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disappointing sales at your first major exhibition in gallery x...

updated sat 1 may 04


Janet Kaiser on fri 30 apr 04

Time and time again I have had to take downhearted young artists
& makers aside to give them a little pep talk about being
disappointed about no/poor sales at openings and through
exhibitions. Even when it is the best work of its kind to have
been shown for a while, the masses (or even the regular patrons)
are not going to buy until they have acquired an "eye" for the
work itself and the maker has acquired a certain "status" or
"kudos" generally speaking.

Sorry, but no matter what the merits of said work, unless the
audience and prospective buyers have become acquainted with and
accustomed to it and have found themselves to be quite at ease
with it, they are unlikely to become hugely enthusiastic to the
point of buying. This is true even if viewers "fall in love" with
work at first sight... It takes time to become familiar enough to
feel happy about setting up house together!

In the case of a first time exhibitor no one has heard of before,
"instant success" is either through the speedy appearance of red
spots so the gathering is "panicked" into buying for fear of
missing out, or through some other means... Usually a certain
amount of spin in the catalogue makes a good start, as does good
coverage in the press... It does not even have to be positive

What I can say, is that it all has absolutely nothing at all (or
at least very little) to do with pricing strategy, although there
are limits for some galleries... For example the upper limit for
at The CoA is around =A3900 for fine art and =A3300-400 for pots.
It would be very naughty indeed to exhibit pots above the
"gallery limit" knowing full well they will never sell because
they are outside the league of regular patrons...


Janet Kaiser
The Chapel of Art : Capel Celfyddyd
8 Marine Crescent : Criccieth : Wales : UK
Home of The International Potters' Path
Tel: ++44 (01766) 523570

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