work. I know that she could sell Andy's artwork but she would need to learn more about it to sell it effectively. I can understand that she doesn't feel the need to find the time to do that when she's busy selling the artwork she already has.
My goal is for her to realize what she's missing and approach us!