Mark over at Culture Critic @ Melbourne kind enough to meet with me yesterday, and we chatted about the different types of art galleries that you'll find in Melbourne. I learnt a lot.
He has a great post about this today, and describes the different levels of commissions that are charged at each type.
These are the different types of 'Bricks and Mortar' galleries:
Bars and Cafes - There are a lot of bars and cafes that have artwork on their walls. Generally they only change a small commission (around 10%), and are often a way for newer artists to get their work out there. Mark mentions the Kalidescope Café as an example, and the FAD Gallery in the city is another.
Rental Spaces - Where artists can rent a gallery space for a set period. These include galleries like the Brunswick St Gallery or the Red Gallery. There is some debate about the quality of the work in rental spaces though, as anyone has the potential to display their art.
Artist run initiatives - Artist-run initiatives can also be similar to a rental gallery, like 69 Smith st. But not all of them are - West Space, for example, gets its funding from the government. They have aapplication based exhibitions so are much more selective about what gets exhibited. Via-N have a full list of the artist run galleries in Melbourne.
Commercial Galleries –Where the gallery will actually 'represent' the artist. A commercial gallery buys art on consignment from the artist, and will be more pro-active in promoting the artists' work. Commissions will be higher, from 40% anywhere up to 60%, Mark tells me.
Funded Galleries - Often government funded galleries, from the big ones like NGV - that also make their money from entrance fees - to more alternative spaces like Platform.
Studio Galleries - Where an artist sets up an exhibition space at their studio, so that they can sell their work directly.
Art 'Shops' - Less of a gallery, but more of a shop that sells art, magazines, T-shirts, etc. However they will also run exhibitions. Examples include Outre, Villian and 696. This can also include markets, such as the Rose St. Artist market.
I still need to go out and look at some more galleries, but I think I'd like to start something that has more of a casual shop feel about it. As I've said before, I'm also keen on the online side of things too - so perhaps a gallery that is both online and off.