Opening a gallery!

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liza

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I´m the new proud owner of a lab and Gallery. Mathilda Traditional Lab & Gallery is our name. Renovating and fixing this the last 5 months has been an nearly overwhealming experience in both time, muscleace and costs.
This is also why I haven´t been very active here on APUG and also ditto very bad in giving comments/responses to all nice pictures here and to those giving me nice comments, sorry.

Well, I´ve been manageing other Artgalleries before, but this time I feel out on a limb. The lab is my baby and stricktly B/W with possibilities to enlarge up to 5x4 negatives. In this digital era I know it´s gonna get tuff to get income from that but on the other hand it will give me more time to my own process with Mordancage and Gum Bichromate.

Now we come to the BIG issue!
In two rooms approx 60 squaremeter and approx 45 meter wall hangingspace I´m making a gallery devoted to Traditional Photography and Alternative Photographic Techniques.
Craftmanship is the word written i capitals and no digital picture will find it´s way in there. My goal is to show national and international Fine Art and Alternative processed photographic art.

But is there a market? What are your experiences when exibiting your art in your own countries and abroad? Would anybody be interested to exhibit even though it would mean lower pricing that in USA for example. I´m interested in all kind of information since it´s a kind of new area for me, everything from rules to commission.

To make it an all Swedish event is no problem but I think there are too few international salons for Traditional Fine Art and Alternative techniques only. Non in Scandinavia at all as far as I know and I aim to make a change there.

Please give me your opinion here or in private mail. I´m really interested to hear about your experiences. And I need them to make this a perfect place.

All the best -Eva
 

Graeme Hird

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Good luck with the venture Eva. It sounds like a wonderful idea and I hope it lives up to your expectations.

I think you'll make as much money printing and framing works for photographers as you will on commission from sales and rent of the wall space (if not more). There are many photographers who will approach you for a "vanity" exhibition - print their negs for them, frame the prints and charge for your experience in exhibiting.

I can't send you any prints of my own, but I wish you all the best.

Cheers,
 
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liza

liza

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For a gallery not even yet opened nor any marketing done, just the djungletelegraf, I´m almost fully booked this year. Some artist rent the galleyspace and manage their exibithions themselves, others accept my 50% commision + 100€ in administrative costs (for this arragement I only accept established artists) and I do all the work - and in between, two salons. These are all Swedish artists.

Maybe I wasn´t really clear but my thread is about if I would go international and peoples experiences would help me to plan necessary adjustments. An international salon/exhibition would take about a year to manage so it´s not a fact until the end of 2006 at earliest.

Eva

For those who are amazed by the fact that I dare to do this I can say that since I own the Gallery and it´s not in the absolute centre of the city, I have a redicilous low rent and other costs for the property.
Besides that my pictures are selling rather well and hopefully even better at the end of the year. So, this is definetly not a fluke but at serious longterm dedication.
What the heck, if one don´t dare to take some risks then life is not worth living.
 
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Eva, Congratulations!!! Please do keep us posted on the success of you new space for analog enterprise. I've known a few people who have done the same thing. Around here it became a great place for like minds to get together and put together shows. Drink wine talk photography and grow. They've done well ( did not get rich however) and with your unique approach to image making should attract a great crowd.
 
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liza said:
What the heck, if one don´t dare to take some risks then life is not worth living.

This is a wonderful thing Eva. Effort and struggle for what one believes in will sure reward you, definetly on a soul level, hopefully on a monetary level too.
Good luck!
 
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liza

liza

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Thomas and Christian! Thanks for the support. I´m scared out of my mind but at the same time - I´ve never felt so sure and determined in my life.
Eva
 

Graeme Hird

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liza said:
Maybe I wasn´t really clear but my thread is about if I would go international and peoples experiences would help me to plan necessary adjustments. An international salon/exhibition would take about a year to manage so it´s not a fact until the end of 2006 at earliest.

Eva
....

What the heck, if one don´t dare to take some risks then life is not worth living.
No, you were quite clear. I certainly hope it's a success and you get many international artists exhibiting.

It's not that I wouldn't want to send you some work, but I can't live up to your critieria for selection: I print digitally.

Cheers,
 

rbarker

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Best of luck with the new venture, Eva. I think the international traditional section is a great idea. I'm confident that you'll have little trouble finding people (including myself) from around the world interested in exhibiting. The big question is how your clients will respond. Local market studies might give you some indication of that, but I wouldn't see the section as a huge risk for you either way.
 

doughowk

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What you should display probably depends on your clientele. In this area - St Augustine, Florida - tourists & locals seem to prefer works that are recognizably regional in nature. Alternative process prints, though, may have a wider appeal since they're viewed as objects of art as well as mementoes of time/place.
Good luck on your adventure.
 

Bob Carnie

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Hi Eva

I own a black and white lab and have a gallery as well, All I can say is work hard and be consistant with your quality levels and you will do well. I started my traditional side 12 years ago and survived the digital onslaught. Today I print only show work and portfolios and am as busy as hell.
If you are interested I have a very large group of artists with work ready to show and would indeed be interested in your gallery. As well I have slots available in the coming years for internationl artists at my space.
Good luck , I know your pain as I have just finished renovating the gallery and darkrooms and it is an endless task.
Eva , by the way, it will never be perfect as time goes on ideas will swim in your head as you print and you will constantly be trying to improve.
 
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liza

liza

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Thank you all for interesting feedback both here and in private mails. There are some questions and issues to consider and so I will. During my week in SF I will try to locate some photoexhibitions and talk to the gallerist/staff.
I´m still interested to hear from photographers who have shown their art outside their own country.
Best regards
Eva
 
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