Is Showing your Art in a Co-op Gallery Worthwhile?

is it worth showing your work in a co--op gallery?

A few days ago, I wrote a post about the advisability of showing your work in a “vanity”gallery. This post has already received a lot of attention, comments and questions. I appreciate the input from the community and the willingness to share personal insight from past experiences.

In the comments, it became clear that there is some confusion, or at least a blurry understanding, of the difference between a pay-for-display (“vanity”) gallery and cooperative galleries. I feel it would be a good idea to continue the conversation by expanding it to cover this second type of gallery.

Let’s begin our conversation about co-op galleries with some definitions. As I said, there was some confusion about the difference between “vanity” galleries and co-op galleries. It’s easy to see how the confusion could arise, because both of these types of galleries charge some kind of fee or due in order for artists to display their work. A “vanity” gallery, however, is typically a private, for-profit operation that derives a significant portion of its total revenue from the ongoing fees paid by artists to display their works. In essence, the gallery charges a kind of rental fee for the space where an artist will display his or her work.

A co-op gallery also charges for participation and display of work, but typically this charge is a membership fee, rather than a rental fee. The co-op gallery is typically (and I say “typically”, because there are many different models for cooperative galleries) a group of artists who have come together to provide a venue where they can jointly display and sell artwork. Sometimes the group of artists will be part of a formally organized community art group or art guild. Other times the artists will have organized themselves around the gallery itself.

Because the co-op gallery is self-organized, members are often required not only to supply artwork to the gallery, but to work in the gallery on a regular basis. Member-artists will man the sales floor and handle the business operations of the gallery.

Depending on the location of the gallery and gallery overhead, the fees to participate in a co-op gallery are usually moderate, significantly lower than a fee-for-representation gallery.

Most major cities, and many smaller cities and towns will have a co-op gallery. In some areas that can’t sustain a commercial art gallery, a co-op gallery may be the only fine art venue available to the community.

So, is it worthwhile for an artist to show in a co-op gallery?

In many ways, the same considerations I mentioned in last week’s post on “vanity” galleries apply to this question. There are additional considerations as well. Let’s look at the advantages first.

Advantages of Showing in a Co-op Gallery

  • Co-op galleries can provide a great way for artists who are early in their careers to get exposure. Because a co-op gallery is based on membership and community rather than purely profit, it’s often the case that artists who may not have enough experience, or who are still developing style and quality, can show in a co-op gallery when they might not find representation in a commercial gallery.
  • The opportunity to work in the gallery and get sales experience is a great chance to learn the sales side of the business. I’ve always found it advantageous to work with an artist who understands this side of the business. Artists who have worked in co-op galleries understand not only the sales side of the gallery business, they often also have experience with the logistics of operating a gallery. This kind of experience will help you build a better business as an artist because you will better understand what buyers and galleries need.
  • A co-op gallery can provide a sense of community. You will get to know and work with other members of the co-op and will thus create a network of artists in your community. These artists can help you when you have questions for face challenges in your career.
  • Well-established co-op galleries can actually be quite good at selling work in the community. While I’ve never met an artist who built thier long-term success solely on their sales from co-op galleries, I’ve met many artists who supplement their income with steady sales from a co-op gallery.

Disadvantages of Showing your Art in a Co-op Gallery

  • Because co-op galleries give a venue to a wide range of artists, the consistency of work in a co-op gallery can be hit-and-miss. You may be showing your work with some of the top artists in your area, as well as with artists who are just beginning to create. This inconsistency can be a hamper to sales for the gallery.
  • A co-op gallery has incentive to show work by a large number of artists. The more members, the greater the dues that can be collected to offset costs. The gallery also then has motivation to show as much work as possible, by as many artists as possible, and this can dilute attention for any individual artist. This can also lead to a cluttered appearance in the gallery.
  • For many artists, the prospect of working in the gallery on a regular basis is a negative, rather than a positive. Volunteering in the gallery takes you away from your studio and from creating. Some artists don’t like the prospect of having to talk to buyers and haven’t yet developed sales skills.
  • Related to the last one,  because the sales staff is constantly rotating, buyers at a co-op gallery may not get the service and consistent follow-up necessary to generate strong sales.
  • I’ve heard of co-op galleries that have been destroyed by the politics of having a large group of artists come together to try to sell their art. Egos can get bruised, and feelings hurt. Artists are often left wondering why they have less work on display than other members. Some artists have . . . difficult personalities.

If you are considering showing in a co-op gallery, I would encourage you to do the same research prior to applying that I recommended for “vanity” galleries. Call several of the artists who are showing with the gallery and ask them if they feel it is worth the effort. Set definitive benchmarks to gauge the success of your relationship with the gallery, and don’t be afraid to leave the relationship if your needs are not being met.

Finally, take the opportunity to engage with the other artists who are members of the gallery. When I speak to artists who are happily engaged in cooperative representation, I hear repeatedly how valuable they find the sense of community in the gallery. For some artists, this is as valuable as the sales and exposure. If there are calls for volunteers, volunteer. Attend receptions for as many of your fellow artists as possible. Encourage your collectors to visit the gallery and participate in events.

What Have you Learned by Showing Your Art in Co-op Galleries?

Now you’ve heard what I think of co-op galleries, but I’ve never shown my art in one. If you have (or are currently) showing your work in a co-op gallery, I would love to hear your opinion of the experience. Is it worth the effort? Do co-op galleries sell art? What are the challenges you found?

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About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of, and founder of the Art Business Academy. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business.


  1. I believe Jason has done a great job summarizing the pros and cons of co-op galleries.

    I was part of two co-ops in Denver, CO. Both operated a bit differently from what Jason has described, which sounds to me more like an ongoing group show or retail store.

    Both Denver co-ops did exhibits monthly, where one artist usually has a solo show. In the case of Sliding Door Gallery (now defunct), it also did group shows occasionally.

    Pirate, now close to 40 years old and going strong, has two galleries, and usually runs two exhibits concurrently. (There are several other co-ops in the Denver area that have been in existence for many years. Spark, for example.)

    The artist whose work was showing was responsible for everything, from hanging, to sitting, to selling, to take down, to patch and paint.

    For me, being new to Denver, it was a great way to meet other artists as well as to become known in the community. I also learned a lot about mounting shows and curating.

  2. I live in a very tiny town – population ~ 500. We have something like a co-op gallery in one of the historic buildings in town, but it’s not owned by all of the members. The main owner, a potter, owns 90% and two other artists, myself and a third artist, each own 5%. We display the work of about 15 other local artists who reside within 50 miles of our town. Basically, it’s just an outlet to display and offer the work for sale. The gallery keeps 30% on sales from all of us, and we’re only open from Thurs to Sunday and are closed from Christmas to late January.

    I work at the gallery on Sundays and have found it to be an excellent opportunity to talk to visitors and explain what I do. My art has a fairly unique twist to it, and there’s more to it than meets the eye. So when someone stops at my corner and appears to be interested enough, I’ll open the conversation, telling them about the pigments. All of my work is done with local pigments, and this usually results in a sale if the person is interested in either my subjects or the environmental aspect of it.

    It would be hard to get that kind of representation in a traditional gallery, I think. So even though I’m limited to the traffic that flows through our tiny town on the way to hotter tourist attractions in the area, I’ve encountered some who have seen my prints and heard my story from farther away. So I think it’s working out great for me, albeit on a small scale.

    That said, it is probably less effective for the other traditional artists who don’t have a unique spin for marketing their work – IF they bother doing any of their own marketing. A few do a bit on social media, but most don’t – not at the gallery nor on social media or online, that I know of. They’re all welcome to be at the gallery to represent or demonstrate their own work as often as they’d like, but none do except on our annual Demo Days.

  3. I had participated in a few co-op galleries, and all of them took less commission if you put in time at the gallery. You didn’t have to work in the gallery, but they would take 50% of the retail price if you didn’t. One of the biggest problems I found was the personality conflicts. Also, the sales quality varied from person to person too. A lot of artists were not good sales people, and I include myself. But, like you said, it’s a great way for beginners to start if they can’t get gallery representation.

  4. I was invited to become a member of a co-op gallery where I live. It’s a nice gallery (tony neighborhood) location, and group of folks. It was going to run $4k to join and $3700 annually to participate with a total of 42 artists on roster at any given time. So, I decided to look hard at their numbers and model. They have 4 open calls with exhibitions annually sans members. Those open calls charge $25 to $50 per submission averaging from what they claim is about 300 submissions for each call. In addition, the gallery is rented out for corporate events, filming, etc. They do employ a gallery director which draws a reasonable salary. I do think they do some sales, but at the show I was in, nothing got a red dot.

    I also scoured their website and social media for clues about artistic successes and how they market their members. (Really lagging in currency.)

    After looking at their model, I wondered where the incentive was to generate art sales. And if they even had a sales program in place. Didn’t seem like it, and it didn’t seem like they actually wanted someone like me as a member asking hard business questions.

  5. I think Co-op galleries and vanity galleries are a perfectly legitimate business model for artists who need a venue for exposure and sales. I think that the artist who wants to jump to the next level in terms of sales and reputation should probably look for traditional galleries who already represent artists whose work is in the same or a similar category to theirs.

  6. I’ve been a member of a co-op gallery for several years. Our gallery is staffed 6 days a week by 2 members who work one day per month. The gallery is in our downtown artsy district and is very well respected mainly because the artists are JURIED in before they can become a member and show artwork. We’ve been in business for over 35 years and average around 60-65 members. Members are required to serve on a committee and help with a 1st Friday event once per year. Nobody depends on this one venue for a living, but it’s certainly helped me and others become a part of our local art community.

  7. Hi Jason,
    This is a timely post as I am about to show work in a coop Gallery. Last year I was invited to show in a Vanity Gallery but the rent was too much for me. $300 per month??? I like the feel of this coop Gallery, a group of Artists, rent much more reasonable they hang shows every 2 months $40 a month for 1 painting $75 for 2 no bigger than 24×30 or equivalent in smaller works. I have opted to submit two paintings and the show is from May 11 through July11. I will have to let you know how it goes. It is an established gallery, open for 12 years, and a non profit cooperative. Unfortunately it is too far away approx 3hr from where I live to become really involved and work in the Gallery etc. I like that they are open to helping new artists get started. It is the Riverfront Gallery in Petaluma California if anyone is interested.

  8. Times are changing for artists and galleries. Its important to keep an open mind and look for gallery solutions that fit your needs. There are lots of different less traditional oportunities opening up. Since many brick and mortar galleries are having a less than easy time as a biz model, evalute each situation individually. Don’t give up on showing your work but be selective.

  9. my experience has taught me to ask for financials up front, like details on what actual rent and utilities are costing each month or at least quarterly and it should be as transparent as possible. The co op I left over a year ago refused to give “member” artists that info. After I left, other artists asked for the same and it came out that the gallery was an LLC and was never a true co op. Obviously something that should have been revealed to incoming artists. So now I guess it is really a vanity gallery? now the remaining artists are not sure where they are, is it a co op or is it something else. Of course they found out that they have no say in the business end and the LLC members have indicated that no one but them will ever see the bills.
    I would join a co op again but only after doing some very detailed research and talking to former members and current members.

  10. I agree. I have been highly involved with a non-profit gallery with a co -op model.
    I was the gallery manager ( just left over difficult personalities of the board members) where the disagreement was I am a traditional artist and so are
    Most of our artists. ( and what sells) yet two board members want
    To have “contemporary and abstract art only” which our artists will not change styles for. 10 artists including me have walked away so far and more are thinking about leaving.
    I am seeking a traditional gallery or may help form a new co -op. I was doing great as gallery manager, our artists were happy. Now the gallery for this month is all abstract. I just can not get excited. Two other similar galleries in the area have closed for artists arguing in the last few years.

  11. I belong to a coop (juried in by vote of members). There are about 20-25 members, and dues are $50 a month and require 2 (3-hr) shifts in the gallery per month. Gallery gets 1/3 of selling cost and handles state tax. The gallery is in the city’s Arts District and part of monthly Gallery Hops etc. Each member gets one “solo” show a year, with another, so two artists exhibiting each month. There is also a member’s Gallery (two front walls) so all members can exhibit one painting (or artwork) a month. The support and connections of the member artists has been wonderful and led to participation in other venues (university galleries,etc.) However, I’ve actually not sold much even at “solo” shows that have received good publicity and favorable “comments.” (I have sold elsewhere.) I think just being part of the group is a favorable association.

  12. I belong to a co-op gallery and have done for about 4 years. We are located on the waterfront, near the cruise ship dock and are a big draw, though many times those folk buy cards, soap, or a small, lower priced item which will fit in their luggage.

    We do a regular business with local customers, but most don’t have the kind of disposable incomes to buy a medium to large sized piece of art. I personally feel as if we should promote our layaway program more strongly, as we don’t charge interest, and it encourages collecting.

    Myself, I have only sold two pieces through the gallery. I am not hugely aggressive in sales, but I will explain my work. to all and sundry .

  13. I am retired from a successful career in management, thanks to my MBA and being bilingual. I got my BFA ) in 1971 from American University, and have always considered myself a professional artist ever since. Sacrifices.

    Since retiring from Miami to Murphy, NC, I joined the Valley River Arts Guild (VRAG) several years ago, affiliated with the Murphy Arts Center (MAC),. Volunteer guild, $40 annual membership, work 3.5 hrs a month attend a monthly members meeting and serve on a committee, those are the requirements. 1/3 sales commission.. Great group of fellow regional artists and master craftsmen, no jury in, makes perfect sense for a small, historic town on one of the routes to Smoky Mtns. Natl. Park, the most visited in US. For me, being a Guild member is not about the money, rather the company and our mutual civic endevor.

  14. Some co-op galleries take anyone because they need bodies to work. Others need to look at work and decide if it is compatible with the group. The best ones are ones that like your work and are happy to share. The best arrangement I found was one that had a permanent part of the gallery where everyone was represented by the same amount of space. In addition to this there was a separate area for a one-person show that stayed up for a month. This show was advertised and each person got a month in rotation, so if there were 12 artist they would each get a month out of the year. If there are more or less artists the show just kept rotating with different artist each month.

  15. I am part of a co-op gallery in a small town about 30 miles south of where I live. I pay $60 a month for a wall in the second room on the first floor and I work one day per month. The gallery is large ($28,000 sg ft) and inexpensive as the town is very happy we are occupying the old bank building,. I love the space and the 55 fellow artists. We may only average 15 customers in the door each day but it is self-sufficient and occasionally I sell more art then my expenses. Of course in order to do this I sell cards and prints as it seems the average person does not want to spend more than $30. We all wish we could have a space this nice in a larger metropolitan area.

  16. About 15 years ago I joined a co-op gallery and stayed about 3 years. I was on the gallery’s board for 2 years and on a committee I worked the gallery 1 day per month. We had a full range of art and craft, but most sales were of lower-priced items. The monthly dues were quite affordable. It was early in my art career.

    I saw roughly the same pros/cons that Jason does, overall it was a great experience. To see what a gallery is like from the inside, to sell the work of other artists in other media, to meet a lot of wonderful artists, I learned a lot.

    I left because it took too much time. Although I wouldn’t do it a 2nd time, I’m glad I did it once.

  17. With the number of responses above I can see that co-op galleries come in all shapes and sizes. Jason listed all the pros and cons quite well. Perhaps the only thing not mentioned is how being a member in a co-op can help to keep one working as an artist. In the 12 years I have been in my local co-op I show one smaller work nearly every month and have a larger show with another member every 2 years. Hence I am constantly working on new works every month and also have to ramp up my production every 2 years. I can say this has helped me progress significantly in my art development. If I were not in the Gallery I could easily find many other non art things to fill my time and not much art work would ever get done.

    Of course the thing about being in a co-op is that one may be likely to sell only modestly and sometimes hardly at all, unlike being in a bigger commercial gallery where there is a trained sales staff and promotional activities. But then this is made up for by the pleasurable interaction I have with other fellow artists.

  18. We just closed our CoOp gallery after 8 years. We had about 20 to 24 members is a small store front.
    It was a great experience learning the ins and outs of what it takes to run a gallery, the promotion the brain storming on how to come up with ways to get people in the door, how to increase sales.

    I learned that this is probably something I would not take on again. I was a board member and also the person who would review the work of perspective new members. What we as board members discovered was that a lot of the work fell upon our shoulders. No matter how hard we tried to form committees to take on tasks it would not happen. Pricing was an issue and it seemed like instead of there being a steady increase over time peoples solution was to go lower in in order to try and sell more. Prices were meager for me. We tried to represent a variety of work from painting to photography, watercolor, jewelry, glass etc. More often then not most sales were under $100.00

    In a nut shell a lot of the work fell on a few people creating burn out with no one to fill those shoes.

  19. I worked in a couple co-ops early in my art career. They included all the pros and all the cons you mentioned. I didn’t stay long even though I was selling work. I personally don’t like to have to staff the co-op, even though the people were great. And there was so much(! ) other stuff that I felt the experience of my art was diluted. A learning experience it was.

  20. Two of my close artist friends are in a cooperative gallery (I don’t have time right now for the meetings and gallery work, so haven’t applied). They are not “emerging,” but have been artists for more than 20 years; one is well-known in her medium. It is juried; there is zero commission for meeting your obligations; they have constantly rotating shows and one open show per year, plus “featured artist” shows. Most work is of very high quality, and receptions are well-attended; I hear regular attendance is good. My friends sell quite a bit of work there. I suspect there is a wide variety of structures, but this one seems to work.

  21. I’m totally in agreement with Priscella, first because I know her, and I too am a member of two co-ops in Denver with different formats. I think the over all experience is great and you pay a smaller % compared to a regular gallery so you keep more of your sales. If you haven’t learned after a number of years that you absolutely must learn sales techniques I don’t know what to tell you. Here’s a drawback that struck me in a ah ha moment, that I had to face complacency I was comfortable in my sales and my work.There is nothing like real competition to get the juices flowing and the ideas coming.
    I didn’t really notice it until last year, when it hit after joining a new gallery and having our co-op move to a new art district suddenly it rotated my thinking just enough to see it very clearly and now I’m working on new work with a twist which is very exciting for me.

  22. Great question! I have had two co-op gallery experiences. One small, just 4 artists sharing a small space. The current gallery is in Laguna Beach, the artist enclave of OC. We have 12 artists, each with a 10’ – 12’ wall to exhibit 3 – 6 paintings, depending on the size.

    Jason mentioned just about everything that works and doesn’t work with the co-op model. Our biggest challenge has been keeping good artists in the gallery. And with this the reputation of the gallery has its ups and downs. Maintaining high quality original work is our priority.

    My experience has been that co-op galleries don’t get the same respect from collectors that a typical gallery does. There is something to be said for having a rep who has the time and trained sales techniques,.

    It is important for the artist to know how a gallery works and how difficult it is to sell paintings. A co-op experience is good to gain that understanding. The reality is that 50% of your time will be spent marketing your work as well as other gallery management tasks.

  23. I have been in a very successful co-op gallery that is in its 37th year of business and I have been a part of it for 27 years. I agree with all of the pros and cons, but obviously, it has worked very well for me. We are fortunate to be in a touristy area of FL (the Tower Gallery on Sanibel Island), but not necessarily on the beaten path of traffic, so have the struggle of people finding us. I enjoy meeting the people from all over the world that visit us- many come year after year. Even when I am not speaking to a potential customer about my own work, they will ask which is mine and after asking questions about my work, they are looking closer and understanding it more, which so often results in a sale that I may not have had if I had not been there. Also, by being there, I can replace work quickly when I sell and display it as I choose. I have been invited to be in other galleries, shows, etc by gallery owners, directors, and others finding my work in the co-op. We do jury our artists and always look for something that we don’t have. We are finding that it is getting harder and harder to find younger artists who want to be a part of a co-op- I suppose it’s the time and the money involve and their ability to sell online. We also are finding the average sale is becoming smaller such as others have said. I have had work in many other galleries in the last 27 years, but my co-op is still my best selling and favorite because of the control I have over my own work! I feel so fortunate to have been able to be part of this gallery and would do it again in a heartbeat!

  24. My favorite story from my time at a co-op gallery happened when a woman came in with a seat cushion from her sofa, looking for artwork to match it. She didn’t really care about the subject matter, just wanted something that was cheap and would match her sofa. From the point of view of making sales as an artist, it was a real eye-opener.

  25. I tried the starving artist route by myself, in France for 7 years; I returned, broke to Canada, and found a job teaching art at College level. That worked well until the college became an Institute and then a University of Art. Then, I couldn’t keep my job unless I had a Masters degree.
    I had been working part time elsewhere in another job with pension benefits and stayed there. I was 40 and had no savings and a low salary. I couldn’t then go into a Masters program (no $, no time) so I decided to stop teaching and to stay with the pensionable job.
    In compensation, all my evening hours and weekends were free for art making and I could afford the materials. I was very creative in those years. I tried to get a show once a year to keep myself connected and to encourage myself to produce a new body of work.
    By the time I was 61 and retired, I had a decent resumé, but I had no connections to what was going on in the art community and I had few artist friends.
    When I joined our cooperative (admission by jurying), I found artist friends. How wonderful, to find a community of people who knew the language of art. Three or four of the members were from the art department of a nearby university, so the quality of membership was quite high, though there was a range of abilities amongst the other members.
    I then began a 10 year association, with a 3 week solo show per year of my own choosing, with expectations that I would provide something contemporary and adventurous. In addition, there were a few group shows, and lately, some open-call group shows.
    I learned how to mount my own shows; we learned how to cooperate so that other members might help hang a solo-show member’s show. I learned what was expected in terms of representing myself through a portfolio book of my art activities; through preparing invitations and posters; by learning about different ways of advertising, both free and paid-for. I learned how to manage the business end of the gallery (and in the process learned respect for all gallery owners and their costs and responsibilities). I learned how to put together a good resume, artist statement, press release and documentation; and to properly present my work through excellent presentation (framing, clean edges, properly cut acid free mats, etc.)

    Our gallery attracted other professors including art professors; high end and exhibiting contemporary artists, sculptors and artisans. It also drew gallery dealers and museum directors. In that way, my work became noticed and I gathered a following of interested collectors and viewers. Through that process I have also been able to have some of my work represented in Municipal museums and various foundations.
    All of that I most likely would not have done had I plodded along thinking I could do it alone. For me it was invaluable.
    On the negative side, we have had people come, not like the working model of our gallery and when they left after a year (our contract with the cooperative stipulates a year’s engagement as a minimum), they complained publicly about our operation which discouraged some other artists from joining.
    Our Board of Directors changed from time to time, and sometimes, if the chair did not consult with the membership but imposed their view, then some dissatisfaction grew. Some members left due to illness or old age (we are all in the age group 45-75) we have lost members. So the model is changing.

    Just recently we decided to move to a Artist-run-centre which has a different model which allows us to apply for grants from funding bodies. That model doesn’t suit everyone. We can no longer promise a member a show per year. On the upside, our fees have been drastically reduced. But the work to keep the gallery going is greater. Maybe this will change as we increase our membership. Maybe the grants will sustain us better financially. We are in flux.
    So I would counsel that if you want to join a cooperative, there are some important things to know and to remember.
    One is that cooperative means just that – you need to put your shoulder to the wheel to keep it going, you need to participate and you need to meet with your fellow members often to solidify friendships and relationships.
    You need to know whether the model of the gallery suits your needs. Do you want to show once a year? Do you want to be doing contemporary and experimental art if that is the focus of your cooperative, or would you be better doing more traditional art with a cooperative that is focused on more classical modes of art?
    Meet with the other members. Are they people you can come to like? Do you like, even admire their work? Be mindful of the company you keep!
    Does the city/town/village in which you live provide a venue where your work will be seen by passers-by or are you in an area where your work will not easily be seen?
    Do you need to sell? Does the cooperative do that well? Or are you in the game to mostly use the space as a laboratory to see how your work holds together for a show? What are your expectations and what is the cooperative’s expectations.

    Many things to think about. … I have had a great run with my cooperative and would love for it to stay the same. It’s not possible. Will I like the Artist Run Center model. That is to be seen.

  26. Thank you so much for all your information Jason.
    I joined late last year, and there are 6 Artists including myself displaying our Art, so far it is going quite well.
    I enjoy talking to people and I find that people love it when an Artist is in the Gallery.
    I’m in my young 70’s and have painted for quite a few years. I find this Gallery a great place for me to paint for the day and enjoy the lovely people who come and brow’s and hopefully buy.
    We all have a day to open the Gallery, so we do get quite a few people though. Cost isn’t to bad, we pay once a week and 10%, on our sales, so all in all, I’m very happy.

  27. Another potential downside to the Co-op: A number of artist professional associations require that your work be exhibited at an “acceptable/professional” gallery, and often define co-ops as not acceptable. In my area, the number of galleries drastically declined in the years after 2008, and are not taking new artists, so our options are not great. Co-ops are sometimes the ONLY option. I agree that the standards for co-ops are truly all over the spectrum (some are practically operated as vanity galleries by wealthy retired people who just want a place to meet and show their work, no matter the quality), but I wish that some of the associations would either reconsider this exclusion, or, better yet, admit members based on the merits of their work, rather than their gallery status.

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