Initial Results from Xanadu Gallery’s 2013 State of the Art Survey

Xanadu Gallery’s second annual State of the Art Survey has just closed and we have begun tabulating the result. We would like to thank all of the 1,155 artists who participated (almost a 10% increase over last year).  This year we can look at the responses to the questions, and we can compare them to last year’s results, which helps us begin to see long-term trends.

As always, it bears mention that our surveys are intended to be an informal check of the pulse of the art market for artists. The survey is not scientific – the survey group is voluntary,  not randomized, and we’re not statisticians – but we feel the data obtained gives a good general sense of the art market.



We had a broad, geographically diverse group of artists participate in this year’s survey. While most respondents were inside the U.S., we had international participants as well.

Pacific U.S. 18.3% 202
Mountain States U.S. 12.9% 142
Midwest U.S. 16.6% 183
East Coast U.S. 20.2% 222
Southern States U.S. 16.3% 179
New England U.S. 5.0% 55
Canada 7.8% 86
Mexico 0.0% 0
Central America 0.0% 0
South America 0.2% 2
Europe 2.2% 24
Australia 0.5% 6
Other 69


We also had artists from many media participate, though, once again, a majority of respondents were painters.

Professional Engagement

47 percent of our respondents listed themselves as part-time artists. 44 percent stated that they were full-time, but delving deeper into this number reveals that of those who listed themselves as full-time, 44.9% were producing fewer than 30 pieces per year and 38.7% were selling less than $10,000 worth of work per year. This would indicate that many self-reported full-time artists truly are “starving” or that they have a partner, spouse, or some other independent source of support. In a later post, we will look at this question from another perspective to see how many highly productive and high-selling artists are engaged full-time in their work.


Selling art isn’t easy, and our survey finds that most participants are struggling to gain traction with their sales. If you find yourself in this position, know that you are not alone, but also know that there are artists out there who have built a following for their work and are successfully selling.

 Sales Trends

This year, 43% of respondents reported that their sales were up over the previous year, and 28% indicated that sales held steady. 29% reported that sales were down. Comparing these results to last year’s responses when we found that 40% increased sales over the previous year, 26% held steady and 34% experienced a decrease, it would appear that the market is recovering and more artists are seeing sales growth. This reflects what we’ve seen in the gallery where our art sales (including online sales) were up by nearly a third year-over-year.




Marketing Efforts

This year we again asked where artists would be putting their marketing efforts in the coming year. This time around we permitted respondents to select all of the efforts they would be undertaking. Nearly 3/4 of the respondents reported that they would be participating in art shows and festivals, while 68% said they would pursue further gallery representation.

We also asked how much artists are investing in advertising.


Gallery Representation

As a gallery, we’re always interested to see how many artists are showing in galleries, and of those represented by galleries, how many galleries they are showing in. In a forthcoming post we’ll delve deeper into this question to tease out how successful gallery artists are.

Perception of the Market

Once again we asked about artists’ perception of the health of the general market, and while the results improved somewhat over last year (10% more respondents think the market is improving), there is still a fair amount of pessimism about the near-future of the art market.

2013 result

2012 result


Outlook for Personal Sales

Again we found that artists are generally more pessimistic about the broad market than they are about their own success. When asked whether their own sales would rise, hold steady or decline, 70% felt their own sales would increase in 2013. This is 5% better than last year.

In our Next Post

This post gave you a general overview of the responses we received to the survey. Our next post will start to parse the details further, looking at what successful artists are doing to generate success and how marketing impacts sales.


Share Your Thoughts

Did the results of the Xanadu Gallery’s State of the Art Survey surprise you in any way? Do you have thoughts or questions about the survey? Leave your comments below.

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  1. CSchnackel
  2. Barry Mandot Messer
  3. Barrett Edwards
  4. Chuck Staley
  5. Carol Tufford
  6. Emily
  8. Dana Feagin
  9. Joseph Bennett
  10. Sharon Otstot
  11. Nubia Seibert
  12. Beverly Adams
  13. Nancy Coleman
  14. Nancy Coleman
  15. John Harrison
  16. Kristin Krimmel
  17. Pat D'Aversa
  18. Darko Topalski
  19. Merry Beninato
  20. Kat
  21. Marian
  22. Dave Beckett
  23. jerry adams
  24. Marie-Louise McHugh
  25. Judy Cook
  26. Phyllis Jaffe
  27. Pamela Palma
  28. Carol L. Randolph
  29. Sylvia Doucet Stanton
  30. Andy Church
  31. Maggie Smith
  32. Sharon Sieben
  33. Lil Clinard
  34. rebeca
  36. Lynda P
  37. kathryn
  38. Julie Bernstein Engelmann
  39. Mary Westheimer
  40. Trisha Selgrath
  41. Jo Mattison
  42. Rhonda
  43. Karen Banker
  44. Jeanne Rosier Smith
  45. Leslie Kaplan
  46. Lynn Morgan
  47. Douglas Kelly
  48. June Heimsoth
  49. Dannine Donaho
  50. Maggie Smith
  51. Meran niCuill
  52. Dee L
  53. Carrie
  54. Sharon Otstot
  55. eija heward
  56. Sidney Delson

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