A question of ethics

Wow-what a week it's been. Since the lovely Ella Carty agreed to show her work at the gallery in April, we have had a string of enquiries and our 2020 exhibition schedule is gradually filling with some very talented artists.

The whole process of attracting artists to supply work has opened up some interesting conversations concerning our vision for the gallery and our business ethics. It has also given us a unique insight into the process of exhibiting in galleries that we hadn't been party to before. Exclusivity and high gallery commissions seem to be amongst the biggest bugbears with the artists we have spoken to so far. As painters ourselves, it seems we have shaped our business ethics in a very different way from most galleries. 


One big question was why only 25% commission? Weren't we selling ourselves short? Maybe we are. It's quite apparent that we could charge 30-50% commission on anything we sell. But after being on the other side of this fence, we had come by the figure by asking ourselves if we could do that to our fellow artists? Yes, we have bills to pay, but thankfully between us, we have some sound business skills. So we calculated that 25% commission was an ethical choice that allowed both parties to come away smiling after a successful exhibition.

Why not?

We were also asked why we are willing to let relatively unknown artists show their work in our gallery? Well, that's quite easy - why not? If you aren't commercially obsessed, this isn't a sticking point. Some galleries won't show the work of an unknown artist until they have proved themselves to be commercially viable. But this is a bit of a chicken and egg scenario, so sometimes it isn't very easy for new artists to develop a following. Open studios have redressed this balance to a certain degree. Still, if you haven't got money for the entry into the catalogue, or a studio / appropriate space to open to the public for a week, then even this isn't an option. It has always been our mission to show the work of artists we admire regardless of their popularity, which it seems has shaped our business ethic too.

Related art gallery art sales artists business ethics comission rates contemporary art exclusivity exhibition space gallery prices open studios underselling

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