Regarding the 50% gallery commission rate. Here are a few points to consider:
The Studio Art Gallery is open more than 60 hours a week, Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm. During this time we put a lot of effort and creativity into marketing and selling the artworks consigned to us, actively promoting our artists and engaging our buyers. There is usually one or two directors available to assist clients and we are constantly researching creative ideas and techniques that we can use to attract, educate and nurture art collectors. We manage all shipping, insurance and crating of artwork for our clients, also ensuring that it is professionally packaged. Exhibitions are professionally curated in a high-quality exhibition space and we provid each artwork with good visibility.
We are a reputable, hardworking art gallery with many years experience in selling art and have earned credibility with a local and international client base. Therefore, our demonstrated confidence to represent and exhibit a specific artist has an immediate, positive impact on potential clients who rely on our gallery to identify quality art that might also have a long-term investment value. Furthermore, an artist whose work we choose to exhibit, becomes a direct beneficiary of this gallery/artist partnership as both the artwork and the artist instantly assume a higher level of “credibility” because of this relationship.
Like any commercial commodity, the value of art is often determined by two main factors. Firstly, there is the cost of production, everything from conceptualization to exhibition readiness, time, materials, hard work, etc., and secondly, there is the cost of selling the artwork, which includes everything from gallery overheads, marketing, customer services and building a client base, etc. Artists need to keep in mind that The Studio Art Gallery is a privately-owned and for-profit business. We should not be confused with non-profit art exhibit spaces that focus on education and preservation, even though we may partake in such activities from time to time.
The relationship between our gallery and represented artists, or invited artists participating in one of our organized events, is a business partnership. It is a relationship established with mutual financial benefit in mind – not charity. If we have sold an artwork for you, in essence, you have hired us to take over the marketing, sales, and customer service for that particular artwork and a 50% commission is what we charge for our efforts.
A brief overview of our marketing strategy for the Winter Life group exhibition:
- The Studio Art Gallery mailing list: We send out newsletters to more than 2500 subscribers. A special invite will be sent out to all our clients who have bought art from the gallery over the past 7 years.
- The Studio Art Gallery website: We will promote the Winter Life group exhibition and the artist participating. Our new portfolio artists will be added to the shop and other relevant places on the website.
- YouTube: a short video will be released a week after the opening event, depicting what is available, including information about our new portfolio artists, etc.
- Instagram: We will regularly upload artworks and artists details.
- The Studio Art Gallery FaceBook page: We schedule posts leading up to the opening event. All participating artists and our new portfolio artists will be made known via FaceBook after the opening event. Thereafter we will schedule posts inviting buyers and promoting artists until the end of the exhibition.
- We will boost the original Winter Life post on our FaceBook Fan Page
- The Harbour Bay Centre has a large FB following, webpage and marketing budget from which we benefit.
- We write articles for local News Papers.
- We will advertise in various art/events related publications (The Art Times events listing, Cape Town Magazine, etc.)
- People’s choice initiative: We encourage artists to invite their fans, friends
andfamily to attend the opening to vote for their work and partake in the ticket draw. This will bring more potential buyers to the opening event.
- The Tour Guide Partnership Program: We will actively market this exhibition to local tour guides operators, offering part of the galleries commission as an incentive for them to bring their clients to the gallery. This program is already active on our website.
- The Interior Decorator Partnership Program: We offer incentives to Interior Decorators as we partner with them on various projects.
For the new portfolio artists, we will take the marketing strategy way beyond the Winter Life group exhibition. See ‘Benefits of Representation’ on our Winter Life page.
Besides all our efforts, each artist also has the responsibility to self-promote. It is important to know how to promote your own artwork to galleries and online – brand yourself – and know why you create what you do. Communicate these things both visually and verbally with us, so that we can in-turn engage clients when they are admiring your work. The artist/gallery relationship is truly a partnership.