Video: Ask a Gallery Owner | How Many Artists Can a Gallery Effectively Represent?

In this session, I respond to a question from an artist named Grace in NJ:

“In researching galleries, I notice some galleries represent hundreds of artists. Literally 25 w the last name starting with an “A” and so on through the alphabet. Are they galleries that just have your images on file for people to peruse? What is your take or experience with galleries such as these?”

What do you think?

Are you currently, or have you been in the past, represented by a gallery (online or off) that purports to represent hundreds or even thousands of artists? Have you had sales through the gallery? What do you feel is the optimal number of artists for a gallery to represent? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below. Have a question you would like me to answer in an upcoming session? Post it in the comments as well.

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 reddotblog.com, 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.

7 Comments

  1. I am currently in a warehouse gallery with over 65 artists. In my opinion I think ‘space’ matters regarding this question. The gallery I’m in is more like Interior design vignettes – which I love. I’ve been in some galleries with over 1,000 artists and it’s a visual overload for me.

    I would say no more than 50.

    Thanks for this blog.
    Nancy

    1. Absolutely, space is critical in terms of the number of artists. I, too, have visited galleries on both ends of the spectrum, and it all comes down to finding what works for the space and artists.

  2. As you said, Jason, it depends on the wall space as to the number of 2-D artists represented. I’m in a gallery with large wall space and 40 to 45 2-D artists seems about right for that space. We all get a nice display of our work. The owner also does a great job of respecting our styles and subject matter and looks to have artists that are not overlapping in style so a new artist doesn’t detact sales from someone who has been in the gallery for a while. I’ve also been in small galleries where the limit was more like 20 2-D artists so there was enough space for each artists to have several samples of work. Gallery storage space also is a huge factor. If they have good storage then they can have several more peices by each artist to draw from if a customer wants to see more than is what is currently on display.
    I have also been in one gallery where you were featured in one show with maybe 10 peices for one month and the rest of the year your work was only shown online. I had no sales from that venue because the number on online artists was too large to help anyone find you and your work was really only acrtively promoted for about two months: the month before and the month of the physical gallery show.

    1. Thank you for your input April! It sounds like you’ve had a range of experiences, from galleries with a lot of artists to those with only a few, and as you say, each gallery is different, and it’s important to find one that is a good fit for your work.

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