I’ve had a few people ask me about what you need to start up a gallery, so I’ve put together a rough list of things to think about. I’d definitely say pop up galleries are the way forward at the moment, you can get info on available spaces from the local councils, there’s quite a few craft pop up shops that take place in Hatton Garden which I think fall under Camden Council.
Expenses to take in to consideration:
- Invigilation (Underground Gallery was open from Monday to Saturday but a lot of galleries are closed on Mondays so make your life easier!)
- Utilities: Electricity, water, insurance, phone & internet
- Rent, business tax, deposit (could be three months rent in advance)
- Interns’ expenses
- Hanging equipment such as ladders, drills and general tools
- Furniture- Desk, filing cabinet, book shelf, chairs for talks and events.
- Lighting, A boards and glasses for private views
- Paint for walls and floors, bubble wrap (you’d be surprised how much this costs!) & vinyl lettering for the window
- Petty cash things like cleaning products, flowers, labels and printing of the posters.
I have considered opening another gallery space in the future but it’s quite a financial worry in the best possible sense. I think the way forward is for gallery spaces to exist within other buildings, say as part of a book shop, library or uni building. This is not the best exhibition experience but it’s the most viable and realistic at this time.
Do not let any of this put you off though!! Just keep it in mind. Running a gallery is a wonderful experience and you get to meet so many great people.
I have started a Twitter account to promote the work of the students, alumni and staff of Middlesex Uni’s BA and MA Photography courses. If you have any news, let me know!
Email me email@example.com
As I regularly receive emails from people wishing to exhibit their work, I thought I would write a few common mistakes and pointers (and a few things that irritate me!)
- Do your research. Some galleries show more fine art, some more commercial etc. We predominantly show documentary photography but not exclusively. However, it does say on every page of our website that we are a ‘photography gallery’ but we still get emails about sculptures, paintings etc. I know little about painting, and won’t pretend that I know more. If you are going to write a long proposal, make sure it is going to somewhere relevant. Our mailing list is made up of people interested in / within the photographic industry so it wouldn’t be fair to show any other work. There is no point in spending your money producing a show if it’s not being aimed at the right audience, the outcome needs to benefit you.
- Research how the gallery is funded. We receive no funding so as much as we would love to be able to pay for everything, we still need to cover outgoings so keep this in mind if you are working towards a budget.
- Single image submissions- I need to fill a whole gallery with work so keep these for the salon show open calls.
- Do not CC every gallery in the world on the email.
- A PDF of what you are about, what the work is about and images of the work is enough to begin with.