Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gallery Hopping Does Pay

Have you ever been contacted by a vanity gallery? I got an email from Agora Gallery today through my website asking if they could send me "some information about our gallery and about an upcoming exhibition that you might be interested in".

Since I had visited that very gallery in Chelsea a year or so back, I knew immediately which one it was. I hadn't liked it because it was so reminiscent of  many not so tasteful galleries in backwater areas I have observed. Sort of like the art "malls" of Asheville (though I'm not saying Asheville's a backwater--au contraire).

The website looks nothing like the gallery when I was there so I imagine they've decluttered since. Apparently the deal is, artists pay from $3-10K annually to be represented. No thanks.

But what's a little sad is I didn't even get that instant of elation-- when I thought I had been "discovered" by a NYC gallery--before coming back down to earth. Guess that's what happens when you're a blasé and analytical middle aged emerging artist!


  1. vanity galleries are scams usually...even 'established' ones like the agora one are rip offs. they charge so much money for YOU to show your work and i have read many times they dont pay people if the art sells. you have to pay to ship, pay to return pay to show pay if you sell...HUH?????? HOW BOUT TAKE MY FIRST BORN.

  2. hi Deborah! the good thing about being a "blase and analytical middle-aged emerging artist" is that you don't get taken in by these people the way a young, inexperienced artist would. I don't know about you, but I'm in no danger of falling prey to this kind of scam- I have I don't have the money! lol

  3. Susan-are you blasé as well? More power to us!

    Paula-I'm so over "pay to play" in part thanks to your example and advice.

    Sharmon-I'm a pretty cagy old bird, and I would not part with any hard earned money either to an operation like this!

    Everyone-I didn't say anything really negative about that gallery out loud in my post. That doesn't mean I'm not thinking it--very loudly! If you click on the "vanity gallery" link it takes you to a blog where the legal aspects as well as other interesting points are discussed. :-)

  4. Glad to know you are up on things. . . I'm sure enough people fall prey to this scam or they wouldn't keep it up.

    I, myself am an analytical middle-aged artist. How can I tell if I'm emerging or not?

  5. Hi Kim, you just say you're emerging (and cross your fingers really hard). Thanks for commenting!

  6. I don't think you are getting jaded.. I have also gotten that email from that gallery-- a number of times... they want about $3000 for the exhibition space.. I am happy to delete the email.. maybe some day we will both get an email from a great gallery :-)

  7. Sometimes it pays to be our age, in that we're seldom disappointed. I'm proud of how you handled this "invitation" that had a less than stellar ideal behind its offer. It pleases me how some women are wiser and well informed, and therefore won't have occasion to let themselves down. Bravo!
    You won't give up, and we'll be there, cheering you on from the sidelines as you emerge and then soar! Hurrah for you!

  8. Layers, I wonder how many emails they send out--at least it means we're coming up in the search engines! I won't be surprised if you hear from an actual great gallery someday :-)Thanks for the good wish!

    Plush Possum, experience is a pretty good teacher! Thanks for the encouragement :-)

  9. glad you recognized it for what it is. ugh - so sleazy. i hate that it masquerades as a real gallery.

  10. Hi Magpie, have you been in there?