I am trying to get into a new gallery, of course they are requesting a resume.  I am new to the art fair world, and was wondering, does your art fair experience count when it comes to the gallery setting? Do they even care?

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  • Don't mention the art fair experience. I was in a very respectable regional gallery show a few years ago. During the opening reception the other artists were discussing some of the other shows they had been in or were applying for. When I was asked I mentioned the art fairs I was doing. There was a sort of stony silence that followed that told me I had just committed a serious social gaffe on the lines of dropping a turd into the punch bowl.
    Tue other issue that came about was the discrepancy between gallery prices and fair prices. At the time 50% commission was standard. There are all sorts of problems if a customer buys a piece from a gallery for $800 and the customer sees it on the street festival for $400. The advice I was given was keep the bodies of work separate and priced differently. I had that experience with a customer through the gallery and the customer went ballistic with everyone losing out, and it certainly tainted the relationship with the gallery.
    • Oops, too late Robert.  In my email requesting submission information, I explained that I am a local artist who does art fairs, and I am not doing any this summer (trying to stay in Texas my first year, and it is too hot for Texas to have festivals during the summer).  Cat is out of the bag, so to speak, and I hope this does not work against me.  I am guessing the prestige of the gallery may relate to how they view art fairs? Sorry to hear about your bad experience, that is unfortunate. 

      Unrelated, last year I was at a group show opening night, and I had a customer pull me off to the side and tell me he wanted to buy two pieces, but that he "never pays gallery markups" and would I sell them to him for half off?  This was my first show, and I was offended!  I said that I could not do this, he said "Well, if you want to sell these pieces, you will have to discount them for me."  I told him I had a contract, and I could not do that, and he walked out.  I thought he acted rudely, but after a few art fairs under my belt, I have learned that the haggling seems to be a part of this business.  I try not to be too irritated about it.

  • I don't think this answers your question, but it's a good read.

    I have a newsletter from the Xanadu Gallery titled "The Six Most Common Mistakes Artists Make When Approaching Galleries for Representation"

    Here's a link to it online:

    Larry Berman

    • Thanks Larry, fortunately I have done my research and understand these points.  I am already in a gallery, and have been approached by galleries, and have not had to submit a resume at this point.  This particular gallery did not approach me first, so I am a little unsure about the resume part.

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