Monday, March 22, 2010

Art competitions

I'm running the Greenlane gallery, on the ile saint Louis, in Paris. Following some comments by artists regarding competitions I made the following response:

I've looked into the idea of promoting the gallery and finding new artists by opening up a competition where the winner (only one) gets a two week solo show.

I have to say that having looked into the process, with the intention of doing it well, that the amount of work involved is daunting. The costs are not negligible and that is on top of the normal costs of running a gallery.

In the normal course of things, running a gallery, even badly, is expensive. To run a gallery well you need a team of people, someone manning the gallery, someone looking for collectors and dealing with journalists and someone marketing the gallery online and in real life. You need to know and be on good terms with a lot of journalists, collectors and artists.

Having been an artist for over 25 years, when I took over the management I was shocked by how much work it demanded. Since then I've produced a dribble of art rather than the flow I had before. However I've learnt a great deal and it has changed my mind entirely about what it is that a gallery is and what it does.

Too many people who have gone through art school and artists in general are educated to think, that it's simply a shop where they sell art. That's an incredibly inaccurate description. If that were the case, people would just open their own shop.

In fact, I recommend that. An artists collective which runs a gallery would be a very healthy experience.