“You can’t make money as an artist” is a common stereotype within the society, suggesting that it is near impossible to make good money from art. In the days of yore, the exception being if you are Vincent Van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer or Ben Enwonwu, whose works are prized possessions of art collectors. In the world of Art today, even with the gloomy challenges globally, art has continued to thrive and grow vibrantly with new galleries popping up, and notable galleries now have tight schedules that require pre-booking to participate in exhibitions.
Art exhibitions are done genuinely out of love for the art community and helping the artists to make their works popular. But make no mistake, art exhibitions also have a business dimension. So, exhibition organisers strike a balance between the creative world and the business world. After all, why exhibit if you are not going to make some money?
Both the artist and organiser can make money from an art exhibition. On each sale, the organiser takes a commission of between 30 to 50% while some organisers or galleries take a very small percentage in exchange for a monthly payment or fee for displaying the art pieces. As an exhibitor, if you are looking for ways to bolster your revenue streams you can consider these tips.
Get to know the market and become an expert
Meet with artists or other members of the art community, evaluate the market, and get to know its artistic intricacies.
Have a strong online presence and utilise technology
Use social media to promote your event and grow your followers and clients. Use technology to manage your calendar of events, keep artist bios and portfolios up to date, and constantly display pictures and portfolios. During the COVID 19 lockdown period, some galleries still held successful shows leveraging online technology and they made unbelievable sales.
Diversify, do it differently
Magnus Resch, a German entrepreneur Professor and an art adviser, points out that the vast majority of galleries and exhibitors were competing for the same, tiny world of contemporary art collectors. Diversify! he suggests.
Some art collectors are now on the lookout for new talents and styles of art. They want something different and refreshing. Nigerian young contemporary artists are making sales and getting calls or contact from as far as the UK, US, and the Middle East.
Create networking opportunities
Connecting and collaborating with people both in and out of the art world will aid your efforts in making money from art exhibitions. Networking with community organisations to exhibit during their events and introduce your art piece to potential buyers.
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Image Source: SHUTTERTOCK