Participating in gallery shows can feel like one expense after another for an artist. Not only are we paying entry fees for most shows, but we’re also paying for shipping to (and maybe from), packing materials and, if we’re fortunate enough to sell something in the show, we’re paying a percentage to the gallery. Often we enter shows and get little to no feedback about the process, our artwork, or the response to our work. In fact, in general, the gallery system is quite mysterious.
As book artists, we’re very fortunate to have gallery owners like Laura Russell who are willing to take the time to explain how galleries work. Laura, who runs 23 Sandy Gallery, is always gracious and patient. After our recent email exchange Laura used her own blog to answer my questions about what the submission fees pay for when you enter a juried show.
Some of the expenses seemed obvious, such as postcard printing and mailing, but others less so – such as paying a programmer to create the online forms we artists use to apply to the shows.
I think you’ll find Laura’s answer interesting. You can read the full text of her answer here.
And while you’re at the blog, take a moment to wander around the 23 Sandy Popular Postings (top right column), you’ll see more information that galleries rarely share with artists.
As always, thank you Laura.