Do artists and galleries get more interest and better sales at fairs, in a gallery, or selling online? Does one drive footfall to the other? Do you simply get a different type of buyer at a fair rather than a gallery? Do you get a lot of viewings at fairs but not many sales? And where does e-commerce enter into things and how successful are they at selling art? What makes one succeed over another?
This is the first in a series of articles featuring responses from both buyers and sellers in the art sector.
our first contributor is Natasha Kumar. Natasha is a successful artist who has a dedicated and growing following of collectors worldwide. Oil painting, watercolour, pastel, monotype, woodcut, etching, screenprint and lithograph are all techniques Natasha Kumar has studied and successfully incorporated in to her art for more than 25 years.
Natasha has successfully sold through both art fairs and galleries. She believes in personal interaction with her collectors, and “telling the story, is so important and gives depth”, so you will always find her chatting on the stands at Art Fairs and exhibitions.
Read Natasha’s very enlightening views:
“As an artist I have been a regular participant in Art Fairs around the UK for the last twenty years including the Affordable Art Fair where I usually exhibit my own work and represent a small stable of other artists under the ARTSHOUSE.CO.UK Gallery name.
I do find that the traditional Gallery Private View is a rarity these days as it is very hard to get people who are generally time poor to physically come to any event (when they could easily view it online). So physical gallery spaces may create other kinds of events or talks or pre-previews around a new exhibition to generate the buzz that was once generated by just an exhibition private view. It is a tough world on the high street, both shops and galleries have to work much harder to physically get people in through the doors. But equally for the general public, some London gallery spaces can still be quite intimidating especially if you have to ring a buzzer just to enter.
The fairs by comparison are rather like the internet, wonderfully open, and present a marvelous opportunity for anyone – whatever their knowledge level of art – to view a huge variety of galleries and artists from around the world. In fact they actively encourage new buyers. Instead of being presented with one artist’s work or a limited gallery collection there is huge range of styles, mediums and price point all under one roof. It is so much easier to discover what kind of art you like and dislike if you can see a bit of both!
Some galleries often present a small collection by an artist at a fair with the hope that it will attract new clients to the gallery space, and at the same time galleries often open new exhibitions during the fairs so clients from the gallery may visit the fair, and clients at the fair may pop into the gallery. I think the fairs have a very positive effect on galleries generally. I think for clients the fairs are a brilliant starting point, or a valuable place to discover and build on a new collection of art. The Gallery space is then the natural follow up space to hone that new appreciation.
As an artist, any new exposure to potential clients is valuable and especially in today’s society, where social media and technology mean we are simultaneously closer and yet more distanced from other people, as an artist I also value the personal interaction with my collectors which I get at both exhibitions and fairs. Which is why you will find me chatting away to anyone and everyone! I also think collectors value the same opportunity to meet the artist and discover the story and the techniques behind the work. I hope that the result of both a gallery and fair experience is simply that clients get a deeper appreciation and enjoyment of the art.”
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