A Gallery Owner’s Responsibility to Artists


As a commercial gallery owner you are responsible for a number of things which include the artists you represent and work with. You are responsible for them and in many ways they are responsible to create work for you. Without them there would be no clients and therefore no gallery. Artists rely on you to expose them to people and places in the art world that they might not be able to access any other way. The gallery has to be an exceptional intermediary between them and the collectors.

It is important to be a dependable and trustworthy person to artists so they can rely on you to develop and/or further their careers, but it’s also a two way street. You need to be able to rely on them to take advice and develop a practice that is in stride with the gallery’s goals. Often times your careers grow together and when that happens you know both parties have held up their end of the bargain. With that comes a wide range of responsibilities. It is also very important to show up to events, openings, and lectures even if it is outside your own gallery. Exposure to collectors and the general public requires a great deal of effort, but it is some of the most enjoyable and rewarding work that one can do in the art world.

The art world, like many other industries, thrives on relationships. Whether with artists, collectors, museums, non-profits, or local educational institutions it is important to sustain relationships and know whom you work well with.

About The Author

Jessica Silverman is the owner and director of Silverman Gallery, which was founded in 2006. Gallery is located at 804 Sutter Street in Downtown San Francisco and represents emerging and established San Francisco and International artists. The artist’s and exhibition programs have garnered national press and recognition.

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