Received an interesting email from a photographer (pasted it below for you to see) where a gallery in Montreal will exhibit your work if you pay them a fee: $2500 for a solo show and $150 per image for a group show. It looks like they just send out this email with all the details clearly explained hoping to snare a couple photographers. They also include all their bank transfer information so you can wire them the money.
I decided to ask a photographer I know who exhibits 4-5 times a year and has a solo show every other year how the whole gallery opening and exhibiting works.
How often do you get an email solicitation to exhibit your work?
I would guess I receive about 3 -5 email invitations a week to various and sundry art-related things and only about 5 over the course of my life have led to anything worth while. It’s always something enticing and they always find me on the internet and it’s almost always bogus. The thing to do is to assume that it’s spam, then research it without downloading or clicking on anything in the email. But if a gallery is really interested in your work, they will call you, on the phone, or send you an email that states specifically what they saw, where and why they like it.
How does it usually work?
The gallery industry in the U.S. and Europe (to the extent of my experience there allows me to state such a thing) has very similar standards, not unlike the magazine world: they vary from place to place, and you get more or less depending on who you are, but there’s a bar that’s pretty even. For gallery show practice it is this: the artist makes and frames (or doesn’t frame) the work, documents and provides documentation to the gallery for promotional purposes, and then the gallery sells the art, and the sales are a split commission 50/50. There should also be a contract signed at the beginning of any relationship.
In all the shows I’ve had, most of the costs that I’ve been asked to share with galleries involve advertising. It’s not uncommon to split the cost of printing the show card, or for buying space in magazines like Artforum, Art News, etc… or to buy an ad in a magazine that targets painting if you’re a painter, or sculpture, etc.. But it’s always split. The artist is never responsible for the entire cost unless he/she chooses to do so, and then the gallery should be concerned that the page is designed correctly.
Some galleries make you split the commission of the frame cost, even if you’ve paid for them in full. Personally, I don’t go for that. It’s my opinion that framing is a raw cost and the work can be sold unframed for the normal commission split. So there are minor ways that galleries work out the money problems of having shows.
Galleries are simply stores. They sell art as opposed to groceries, so it just feels like a bigger deal than it is. You love your dealer like you love the produce guy who knows you like avocados and calls you or sets aside the best ones for when you come in. Maybe that’s not the best analogy but one’s relationship with one’s gallerist should be happy and uncomplicated.
Email from the gallery after the jump.
C O N T E M P O R A R Y A R T &
DESIGN C O N T E M P O R A I N
279 Sherbrooke West, suite 205
Montréal QC Canada H2X 1Y2
firstname.lastname@example.org tel: (514)
879.9694 fax: (514) 879.9694
We have viewed your work and would like to offer you an opportunity for an exhibition of your work in Montreal, for the year 2009/2010. Please find below the “Terms and conditions”. You will receive a confirmation, an exhibition date and other related information (by fax or e-mail) within a week of the gallery’s receipt of the “application form” (see page 3) Visit the gallery website for additional information: www.gallerygora.com
Gallery Gora is in the heart of downtown Montreal. The gallery is adjacent to the “Musée d’Art Contemporain” and other major museums. Gallery Gora has existed since 1994 and represents a number of Canadian and international contemporary artists. As an expanding cultural center in North America, Montreal is increasingly attracting ‘cultural tourism’. It has two official languages (French and English) as well as many other tongues spoken by
its multi-cultural population. This provides the basis of a lively cultural scene that organizes a great array of cultural events, such as the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Just for Laughs Festival, and the International Film Festival.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
1. Eligibility and Application Procedure Gallery Gora invites you to exhibit in a solo or in a group exhibition. Selections are made solely on the basis of artists’ portfolios. Please send to the gallery:
– Completed and signed application (see page 4)
– International bank/postal money order or bank transfer (see “deposit” paragraph 3) You will then receive a confirmation, an exhibition date and other related information.
2. Duration of Exhibition The exhibition runs for a minimum of 3 weeks (at least 19 opening days, not including setup and take down time).
3. Exhibition Fee
A – Solo Exhibition
– Each artist can have up to 20 pieces of work depending on size
– The fee for a solo exhibition is $2,500.00 to cover gallery expenses.
– The first $2,500.00 of sale are commission free.
– The gallery takes a 20% commission during the 3 week exhibition
– A deposit of $700.00 is paid together with the application. It is payable by International Money Order to “Gallery Gora” or an electronic bank transfer to:
Galerie Gora INC / CIBC bank / Phillips Square / Transit # [Redacted] / Acc # [Redacted] / Swift code : [Redacted] / Routing # or ABA # : [Redacted].
Address: CIBC bank / Phillips Square 600 rue Cathcart , Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3B 1K8
Please email a copy of the transfer to the gallery.
– The balance of the fee is payable 5 weeks prior to the exhibition date. All money is refundable in full if Gallery Gora cancels the exhibition.
B – Group exhibition
– The fee to take part in a group exhibition is $250.00 for first work and $150.00 for each additional work.
– The number of artists in a group show depends on the total number of works. The width of each work should not exceed 3ft or it will be counted as two works. The mode of payment is similar to the solo exhibition, deposit is 20% of total fee.
Exhibition fees cover furthermore: Advertising and public relations
– Mention of the show in all weekly newspaper arts calendars in Montreal (when possible)
– A press release including an invitation to the exhibition e-mailed to a list of contacts (over 60,000) 1 week prior to the opening. Our contacts include the press, curators, critics, dealers, consultants and corporations, as well as a larger body of public members and buyers. If artists supply the gallery with additional e-mail lists, we will forward the invitation to these addresses as well.
– Full colour invitation cards. If we are provided with a postal mailing list of addresses within Canada, these cards will be sent out free of charge.
– Other advertising options are available at extra cost (see application form) Reception
– On the evening of the exhibition’s opening, the gallery will welcome guests with wine and other beverages.
– Gallery staff will be at hand to receive visitors throughout the exhibition and to organize corporate/cultural events and receptions whenever possible, whether the artists choose or not to be present at the show.
– The Gallery takes a 20% commission on sales during the 3 week exhibition. The first $2,500.00 of sale are commission free. All money due will be sent to you within 10 days of the sale.
Artists are responsible for all shipping fees and procedures to and from the gallery door. If you need help or an estimate from our shipper please send an e-mail to the gallery with the following information : Number of boxes, size and weight of each box, your full address.
Arrival: Shipped works must arrive in a strong protective and reusable package. All shipments must be delivered to the gallery door.
Pick-up: If the work is not retained for representation, it must be picked up from the gallery within 10 working days following the end of the exhibition. The gallery will assist you with shipping if needed.
6. Installation of Works
– All work must be ready to hang or show. The gallery provides pedestals for sculptures. Installations should come with clear instructions.
-Gallery staff will do the hanging and packing/unpacking of the work.
7. Canvas stretching
If works on canvas arrive at the gallery in a roll (to save on shipping costs), gallery staff will stretch (and un-stretch) the paintings for US $10 per painting. Cost of stretchers is extra ($1.50/linear foot).
All photography and work on paper must be professionally framed. If required Gallery Gora makes archival contemporary wooden frames at very reasonable cost. Please send dimensions of work for a quotation.
Gallery Gora will take every possible care for the safety of all work; however, Gallery Gora or its staff is not responsible for any loss or damage of any work, during shipping, storage, on exhibit, at art fairs or at associate galleries.
10. Beyond the exhibition
– If at the end of the exhibition the work produces significant interest, the artist would be asked to be represented by the gallery in Montreal and on the gallery website .
– A 50% commission rate applies to any work sold following the 3 week exhibition period.
Further general information: Use the most economical shipping procedure
– We suggest the following shipping companies: UPS, PUROLATOR or DHL (FEDEX ground, not recommended)
– Sometimes sending two or three boxes is cheaper then one big crate. You might want to consider bringing the work with you and visiting Montreal (a wonderful city) at the same time.
– Another way to reduce shipping costs is to take canvases off the stretchers and ship them to the gallery in a roll, where we can have them re-stretched (see paragraph 7).
-Framing your work in Montréal could save you the cost of shipping the work framed. Please ask for a quotation to frame your work at the gallery.
– Canadian customs may charge a 5% tax on the declared value of your work. This tax will be refunded to you (on non sold work) when the work returns to you.
If you have any further questions about shipping, feel free to contact Lyne at the gallery.
Gallery Gora also offers:
– Custom framing
– Publication of artist catalogues and posters.
– Working space and residency program available for artists wanting to produce work in Montreal For a price quote or for more information, please contact the gallery.
Please see application form on the next page
279 Sherbrooke West, espace
205 Montreal, Qc Canada H2X
(514) 879-9694 fax: (514)
A P P L I C A T I O N F O R M
Gallery fee for group show (see paragraph 2-B)
– First piece of
work—————————————————– US$ 250.00
– $150 (for each additional
work)————————————– US$ ______
Gallery fee for solo exhibition
(arround 20 pieces of work)
– Deposit on $2500.00 fee
——————————————— US$ 700.00
(balance of $1800.00 to be paid 5
weeks prior to show date)
(see paragraphs 3 and 4)
Please circle your choice of space:
A or B or C or D
(see floor plan on the gallery web
If your choice is not available the
gallery will assign you a space.
– Advertising in the news paper (Le
Devoir) (5x10cm)————-US$ 450.00
fee:—————————————————– US$ ______
I am including:
Money Order or a copy of the
electronic bank transfer to:
Galerie Gora / Imperial Bank of
Commerce / 600 rue Cathcart,
Montreal, Quebec H3B 1K8 / Transit #
[Redacted] / Acc # [Redacted] / Swift
code : [Redacted] / Routing # or ABA
# : [Redacted] for the above amount
(Please fax copy of transfer to the
You may also pay by: WESTERN UNION
or credit card (MASTERCARD or VISA).
Please contact the gallery by
telephone if you wish to pay by
AT THE RECEPTION OF THE APPLICATION
FORM AND DEPOSIT THE GALLERY WILL
EMAIL YOU THE CONFIRMATION OF THE
EXHIBITION DATE AND RELATED
Please do not hesitate to contact
the gallery for further
Tel: (514) 879-9694 – Fax: (514)879-0164
Address: Gallery GORA , 279
Sherbrooke West, #205
Montreal, QC. CANADA H2X 1Y2