RedDot Podcast | Episode 017 | Saying Goodbye to a Gallery

A lot of my writing and podcasting is about the process of preparing to present your work to galleries and about how to establish relationships with gallery owners. In today’s podcast I’ll look at what happens when a relationship with a gallery doesn’t work out, and how to end the relationship.



What have you experienced when ending a relationship with a gallery?

Have you had to terminate a relationship with a gallery? Why did you end the relationship? Was ending the relationship difficult or awkward? Share your experiences and advice in the comments below.

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 had to say goodby to a gallery recently. They had stopped displaying my work, did not offer me any shows, and even removed me from their website. I assume they just couldnt bring themselves to kick me out. They were very nice people. I really dont understand what happened. I admit I wasnt very good about keeping in touch. It was a long ways away from my home ..
    Several states away. They had accepted me into the gallery right when it was starting up. I think as they grew, My work no longer fit. It would have been nice to be kept informed. And then I initiated leaving by saying I would just have them send my unsold work home. Which I had to pay for. Very disillisioned with the whole gallery scene at this point. I have submitted my work to many galleries to see if they were interested. I have received two responses ever. I know …galleries are getting piles of submittals all the time, but it doesnt make it easier on the artist knowing that. And the galleries I submit to have been researched by me to see if I would be a good fit and I don’t send to any place that says they are not taking submissions.

  2. Great podcast. Getting perspective from other artists on sticky situations is most helpful. Two years ago I had to regretfully pull out of a gallery that I had a long term relationship with. They helped build my presence and collector base in that part of the state – all while I was developing my artistic voice through landscape. However, the gallery owner (who is older) shied away from social media marketing – snail mail marketing as well. I even offered to spend a few days in that town setting up a simple, yet effective social marketing and local on-line presence with quick links they could go to to post shows, new art, etc. It was a no go. My last show, that I had worked on for months and drove across the state to install, had only one sale and the gallery traffic was going down – as the gallery owner additionally decided to be closed on weekends.

    Starting a two year transition of building a home/studio out of state, I decided to pull out of the gallery – yet expressed an interest for a future relationship – once my moves were completed and if the gallery could find a way to market and be open more – as they have sold a good amount of art for me. We had a good relationship and they understood my concerns and needs in these areas. There is no other gallery in that half of the state to show in that is at that level of quality.

    We stayed in touch and the gallery decided to merge and move up the street to become part of an established museum. This increased operational hours and marketing – as it’s covered by museum staff – a win-win. I’m so glad I retained my good relationship with them. Now I’m back where I have collectors and have kept my friendship with the gallery owner.

  3. I was in a gallery in Hawaii, I lived in California. They hadn’t sold anything in over a year, so we went for a gallery visit. I found out they had been using my artwork to stage houses and getting paid for their work. None of my art had my name or a price, only the gallery name, as if it wasn’t really for sale. I asked them to stop doing that and/or just ship my artwork back. They said they would put it back in the gallery and leave it there as they really liked it. I visited again a year later and again my artwork was gone and being used to stage houses. I went back to the gallery and asked/stated that I would like my artwork back, now. They shipped it back months later. I haven’t spoken to them since. It si too bad because it really was a beautiful high-end gallery.

  4. I had been with a local gallery for several years. It was an association’s non-profit gallery and I was a member. I only had a few sales, mostly to other artists, and took part in a few shows. Last year, we took part in a show at a farm a few towns over, where we also ran a raffle to benefit the gallery scholarship fund. When there were no visitors or customers in the building, I asked our association president if we had a permit for the raffle, having learned of the inexpensive and legal need for one. There were 2 other board members next to me. She said not to talk about it. I asked again and was adamantly told not to talk about it by her. I was pretty sure, at this point we didn’t. At the end of the year, I parted ways with the gallery. I decided I didn’t want my name associated with a gallery who, by not having a permit for raffles, would lose their non-profit status and might be considered less than honest. Should I have let them know my reasons? I didn’t.

    1. Yes, I think you should write a letter to the current board members telling them why you chose to leave – after first confirming that she did indeed fail to get a permit for the raffle.

      When the actions of one person imperil the organization’s nonprofit status, that can have a negative impact on every one of the other members. Not only could they all lose a venue for their art, but their reputation could suffer if the word got out that they were associated with a dishonest organization. There could even be a fine or other financial consequences. And the fact that this president was deceitful about the raffle raises a red flag about other ways she may be dishonest.

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