Here is a pic of fine craft displayed shoulder to shoulder with fine art. As it should be! It so happens to be my pots on display at Shane Norrie Contemporary Gallery in Stratford, Ontaio. Billy Shakespeare is on stage just down the street.
When I was in the tourist pottery business the maxim of commerce was “Pile it high and watch it fly.” Pile all those 20 dollar items on top of each other and let the shopping begin. The more you crammed into the space the more souveneir pottery you sold.
Mixing the more expensive items in with the lower priced ones may give the lower priced ones some credibility but it doesn’t have the reverse effect on the higher priced object.
Yesterday I mentioned that I wished people knew what went into making fine craft to be sold in a Fine Art/Craft Gallery. The same work goes into making a fine gallery. What is the difference between a gallery and a craft store? What is the difference between fine craft and so whats? Can the two live in the same space?
When a gallery gives your work room to breathe they are giving up retail space that has an opportunity cost. The opportunity to cram more stuff into that negative space.
I really believe there is lots of room at the top but it is a dog fight at the bottom. I like the direction Shane Norrie Contemporary is going and I am happy to be in it’s stable.
Since the mantra of my blog is to keep it short, sweet and readable. I have stopped at 4 criteria. You can add what is missing.
My criteria for a good gallery
1. They represent you. They don’t just warehouse you as a new flavour of the month. They believe in your work and encourage you to grow.
2. They communicate with you. Their is a relationship.
3. There is a standard that represents the gallery and you. Your work is in the good company of other good work. Your work is not expected to give the Brillo frogs or the wind chimes from Bangladesh credibility.
4. They pay you! This means they pay you promptly and without your having to ask. (In the case of Shane Norrie Contemporary I receive a electronic bank draft same day each month. None of this “It’s in the mail!”