Starting an Art Gallery Business

Do you love to art? Why not put your passion to good use by opening your own art gallery business? This is a very rewarding business and it will give you the opportunity to earn while doing something in line with your interest.

Imagine being surrounded with great pieces of art everyday.

Imagine being able to work with fine artists and selling art pieces to people who share the same love for beautiful things as you do. Wouldn’t that be a great way to work?

Use your love for art by starting your own Art Gallery business. The end-goal of this business is to sell the art pieces you have in your collection. This is where the bulk of your profit shall come from.

As an additional source of income, you may choose to charge admission to your gallery. Another source of income is art rentals. You may set aside some of your art pieces and make them available for renting. Lease period can be as short as a couple of days to several months. People usually rent art pieces for special functions such as weddings etc.

If your funds are limited to a point that you cannot allocate money to lease or purchase space for your art gallery, fret not. You can always put up an online art gallery. All you need to do is have your site hosted. This wont cost you much. An online art gallery is a good stepping stone into the brick and mortar area of art business.

You don’t have to have an art degree to become an art gallery owner. This belief is a fallacy. What you need to have is passion for the field and a good eye. As long as you know how to appreciate art and discern what is good from what is trash, then you can become successful in art business.

Deciding on the type of genre to showcase in your gallery shall depend on both your and your target market’s preference. There are several art styles, media, and themes you can choose from: antique art, artisan art, fine art, folk art, impressionism, jewelries, paintings, photographs, pop art, posters, potteries, retro art, sculptures, surrealism—the list is endless!

It is always good to rotate your art gallery inventory. To do this, you need to build a substantial network of art dealers. The rotation must be done as often as possible. If you are lucky, your rotation will come as a result of a completed sales transaction!

To succeed in this business, you must conduct a lot of research. Take time out to study how successful art galleries operate and try to emulate them. Conversely, take time out to study the less successful art galleries and try to identify what they’re doing wrong and avoid doing the same with your gallery.

Take the effort to figure out what your prospective customers prefer. Try to get a feel of their taste in art. Then put yourself in their shoes. What do you think are they willing to buy? And for how much?

Find ways to attract customers by making them feel special. One way to do this is by serving wine and hors-d’oeurve during art exhibitions. If you can, try to provide art consultation services. Helping your customers select the perfect artwork that suits their taste and personality is one way of showing you care.

Remember, if your customer is satisfied, there is a huge chance that they’ll return to your establishment and refer your art gallery to their family and friends.

16 Comments

  • Tochi said on May 17, 2009
    I am a young artist hoping to start an art gallery in my area. so i want to make the best of it. thanks for the advice, opening it will help.
  • terry said on May 7, 2010
    My husband and I have opened an art gallery in our very small town neither of us are artists, just have a passion for art. In our gallery we feature only local artist. To help pay rent electric insurance we also do matting and framing. Our community doesn't seem to enthused about having it's very first gallery. Of course the artist love it. I wonder what we can do to encourage our local rural community to just come in and look at our local artistic talent?
  • Khi Clark said on June 2, 2010
    I wanted to start an art gallery/cafe in PA but was curious about what licenses I'd need. I also wanted to branch out into other art related plans like weekend art classes.
  • autumn said on June 20, 2010
    To Terry.... why not hold a day where the artist come in to paint/draw? Advertise the event and you can even have the artist paint out in front of the gallery to attract people. Everyone will want to see what they are doing. Also contact the newspaper to see if they may want to run an article on the town's first gallery. Since it showcases the local talent there, it would be well read in the arts section. Hope this helps and good luck!
  • rajesh varma said on January 26, 2011
    I'm rajesh from India.My friend is an artist and paints European masters paintings remake.It is of good quality and has a good market in european countries.This is a genuine business proposal and anybody interested to market world wide can contact me.kmrvarma@gmail.com cheers Rajesh
  • Dr. Martin McLaughlin PhD Humanities said on March 2, 2011
    I am an experienced educator and working artist looking for help with business start up costs in Santa Maria/Orcutt California 93455 area. I am also a trained gallery manager and art museum worker. Hoping to to bring an art gallery to the central coast area, that I grew up in. Please contact me at martmclaughlin@gmail.com. Thank you for your interest! Dr. McLaughlin
  • James expert adviser said on March 2, 2011
    @Dr. Martin McLaughlin PhD Humanities, your startup cost can vary from $30,000 to millions. You already know you are talking about a priceless stuff. You got to decide your size of the business and that will help to come up with a startup cost.

    Jestin James
    Startup Biz Hub - Senior Advisor (Staff)

  • Nitusiima Doreen said on March 16, 2011
    Am an Industrial and Fine arts graduate. I am a Ugandan wishing to start a gallery to deal in contemporary art works.
  • Genevieve Thompson said on March 30, 2011
    My name is Genevieve Thompson and I'm 21 years old, majoring in ACTING. I love Art and have been to many gallery openings, but have never had the courage to ask, "How did you begin?/What licenses were required in order to charge Admission?" I live in a huge Apartment in Brooklyn - and I believe I have the perfect space to open one. I'm not thinking "BIG", in the sense that I'm not trying to "bank" or profit too much from this, but I am looking to have the cost of this apartment be paid by the Admissions into this Apartment so that I could live somewhere else without paying two rents. What is your opinion/what licenses would I need in order to allow the public into my home, for the purpose of viewing ART while sipping on wine? Acquiring the ART, is the least of my worries, and artists would be allowed to sell their Art individually to interested parties, while being present at the event. Thanks a lot, Gen
  • cez said on December 8, 2012
    Nova Scotia, Canada. I am a young canadian Eskimo living in Nova Scotia. I always thought it would be a good idea to open up an art gallery featuring Inuit artists in Nova Scotia. While there are a few art galleries already, non showcase Inuit art that mine would. Since my family roots are Inuit and a lot of my family carve and print I would have contacts. My question would be the legality of it, do I need certain papers to sell their art? copyright infringement issues? any help would be greatly appreciated :) Cezley
  • Vicky ariya. said on September 3, 2013
    I am vicky .my studio name neela tele films i required a producer .any body producer heyr ,(plz call )7631157743
  • KAPIL DEV said on July 28, 2014
    hi everyone, who want to purchase hand made paintings can contact on my email id kdsharma1805@gmail.com. thanks, Kapil Dev
  • Barbra Mpofu said on September 4, 2014
    I lived in England Southend on Sea. I have my own gallery in doors but I need to sell stone Curving Art. My Business is a home gallery I have lots of art to put on display but I don't have enough space to display my Art. I also need some support with financial. I am based in Southend on sea, my Art is made by different artist also my art is made by African stone well polished and well designed.
  • Aparna said on April 17, 2015
    I am from India. I make Glass Painting in many different design like ( Any Names in from of Ganesha's Shapes / Abstract Painting). Anybody interested to purchase can contact me @ aparnapandit1988@gmail.com
  • robert soliai said on May 7, 2015
    Thanks to all the good comments that have been made in starting up a gallery. I am in the process of opening a gallery and have taken all the suggests and comments that have been made. I am from American Samoa and can not wait to getting my site up to show the Samoan art work with everyone. Again thanks for all the sharing. Robert Soliai
  • K Abbu Mohammed said on June 15, 2015
    I am an Artist having good collection of the same in oil, canvass, acrylic, etc. I have an interest in bringing out a Book printed for art lovers at reasonable cost and fair return for me after all expenses for the deal. Please inform me and help me out for the same. Awaiting for your reply forthwith. Thanking you. K Abbu Mohammed 9343561759

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