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Do we really need gallery to represent us?

''I bet every artist has that kind of image in their mind, having their name big and bold on the wall, having people telling others how the artworks have inspired them, and making some good money from a high-end gallery.''

The Gallery Dream

There was an art gallery across from the apartment I lived, and during that time, that's something I saw every single time before commuting to work. Every time, almost every time, I was wondering when I could get my name up there, when can I have my artwork being hanged in a ''nice'' venue or gallery. To be honest, that is also something I aim for; however, there was an article I read somewhere else talking about the modern relationship between artists and galleries.

The Evolution of How Artists Present Their Artwork

In the past, there was no Internet, no cable TV, and content delivery was slow and inefficient. In order to show art to the audiences, artists will require an organization to take care of their artwork and represent themselves while they are elsewhere or not good at ''marketing'' the artworks. The Internet has been playing a game-changer role within the past 20 years. It not only changes our lives but also transforms the ways how businesses work. Artists can share their artwork via social media, personal websites, e-Commerce sites, or even other platforms; furthermore, those digital channels can help expand the audience reach and generate great opportunities to approach potential prospects.

Do We Really Need A Gallery to ''REPRESENT'' Us?

Many galleries have no idea what digital marketing is; moreover, they are not doing any campaigns or outreach. All they do is charge artists for more than 35% of the commission and just maintain a space for artists to hang their artworks on the walls. Do you think an organization that does not know about marketing and can't help you build a strong digital presence worth more than 35% of your hard work?

Why Do I think We Still Need A Gallery?

As an experienced digital marketer, B2B or B2C business marketing differs from marketing artwork. To be honest, selling medical equipment or SaaS is easier than selling my artwork. What I have experienced is the entry barrier, which includes: connections, resources, an experienced person who knows what the buyers care about, or even a ''proof'' of your artwork value...etc.

Having a gallery represents you are now a kind of ''certification'' or ''authentification.'' of being a ''professional artist.'' In addition, most gallery owners or managers have a great connection with other galleries or resources to help artists in their careers; therefore, there are still values that art galleries can provide to artists and help boost their careers. For instance, utilizing the connection or resources to create group exhibitions, personal exhibitions, or even represent the artist to join art competitions.

Conclusion

There are definitely pros and cons of having a gallery represent you. As an artist, seeing my artwork hanging on the walls of a nice gallery and being able to see and hear how people feel about or be inspired by my artwork is indeed a dream. However, many galleries need to take responsibility and create value that worth no matter what's the number they are charging for the commission, stay innovative and creative; furthermore, grow together with their artists and spread more love.

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