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Auctions and Benefits

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.


ABOUT: Donating work to an auction is a great way to help out a nonprofit organization or a good cause, and gain exposure for your artwork.

EXPECTATIONS: Artist donates the work, and the organization takes care of the sales. Sometimes an artist needs to set the minimum bid.

Juried Exhibitions

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.


ABOUT:  Offered worldwide, through galleries, museums, organizations and arts councils.

EXPECTATIONS:  Usually have entry fees attached.  They may offer prizes or awards, and sometimes a catalog.

PROS:  One way to get visibility for your work.  Sometimes have established curators as jurors.

Vanity Galleries

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.


ABOUT:  For-profit galleries that require artists to pay for exhibition and related expenses.  They may also require an additional commission on work sold.

EXPECTATIONS:  Generally charge for all associated expenses of the exhibition, including publicity, rental of the space, shipping etc.

PROS:  A chance to show work.

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Online Galleries and Sales Sites

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.


ABOUT:  Both for-profit and nonprofit, these are generally curated and allow artists to post work on a host’s Web site for sale and/or visibility.

EXPECTATIONS: Some membership organizations allow members to post work on their Web site.  Other Web sites are exclusively for showing or sales, and artists are curated into the online collection.  Commercial online galleries take a commission on sales.

Open Studios

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.


ABOUT:  An artist or group of artists hosts an event for viewing, celebration, and selling of artwork.

EXPECTATIONS: Based on the organizer of the event.  If an individual open studio, the artist does all the work.

Rental Galleries

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.


ABOUT:  Rental Galleries are often associated with museums.  They show the work of artists and rent the work by the month or year.

EXPECTATIONS:  Generally work with a wide range of artists.

PROS:  Can be a good way to generate income from your work.

CONS:  Many of these works are hung in private places, so are not open to viewing by the public.

Corporate Art Collections

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.


ABOUT: These range from Fortune 500 corporations, to hospitals, to local restaurants. Art is purchased for investment, office furnishing, prestige, and employee morale. Some corporations have in-house curators on staff.

College and University Galleries

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.

ABOUT: Many have galleries supported by the institution. Many are open to proposals from the field. Often have a built-in audience of students and faculty.

EXPECTATIONS: Many of these spaces function like museums or nonprofit spaces. Contact them to find out submission guidelines.

Alternative venues

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.


ABOUT: These are exhibition sites that don’t fit into any of the rest of the categories here. They include banks, bookstores and other commercial venues, corporate and city government lobbies, restaurants, schools etc. A list is included below under resources.

EXPECTATIONS: Work is hung in a public space. Often the responsibilities for labor and expenses fall onto the artist.

Private Art Dealers and Art Consultants

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.


ABOUT:  Many work from their home or a small office.  Most do not do public exhibitions.  Some work with a specific genre or media, others choose artists by project.  Some make their money from the sale of an artist’s work, and others don’t.

Nonprofit and Artist-Run Spaces

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.

ABOUT: Traditionally called alternative spaces, these organizations began in the 1970s to expand the exhibition of artists’ work. These exhibition spaces are supported through public and private funding. They often have many opportunities for artists and do educational programming as well.

Guidelines for Exhibiting in Museums

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.


ABOUT: Museums offer one person, group, thematic, invitational and juried exhibitions. Most do not accept proposals for review, but some do. Most have their own curatorial staffs who do the invitations to show, or organize their own exhibitions.

Commercial Galleries

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

The information below is part of a series of guides that outline the pros and cons of various types of venues.

ABOUT:  These are for-profit businesses that select artists either by open call or private selection.  The dealers make their money from the sales of the artwork.  The commission the dealer takes from the sale of this work can range from 40 – 90%.  Most sales should be about 50% to the dealer and 50% to the artist.

Art Fairs and Festivals

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

In Festivals, artists can sell work in a juried venue directly to the buyer. Table or display space is rented. Generally take place yearly and on a state or regional level. Art Fairs on the other hand are held for dealers and collectors, and often are international.

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The Skinny on Online Galleries

By Ilana Stanger, courtesy of New York Foundation for the Arts

You want to sell your work online. Why not, a sale is a sale, right? But the world of online galleries can be complicated to steer. We talked with the owners of some of the web's most respected sites — Paintings Direct.com, Next Monet.com, Solid Expressions.com, and the Guild.com — and asked them what they would tell artists to look for before signing up for online representation. What follows is their advice, which, despite the fabled diversity of views on the internet, was surprisingly uniform.

Exhibition Checklist

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

Once you have an exhibition venue, make sure you find out the answers to the following questions, and follow the suggested timeline below.  Choose the questions that are applicable to your project and the venue.

• Dates for the exhibition.

• Date and time of the opening reception.

• What is the honorarium or artist’s fee?

• What are the responsibilities of the venue or gallery?

• What are your responsibilities as the artist?

• Who is the main contact person for the venue?

I Wanted to Be an Artist, So I Quit My Job and Became One

By Christopher Fife, courtesy of New York Foundation for the Arts

"Hi, I'm Christopher. I'm an artist." Exhale, run my fingers through my hair. "What do I do? Oh, I paint. I'm a painter. Yeah, I'm an artist."

I tried it out every now and then, in front of the bathroom mirror. It sounded all right. But when I introduced myself as an artist outside my bathroom world of make-believe, I always felt false. I was like Magritte labeling a pipe. If I said I was an artist, I was an artist, right?

Investing in Your Career — A Worthwhile Risk?

(courtesy of New York Foundation for the Arts)

In order to succeed in your career some financial investment is usually necessary, and the career of the fine artist is no exception: art supplies are expensive, art schools can be astronomical, and finished works may have to be framed, crated, shipped, and insured. There are outlays for postcards, postage, portfolios, brochures, slides, and even perhaps a website. And then there's the question of vanity galleries.

Preparing Your Art School Portfolio

By Karyn Tufarolo, Admissions Counselor, The University of the Arts, courtesy of New York Foundation for the Arts

You've scoured through the brochures, filled out the applications, wrote those navel-gazing essays about why you want to be an artist, but now the worst seems to loom over you. You have to present a portfolio of your work. It's difficult to trust your belief in your own art when you wonder "Am I good enough?" The key to your portfolio is to convey not only your skills, but also your potential to do more.

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