Get Your Work in an Art Gallery & Sell It
Rhonda Schaller | ArtyShark
Rhonda Schaller is an artist, gallerist, and the Assistant Director of Career Development at New York’s School of Visual Arts. She has an amazing wealth of knowledge, and offers in-depth steps to sell your artwork through galleries or as a self-produced artist. Bookmark it, print it out, study and learn how to advance your art career!
I want to talk with you about the New York City art world and how to stake out a career path as a fine artist. The art world is a market- driven business, like stocks, like real estate, like most commodities, and it is changing. As is the entire world market for art. Everything is in flux right now, as would figure given the state of the global economy and the changing face of all commodity based enterprises.
Based on my research on the art market, what I have learned from reading established dealers like Ed Winkelman who has a great blog, my own experience as an alternative New York City gallerist, and as a successful working artist for the last 26 years, I have collected information I would like to share with you.
I became fascinated by art dealers in 1998 when Holly Solomon, the late great contemporary art dealer made her first visit to my studio. Before her death a few years later, she and I would shop at Issey Miyake and go for chicken soup, and talk about art. I was 40 then, the same age she was when she started her gallery. She taught me a lot. What I learned from those talks I applied, and that wisdom has helped make my self-produced career both fulfilling and meaningful. Rhonda’s mentor Holly Solomon
I have found that art schools do not teach how the art world functions and what you – the artist – should do. Or what you need to know. Even if it – the market for art – is changing, and in my opinion, new models need to be created – you need to know how it has worked, how it works currently, and then you can make choices that fit your aspirations and goals.
Artists do not know the difference between self-producing and working with a commercial art dealer. Many artists do not know how to get their foot in the door in either world, and if it is the right foot or right door for them (so to speak).
So, this is what I have discovered in my research and in my life, about how the commercial art world works, at least for now. Is it for you? Lets dive in.
• Setting career goals • Dealers vs. self-producing • How NOT to get a gallery • Steps to build your career
Set Your Own Career Goals
You can have a successful art career, be reviewed in magazines and newspapers, be featured in online Webzines, and create and contribute to blogs. You can have a core of dedicated collectors, and find new buyers, be collected by public curators for permanent collections and make a living with your work.
You can apply and receive grants and funding for your projects. You can do all of this, support yourself with your work without a commercial New York gallery. You can also be successful if you are represented by a New York commercial gallery or a series of galleries regionally, and work together with a community of like-minded artists or a dealer in the commercial art scene to pursue your dreams. There is no one way to be successful.
You do need to set your own goals and have a vision of your own career. That is the key. Then, you can create the right strategy of next steps to manifest that vision.