Letters to the Editor


The business of owning an art gallery seems to be morphing into corporations, restaurants and other non-artistic businesses taking the role of the once well-respected arena of the art world. The economy must certainly take a part in the fact that art galleries are becoming an alternative, rather than the normal route for artists to show their work. One must not forget that the role of the gallery is not only to show the artists’ work but to promote and take an active part in the artist/gallery relationship. This important aspect of the gallery venue is one that cements the elements of integrity and trust between artist and gallery owner.

It is my opinion that the relationship I build with the artists that I represent is of utmost importance to the success and stability of both the gallery and the artist. In today’s economic slump, it may be attractive for an artist to sell wherever he can, but this trend is eroding the gallery business. It may seem glamorous to own an art gallery, but the expense involved is something many do not think about. Art galleries shoulder the expenses of the physical location, the costs of designing and upkeep of Web sites, advertising fees, insurance on inventory and opening receptions costs. These factors take a toll on the ability of a gallery to compete with large corporations for what was once their territory.

The sanctity of the artist/gallery relationship is in jeopardy. It is my hope that artists consider this when approached by corporations to show rather than buy their works. When the business walls are adorned with their work, are they insured? Does corporate America dedicate its time to promote the artist, or does it merely wish to take a commission without taking a part in the reality of what art is and how it is displayed? Who benefits from the bartering of art for advertising purposes of a commercial business?