Louise Morgan: Three Pieces Of Advice For Opening Your Own Gallery
1. Firstly setting up a gallery is an expensive business as you will need suitable premises. If you want to display your artwork or other people’s artwork then space needs to have proper display equipment and lighting. For example a hanging system, display boards and good adjustable lighting. Also to be considered in the finance are rates, gas and electricity. Then there are all the extras, signage, printer, label printer and advertising/ promotion costs.
2. Consider how long you are going to open your gallery for, who is going to be responsible for looking after the gallery, you might need to consider employing staff unless you have studio facilities at the gallery time spent opening it will eat into the time you need to make artworks. The premises will need to have fire safety approval and you will need public liability and other insurance. In deciding location think about how people will find you, is there nearby parking what is the footfall past the location, do you have disability access? For your own comfort and that of your customers, a nearby toilet facility is a good idea, ideally, they are needed on the premises.
3. Lastly how big of a space do you want? It’s important to consider how the artwork will be displayed. If the artwork is sold can you be confident that there will be enough work to replace it? Having only your own artwork in a gallery is like being on exhibition continually. Unless you have a huge back catalogue it might be helpful to invite other artists to exhibit. This can be a great advantage, as you can either charge commission and hanging fees or you could rent out some of the wall space.