How to Kick Start an Independent Art Gallery from Scratch
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, July 13, 2024

How to Kick Start an Independent Art Gallery from Scratch

Art is made to be seen. While it may be a physical expression of the emotions or essence of the individual who created it, its primary purpose is to have a tangible impact on the viewer. When a painter or sculptor creates, they thus do so with this eventual process always in their minds.

To truly showcase art in this way, however, it must be displayed in a setting that makes it more easily accessible. It’s not enough to hang it in the artist’s dusty home nor any private space that isn’t properly set up to exhibit it.

Instead, art needs dedicated places in which it can flourish, and independent art galleries act as the creative haven that’s required. Increasingly prevalent across Europe and North America, these need an owner/director with not merely a flair for beauty and an appreciation of aesthetic, but the logical mind necessary to plan for and profit from each individual exhibition.

Here are the practicalities that those with an eye to opening their own artistic space must therefore consider.

In order to create an independent art gallery with the potential to deliver profit, those responsible for the project must give careful consideration to their chosen location. That’s because you cannot select an ordinary building and expect it to enhance the art you’re showcasing; rather, you need a space with sufficient light, airiness, and character to complement the paintings exhibited. On top of this, there are a number of more mundane considerations to account for, such as ensuring that the area is accessible, relatively affluent (art comes with a price tag), and experiences sufficient footfall to bring in sales.

When you begin any venture, you must always do so with an understanding of worst-case scenarios in mind. While this can be daunting, the reason you need to consider what can go wrong is so that you can have a sufficient safety net in place to avoid such an outcome. The best way to achieve this is by taking out appropriate insurance, and this means looking for a specialist provider who understands your industry. For example, Next Insurance delivers tailored policies for thousands of different professions, with a focus on providing aid to small and independent businesses.

Once you have an exhibition space and insurance in place, you should think about how you’re going to advertise your business. To stay afloat, even the smallest enterprise must secure sales, in order to balance the books and ensure it’s not only covering its overheads, but turning a profit too.

While local advertising can be useful, online marketing should always be used alongside it. The idea is to spread the word and make sure there's enough content on the internet for interested parties to gain an idea of the aim and ethos of your exhibition, so look at creating not only a website, but social media pages as well, ideally with lots of high-quality and colourful imagery. You should target this as far as you’re able, to ensure your budget is spent only on those with a genuine interest in the art you’re showcasing.

When it comes to kick-starting an independent art gallery, it’s important to remember - above all - that it’s simply a business like any other. Follow these three basic principles, and you should be off to the very best start.

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