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View Full Version : Agora Gallery in New York .... Urgent Question!


dd50
03-03-2005, 07:09 AM
Morning,

I just saw a post from an artist, in another forum I post to ... she has been offered to show her art in the Agora Art Gallery in New York City. BUT .. they're asking for a representation fee PLUS a 30% commission.

She mentions that it's a 'vanity gallery', that in essense gets the fee up front, and allows you to 'rent' a space.

The fee is $3,000.00 !!!

Have any of you had any experience with this gallery ... if not, what are your opinions of this, and what would you advise her?

I want to leave a post for her .. because "I" think it's a bad deal, but then again ... I'm just beginning to show .. so I'm not sure how much my opinion is worth.

Thanks,
Dee

idylbrush
03-03-2005, 07:40 AM
I think you will find that there are conflicting views on the Agora Gallery. Some think it a vanity gallery and worthless while others find it a venue of value. I believe I have read both sides of this coin in this forum.

Guess it depends on the artist putting up the cash. If they feel it worth while then it is good. If they don't, then maybe they should invest the monies otherwise.

sandge
03-03-2005, 08:27 AM
she has been offered to show her art in the Agora Art Gallery in New York City.
I think you mean that Agora has offered to relieve her of a large sum of money. That is not the same as being 'offered a show' in a non-vanity gallery! ;) :D

Agora do a lot of marketing so it is not a surprise that their name comes up a lot at WetCanvas - a search reveals 32 threads, including this one. Many members here have had the invitation.

The question I would be asking myself is, can I get a return on my investment? If I had a wonderful mailing list and a great track record of independent selling, and thought I could make money on it, then I would likely consider it. But the chances are that, in such circumstances, I would be exhibiting at Agora and similar venues anyway.

:)

OGD
03-03-2005, 05:29 PM
Hi,
I've seen also discussions about Agora gallery. What I noticed, nobody
told how many artworks were sold, and did the artist at least compencated
his/her investment. Another observation - artists were pleased with the service and found Agora's staff highly professional.
Now, my point. For many of us, to exhibit in NYC is a dream. You can buy it! I remember Soviet Union times: you can just dream, that's all. If you do not have right connections, right father or mother and you are just simple
person... you can do nothing! even with money. You are NOTHING and you
have a long difficult way (drinking vodka with right people) to get what you
dream about... Fortunately, these times are over. I hope so. I am living
in USA now. And appreciate the opportunities here.
As for Agora... I simply can not afford it now, but I would do if I'll get
that money from my artwork sales.

Olga
http://www.artabus.com/english/dmytrenko/

timelady
03-04-2005, 04:10 AM
Perhaps it's worth reading the link in the new 'Galleries and exhibitions to be warned about thread' that also just appeared today. :)

Do a quick search on 'agora' in the business forum and you'll get the previous (and useful) discussions. Feel free to pass on the links to this other artist so she can make an informed decision.

Tina.

idylbrush
03-04-2005, 06:48 AM
Morning,

I just saw a post from an artist, in another forum I post to ... she has been offered to show her art in the Agora Art Gallery in New York City. BUT .. they're asking for a representation fee PLUS a 30% commission.

She mentions that it's a 'vanity gallery', that in essense gets the fee up front, and allows you to 'rent' a space.

The fee is $3,000.00 !!!

Have any of you had any experience with this gallery ... if not, what are your opinions of this, and what would you advise her?

I want to leave a post for her .. because "I" think it's a bad deal, but then again ... I'm just beginning to show .. so I'm not sure how much my opinion is worth.

Thanks,
Dee


Galleries and exhibition offers to be warned about

The above is a current thread on this forum, you may want to take a look at it.

I think I remember that deedee from Australia has had some experience with this gallery and she felt it was positive. You may want to check with her and get some feedback.

dd50
03-04-2005, 07:14 AM
Thanks ever so much everybody .. I'm passing this all on to the artist that's considering this offer.

Hugs,
Dee

Lighthouser
03-04-2005, 12:46 PM
Your friend may wish to consider placing her work in my NYC gallery instead. In fact, I hereby extend this offer to all WC! members. For a mere $2500 a year and a 25 percent commission (note how I cleverly undercut Agora gallery on both fee and commission!) you may display up to ten of your works at a time in my gallery in NYC. Now, granted, my gallery is in the Bronx and some naysayers would claim that "gallery" is too grandiose a word to be applied to a U-Store-It warehouse but you just pay them no mind. Just think of the prestige of BEING ABLE TO SAY THAT YOUR WORK IS FEATURED IN A NEW YORK CITY GALLERY!

SPACE IS LIMITED, SO HURRY!

:evil: :wink2: :evil: :wink2: :evil:

NolanL
03-04-2005, 01:18 PM
This could just be a lack of experience and an optimistic outlook talking but it seems that any gallery, not just Agora, that wanted to display an artist's work because they believed the paintings, photos, whatever would sell would be willing to do it on commission without any up front fees for representation or space rental.

cunparis
03-04-2005, 03:03 PM
I've done a lot of reading on Agora and my view is a bit different from the majority here who seem to be completely against them. My view changed after I read a person's posts on another website. She made her dream come true by exhibiting with Agora. So here's my take:

You can work really really hard at this and build up a history of exhibiting, starting small and working your butt off to try and work your way up to getting into a gallery. It takes time, and if the work isn't good enough, you might never make it. OR you can just pay the $3000.

Now actually that's not true at all. Because after you pay the $3000 and the exhibit is over, you're not going to be in the same position you would be in if you had done all the hard work! But this temporary glory and fame can actually give you a memory that can last a lifetime.

Another example: You can join the air force and enlist for 8 years and if you're good you can be a pilot and if you're at the top of your class, ideal height & weight, perfect vision, health, etc. you can be a fighter pilot. OR you can pay $2k and fly a figher jet. I'm sure that's a memory that would last a lifetime. And for someone who loved flying, many would say it's worth it. So why wouldn't it be worth it for someone who loves painting?

Final thought: I'm sure this goes on a lot more than we know. I remember a friend of mine who does sculptures did a gallery show. I have no idea if he paid for the show or if the gallery did. Didn't matter, it was a big success for him. We were proud of him and he was proud of himself. I didn't even know what a vanity gallery was back then.

I hope that presents a different side to this vanity gallery debate.

-Michael

RobinZ
03-04-2005, 04:09 PM
But most people aren't just paying the money for a fun time. They want to build their resumes. And everyone whose been in the art business for a short time knows about Agora, including other galleries, show jurors, etc.

andymathis
03-04-2005, 05:09 PM
I dont have an issue with the "paying for the space" etc.- one way or another an artist will pay- cash or commissions or both. You pay to exhibit at ArtExpo- no difference, imo.

The negativity of vanity galleries occurs when collectors, art journalists, etc.- who are familiar with vanity galleries, dont consider an artists work "serious" because the artist chooses to show at a vanity gallery.

An artist may be better off renting a ballroom at a hotel and host their own weekend show and party, to avoid the negative association.

cunparis
03-05-2005, 02:32 AM
I dont have an issue with the "paying for the space" etc.- one way or another an artist will pay- cash or commissions or both. You pay to exhibit at ArtExpo- no difference, imo.

The negativity of vanity galleries occurs when collectors, art journalists, etc.- who are familiar with vanity galleries, dont consider an artists work "serious" because the artist chooses to show at a vanity gallery.

An artist may be better off renting a ballroom at a hotel and host their own weekend show and party, to avoid the negative association.

I agree with your first paragraph. I've also been thinking about running a gallery from a business point of view and it seems very risky. Asking the artist to pay the costs upfront seems to be a more solid business plan. Here in Paris for example, (like in London & NYC I'm sure), the real estate is so expensive I don't think it's possbile to open a new gallery without a huge financial backing. Not only do you come up with the risks to purchase the storefront, but then you take risks on choosing the artists and you probably won't sell anything for a while. Instant negative cashflow. I think it's impossible to start a business this way. Whereas if you rent space to artists, you have an instant positive cashflow. Now one can say the more serious galleries won't take this new "vanity" gallery seriously, but that's OK. At least they're in business. Because the alternative business plan, to operate on commission only, would not even exist. And that just may very well explain why established conventional galleries don't take these vanity galleries seriously, because without them the conventional galleries don't have any new competition.

For the hotel ballroom idea.. I've been thinking of this lately. Lately they've been doing it for big oriental carpet sales. They post signs all over the city. I have no idea if it works but next time I see the signs I will go just to see what the response is. I live in a relatively small city (just outside of Paris) and there may be options with the mayor's office or community center, etc. But first I need to produce enough work to make it worth it..

-Michael

timelady
03-05-2005, 04:32 AM
Because after you pay the $3000 and the exhibit is over, you're not going to be in the same position you would be in if you had done all the hard work! But this temporary glory and fame can actually give you a memory that can last a lifetime.

A slightly strange viewpoint to post on the art BUSINESS forum. We're not in this for a memory, but to earn a living. We need an experience that will provide a 'reference' and building block to last a lifetime. Would you go to a site for people learning to become pilots and recommend to them to just pay for a flight lesson? I doubt it. This type of attitude shows a disrespect for art as a profession - as if somehow it isn't worth the longterm work and development, or that just showing once in NY is enough. Perhaps after that memory we can move on and get a 'real job'? Sorry, but I feel your post was very disrespectful for an artists' business forum. Post it in the cafe, perhaps, but not here.

Tina.

Gerard Ado
03-05-2005, 02:09 PM
I know one European gallery which each month has a new exhibition with 4 artists, each of the artists paying for the privilege as far as I remember it was costing about the equivalent of $500. For than the work gets hung, the gallerist prints invites, sends out press-releases and press-listings, and provides some wine and food for the opening. The gallery only takes a small percentage of a commission: 20% or something. On paper this looks like a pretty ok deal. But when one does the sums and remembers the exhibition is divided between 4 artists, meaning 4 times the fee. And then the reality: the gallery is not as centrally located as it claims, it is in a basement and is not as visible as it should be, it does not attract the collectors and the press in the way it proclaims and the space really is not as large as it should be to accommodate the work of 4 artists. And the bottom line galleries like this have no respect in the art world. They act as a stepping stone to nothing. The only good that could come out of such an exhibition is on the rare occasion when something sells and in these situations it generally is rare.
It seems recently that there are more and more galleries like this springing up all over the place. To be honest I have great respect for the owners of these galleries, my hat is off to them, but this is the same respect I have for the swindles of con-artists. It is like watching the movie “The Sting” you can’t help respecting the elaborate cleverness behind the con tricks.
You don’t become an airforce pilot by just having flown in a fighter jet; you just become someone with a good story for after dinner parties.

juneto
03-05-2005, 02:14 PM
E - Mail Nick Simmons , He is very experienced in this and will tell you a lot about it.
I would not pay to show . They are Double -Dipping
June

surreal
03-05-2005, 02:15 PM
I didn't read through the posts here, but all I can say is:

Do not waste your money on this gallery which is noted for being a vanity gallery in New York City!

deedee914
03-05-2005, 08:37 PM
As mentioned before, I did have a positive experience with Agora. But let me clarify. I sold the work I exhibited but through no effort of theirs mind you. I live in Sydney now and many of my friends and family live in New York where I grew up as a teenager. I also have two regular buyers who live in Manhattan as well as one from Los Angeles who was going to be in town at the same time of the show. I took advantage of Agora's offer to meet my own needs so that I could show my latest work to my clients and family and friends.

The materials they distributed on my behalf were crap. I'm a graphic and web designer myself so maybe I was being a bit of a perfectionist. But still, I even went so far as to take out my own ads and send out my own private invitations to the exhibit. All of my work sold and as a slap in the face to vanity galleries everywhere, I sold my work out from under them. I did not give them any commission fees. I made back the cost of my trip for myself and my husband as well as a profit of about $3200.00 US.

As I've mentioned before, this is VERY VERY atypical. If you're going to use these galleries, use them to your own advantage.

As for listing them on your resume....that's your call. My work, I feel, can stand on its own, so regardless of if I mention them on my CV, it hasn't had any bad effects. On the upside though, because the name Agora is so often searched, and they list me as a link on their site, I can take advantage of the web traffic.

Cheers,

Dee-

P.S. If they are hiking up their prices, you'd have to wonder. Here's a note about something that happened to me. Originally when they first offered me the chance to exhibit, they offered me a very large space for about $1400. After a death in my family, and lack of communication for a month, that Angela chick emailed me back and asked if i was still interested. They had already hiked their prices up again to about $2400 but oddly enough, they honored my original price of $1400. Go figure.

surreal
03-05-2005, 09:12 PM
As mentioned before, I did have a positive experience with Agora. But let me clarify. I sold the work I exhibited but through no effort of theirs mind you. I live in Sydney now and many of my friends and family live in New York where I grew up as a teenager. I also have two regular buyers who live in Manhattan as well as one from Los Angeles who was going to be in town at the same time of the show. I took advantage of Agora's offer to meet my own needs so that I could show my latest work to my clients and family and friends.

The materials they distributed on my behalf were crap. I'm a graphic and web designer myself so maybe I was being a bit of a perfectionist. But still, I even went so far as to take out my own ads and send out my own private invitations to the exhibit. All of my work sold and as a slap in the face to vanity galleries everywhere, I sold my work out from under them. I did not give them any commission fees. I made back the cost of my trip for myself and my husband as well as a profit of about $3200.00 US.

As I've mentioned before, this is VERY VERY atypical. If you're going to use these galleries, use them to your own advantage.

As for listing them on your resume....that's your call. My work, I feel, can stand on its own, so regardless of if I mention them on my CV, it hasn't had any bad effects. On the upside though, because the name Agora is so often searched, and they list me as a link on their site, I can take advantage of the web traffic.

Cheers,

Dee-

P.S. If they are hiking up their prices, you'd have to wonder. Here's a note about something that happened to me. Originally when they first offered me the chance to exhibit, they offered me a very large space for about $1400. After a death in my family, and lack of communication for a month, that Angela chick emailed me back and asked if i was still interested. They had already hiked their prices up again to about $2400 but oddly enough, they honored my original price of $1400. Go figure.


Hi Dee,
You're the only person I know of who talks of having a positive experience with that gallery.
:)
I wouldn't put a show with the Agora gallery on my resume because of their rep which isn't good.
:)

cunparis
03-06-2005, 03:32 AM
Hi Dee,
You're the only person I know of who talks of having a positive experience with that gallery.
:)
I wouldn't put a show with the Agora gallery on my resume because of their rep which isn't good.
:)

I've seen one other person but I just google's and can't find the page. It was in a forum like wetcanvas but much smaller. I wish I could remember where.

Ok, I think we all agree that IF you are serious about having a career in art then Agora is not a good choice. I think people are confusing vanity galleries and Agora. If Agora has a bad reputation then of course they should not be used. I agree they have very aggressive marketing tactics. However, I think there could be other vanity galleries which may not have such a bad reputation. Maybe not a great rep but at least not as bad as Agora.

I think we'll all agree to disagree on the use of vanity galleries for serious artists.

If you're not serious about your art career and an exhibit at a vanity gallery is just a one time thing for fun, then why not. As with anything, check around. Check prices. Don't sign up for the first thing you see (which is usually Agora). The post about the gallery in the basement is a good one, make sure you know what you're getting. Is it prime space in a nice gallery in a good location? Or is it a tiny space in a basement? Ask for examples of what their promotional materials are so you're not in a position like DeeDee. I could go on and on but it's usual business practice, do some research before handing over a large sum of money. Come up with a list of potential businesses and then narrow it down to a few and do more research and finally select one and go with it and make the best of it.

-Michael

surreal
03-06-2005, 11:11 AM
I don't think there are good quality vanity galleries anywhere.
:)

However, there are fine coop galleries.
:)

housecatnick
03-06-2005, 05:46 PM
Co-op Galleries and Vanity Galleries - either way your paying and that is something that many artists CAN'T do.

Yes, Agora has a bad rep, their service is weak and people question their practices. I had a friend who showed there and it actually helped his career because of the exposure, and in the end that's what we want. The more people reached, the more possibilities of a sale.

While Agora may not be a good example of a vanity gallery, the city is a hard place to make a living on either side of the art fence. I don't defend anyone's bad business practices, but if anyone's going to ask me for a fee, the only way I would think it's reasonable is if their CLIENT LIST is worthwhile in quality and quantity and the adverts are in high traffic 'zines.

In the end think of it as paying for the mailing list (it would be nice to take it home!).

As far as Co-ops go - I have a friend who pays quite a bit annually and will not get a one man show for a few years untill he puts his time in. Hey MAY get invited to a few annual group shows. By the time he gets to have the one-man - he could have put that money towards a vanity.

jerry lucey
03-06-2005, 09:55 PM
Some time ago I also was asked what I knew of Agora Gallery. In my asking around I found that those who felt it was not worth the time of day...had never joined one of their shows and had little knowledge of the Agora operation. Those in favor had joined one of their shows or had a friend who had joined. The positive points were that Agora was very selective in the work they hung, did major promotion for each show and the shows were well received by those interested in viewing works by new artists. The couple of European artists I was able to contact (via the net) were very happy with what they got for their money.

Some artists who had paid their way and came away with little or nothing were very negative. Was that really just the Gallery's fault...many Galleries have done promotions on new artists whose work they really liked and found that their customer base did not share their point of view. One artist I found said the show was worth the costs and while nothing great seemed to come of it - it was a delayed return. Later contact was made by a couple of fine galleries.

The resarch is slightly dated and things do change, but my reaction was that even being asked to join an Agora show said a lot about the artist's work. I did get a little carried away with this thing - it was just that it fascinated me that any artist would put that much money at risk, especially early in the game...Agora did help in that their website listed artists from current and prior shows. The gallery should be at www.agoragallery.com......jerry

RobinZ
03-06-2005, 10:46 PM
I can't get anything from that link.

cunparis
03-07-2005, 01:21 AM
I can't get anything from that link.

Agora (http://www.agoragallery.com)

timelady
03-07-2005, 03:14 AM
As far as Co-ops go - I have a friend who pays quite a bit annually and will not get a one man show for a few years untill he puts his time in. Hey MAY get invited to a few annual group shows. By the time he gets to have the one-man - he could have put that money towards a vanity.

hope you don't mind me commenting on this too. :) Sounds like a bad co-op to me. All the co-ops I know over here (I've only been in one of them though, but have friends in the others) all member artists have their work hung in the gallery all the time - fairly equal amounts of work or space for each artists. Usually there's a 'feature' of individual artists on weekly or monthly basis, where the featured artist will get a whole wall, the window, or a special section of the gallery. On top of that the co-ops also organise outside participation in events like other exhibitions or the art fairs. These obviously have additional costs so the artists taking part would all pitch in. And each artist would have shifts and duties. Overall the cost shouldn't come anywhere near Agora's price, except after a couple years possibly.

Tina.

jerry lucey
03-07-2005, 09:02 AM
.

There are co-op operations all over the States. Quite different from Agora. The co-op´s in most cases lack promotion and rely on location to maintain sales. Agora has 2 good locations and a well run promotional set-up. As to their website, I will check for the problem and re-publish...jerry

jerry lucey
03-07-2005, 09:21 AM
My error on the Agora website...I left out the dash. The following should work www.agora-gallery.com

One interesting point about Agora Gallery is that they will look at an artist´s work online. During my over-view of their operation I did ask them to consider my own work. Got back a very detailed and favorable reply that confirmed the time had been taken to review the artwork in some depth. I let it pass, if I had that kind of money I would not be driving the old car...have a good one.

jerry

JeffG
03-07-2005, 10:38 AM
Does anyone know of anyone who's submitted work to the Agora or any other vanity gallery, and been turned down to exhibit?

idylbrush
03-07-2005, 12:04 PM
The materials they distributed on my behalf were crap. I'm a graphic and web designer myself so maybe I was being a bit of a perfectionist. But still, I even went so far as to take out my own ads and send out my own private invitations to the exhibit. All of my work sold and as a slap in the face to vanity galleries everywhere, I sold my work out from under them. I did not give them any commission fees. I made back the cost of my trip for myself and my husband as well as a profit of about $3200.00 US.


Cheers,

Dee-

P.S. If they are hiking up their prices, you'd have to wonder. Here's a note about something that happened to me. Originally when they first offered me the chance to exhibit, they offered me a very large space for about $1400. After a death in my family, and lack of communication for a month, that Angela chick emailed me back and asked if i was still interested. They had already hiked their prices up again to about $2400 but oddly enough, they honored my original price of $1400. Go figure.


Is this the very same DEE that was bemoaning the fact that a gallery had witheld funds from sales.

andymathis
03-07-2005, 12:32 PM
withholding funds from sales is so very different from having a show at a vanity gallery.
Vanity galleries can work in some situations, as Agora did for Dee, but it worked because of her own marketing and promotion. Now if Agora withheld the funds from her sales, then that IS another story.

cunparis
03-07-2005, 01:55 PM
withholding funds from sales is so very different from having a show at a vanity gallery.
Vanity galleries can work in some situations, as Agora did for Dee, but it worked because of her own marketing and promotion. Now if Agora withheld the funds from her sales, then that IS another story.

I think he's referring to her bragging about selling her paintings "on the side" and not paying Agora the commission they deserved. That is dishonest.

-Michael

idylbrush
03-07-2005, 11:15 PM
All of my work sold and as a slap in the face to vanity galleries everywhere, I sold my work out from under them. I did not give them any commission fees. I made back the cost of my trip for myself and my husband as well as a profit of about $3200.00 US.

If you're going to use these galleries, use them to your own advantage.



Cheers,

Dee-



I personally would like to hear the reasoning behind this business (?) decision and why you felt it appropriate and desirable to handle this in this manner.

:(

Azure Wings
03-08-2005, 04:35 AM
withholding funds from sales is so very different from having a show at a vanity gallery.
Vanity galleries can work in some situations, as Agora did for Dee, but it worked because of her own marketing and promotion. Now if Agora withheld the funds from her sales, then that IS another story.

I assume Dee knew it was a vanity gallery going in. She certainly knew the terms of the arrangement, and agreed to them. Noting that it was a vanity gallery does not justify not paying the commission owed. In other words: she decided beforehand they were ripping her off, so ripping them off in return was perfectly fine?

Lack of ethics will eventually come back to bite you. It is not for no reason that Shakespeare referred to reputation as a bubble. I'm glad Dee made good sales. I'm sure she worked hard for them. But the gallery held up their end of the bargain; she owed them their commission.

Sorry to see anyone stooping to dishonesty,
Karen

jerry lucey
03-08-2005, 08:37 AM
It might be interesting to hear from all the artists who believe they would like to take on the New York market without any help. Just bundle up a group of paintings and go door to gallery door in New York and crack the market. Not an easy task, Agora can provide that extra help in opening the doors, if you can afford the price. I see all this talk about "vanity Galleries", but is it such an operation if it really works. If it works, why is it not a marketing tool....And as an artist and former gallery owner, I have bad feelings for artists who want the services of a gallery without paying the tab. Running a gallery is hard work, just hanging pictures on the wall will not get the job done - the co-op has learned that.......jerry

idylbrush
03-08-2005, 10:15 AM
It might be interesting to hear from all the artists who believe they would like to take on the New York market without any help. Just bundle up a group of paintings and go door to gallery door in New York and crack the market. Not an easy task, Agora can provide that extra help in opening the doors, if you can afford the price. I see all this talk about "vanity Galleries", but is it such an operation if it really works. If it works, why is it not a marketing tool....And as an artist and former gallery owner, I have bad feelings for artists who want the services of a gallery without paying the tab. Running a gallery is hard work, just hanging pictures on the wall will not get the job done - the co-op has learned that.......jerry


There are plenty of artists out there "pounding the pavement" and the doors are not willingly opened to them. The Gallery Scene is at best difficult and there is still no proof that showing in a vanity gallery is opening doors. I have yet to hear of an artist moving from a vanity gallery to a high end gallery. Even those with perported successes in these galleries haven't moved on to anything that they are willing to report as a positive experience in an upward movement. At this point it is undetermined if this approach works in a positive way at all.

The overlooked operative word in your post is "IF" and if don't pay the bills.

Just another opinion ;)

shirleyq
03-08-2005, 10:32 AM
I have been following this thread and notice that Fagan's reply has disappeared :confused: :confused:

Fagan
03-08-2005, 10:42 AM
Shirley...I asked to have it removed. I am such a "hot head" sometimes. :D
But I am watching this with great interest. I have thought to try out Agora....just to see if it goes to better things. I will not pay what they are asking though. I wonder if they will "bargain"??? :rolleyes:

Also....I am waiting to hear what Dee has to say. Because I am wondering if this is a common practice or ...what?

surreal
03-08-2005, 10:48 AM
Shirley...I asked to have it removed. I am such a "hot head" sometimes. :D
But I am watching this with great interest. I have thought to try out Agora....just to see if it goes to better things. I will not pay what they are asking though. I wonder if they will "bargain"??? :rolleyes:

Also....I am waiting to hear what Dee has to say. Because I am wondering if this is a common practice or ...what?

Hi Bev,
I would be thoroughly embarrassed to have an exhibition at the agora gallery on my resume. I live in NY and I've been in a few group shows in reputable galleries in NY. When I start trying to exhibit my art in galleries again, I would be concerned that galleries after viewing my resume would think me a desperate artist, if they saw that I exhibited at the agora or any other vanity gallery.

I did, in my youth, exhibit in 2 vanity galleries, but these exhibitions do not appear on my resume.

About 3 years ago I viewed an exhibit at agora and was appalled at how poorly curated the exhibit was. There was alot of art cramped together, with no breathing room for the art that was hung.
:(

Picassosattic
03-08-2005, 11:00 AM
About three years ago a Washington, DC artist told his plan for showing his work in NYC. At the time I thought he was either nuts or very naive, but low and behold it worked!!!LOL

Here it is:

He telephoned several galleries per week and told them he was a DC artist and would be in NYC for one day the following week. He asked if he could make an appointment to stop in with his portfolio. They all said yes!!!! and so he did. This went on for months. His persistence paid off when he started to be included in group shows. These were all commercial galleries BTW.

A few things to take into consideration here. The cost, both in money and physical effort to do this once a week. He went and came back to DC in the same day. I don't think I would have the energy to do that, but he did, he perservered and he triumphed! It meant a lot to him to get that NYC exhibition in a commercial gallery and he did it. This just goes to show that if you want to show in a commercial gallery in NYC you can, but it takes commitment. And, brother, was he committed. Has he made it big? NO. Will he ever make it big? Who knows? But he had a plan he thought was viable and he followed it through.

As for the Agora, it is not for me, but that does not mean it is not for someone else. I do think that if you sign a contract with a gallery, vanity or not, you are obligated to pay the commission. You do go into this with your eyes open. No one twists your arm, after all.

Ruth

jerry lucey
03-08-2005, 09:19 PM
Unless there has been a change at Agora since I looked at their operation a few years back, I do not see that the term "vanity gallery" is being applied properly. I have always felt that a "vanity Gallery" hung work for any artist willing to put money on the table. Agora did have a selection process and rejected work that they felt would not profit from their operation. New York is a special market, not for every artist. When the artist goes shopping for a gallery, he/she has to shop the galleries to find one that is hanging work that their work would be at home with. What you would see on the walls shows you the likes of gallery's client base.

Yes, there are galleries that are all over the map, my experience suggests that these operators run on location rather then a following. ....jerry

RobinZ
03-16-2005, 09:57 AM
Interesting that DeeDee hasn't responded to this.

Eleonora Manapova
03-16-2005, 12:18 PM
Wow! Good topic!
I read the book How to survive & prosper as an artist ( Caroll Michels) - and yesterday I suddently found the name - Agora Gallery ...How do you suppose in which chapter? ........ Vanity galleries.(page 111)
It is not opinion, I'm just reading this book.

cunparis
03-16-2005, 12:59 PM
Wow! Good topic!
I read the book How to survive & prosper as an artist ( Caroll Michels) - and yesterday I suddently found the name - Agora Gallery ...How do you suppose in which chapter? ........ Vanity galleries.(page 111)
It is not opinion, I'm just reading this book.

and what did they say? I imagine they couldn't say anything about about them for fear of getting sued.

dd50
03-16-2005, 01:58 PM
Interesting that DeeDee hasn't responded to this.


Are you talking about me, the one who started the thread, or the 'other' Dee?

:)

I forwarded all this information onto the artist that was considering Agora, and I believe she's decided not to do it.

Thanks all!
Dee

timelady
03-16-2005, 02:04 PM
Unless there has been a change at Agora since I looked at their operation a few years back, I do not see that the term "vanity gallery" is being applied properly. I have always felt that a "vanity Gallery" hung work for any artist willing to put money on the table. Agora did have a selection process and rejected work that they felt would not profit from their operation.

Actually, if you think about it even vanity galleries HAVE to jury. There is only so much gallery space, for so many months of the year. Inevitably they will get more artists willing to part with cash than even they can show in a limited amount of time. I have an acquaintance who runs a hired gallery space, and he has to jury too - simply more applications than space.

Tina.

idylbrush
03-16-2005, 03:38 PM
Interesting that DeeDee hasn't responded to this.

Glad I am not the only one that noticed this....

RobinZ
03-16-2005, 03:56 PM
:d

deedee914
03-16-2005, 04:04 PM
At this point, what more is there to comment on? I made the experience my own and got out of it what I put into it. Yes I knew Agora was a vanity gallery to begin with.

The people who bought my works and attended the opening were people who were already clients of mine. I invited them personally, not Agora. I paid to rent their space and I see no reason why I should have to share a commission with them after this fact. Kharma or no kharma, these works were sold after the show closed to give Agora's viewing audience a chance to buy the works fairly. My clients took the opportunity to come to the show to see the pieces in person and agreed to wait til after the show had finished to express any interest if there was still any.

As I see it, I used them to MY benefit as I've always said. The choice to particpate comes down to YOU. Rehasing my atypical experience over and over on these boards is not going to give you much more insight than that. I could afford to rent their space and I did what I needed to do with the effort, time, and money spent to do so so that it would work for me.

I wish all of you the best of luck. :)

Dee-

deedee914
03-16-2005, 04:42 PM
Is this the very same DEE that was bemoaning the fact that a gallery had witheld funds from sales.

Hi Howard. Let me clear up a few things for you. The gallery that I had an issue with here in sydney recently (this past November) asked me to exhibit with them. There was no pay to play with them. We agreed on a 35% commission. That was all. The contract I signed with them stated that all artists are paid 30 days from the closing of the show. PERIOD. To date, I still have not been paid by the gallery although the work sold as well as the commissioned pieces from that show are now hanging in the homes of the people who bought them.

Very different situation to what relationship I had with Agora. I rented space with Agora and considering the amount of money they were requring, I feel I don't owe them squat. They got what they wanted from me (a hefty upfront fee) and I did the rest myself.

On a side note, you can always email me directly if you have any questions about any relationship I've had with a gallery. I get many requests from people asking me if they should exhibit with Agora and 9 out of 10 I tell no. They can't afford it and by no means would I tell an emerging artist to invest that kind of money unless they can do what I did and get their money back in sales. My situation is completely ATYPICAL and when you guys realise that, maybe you can calm down and not find reasons to be so skeptical or doubtful of someone's success in an otherwise crap situation.

Don't get upset because I made the best of a situation which would otherwise take advantage of other artists. I take full responsibility for myself, my career, and it's successes. I'm selling lots of work regularly and I look out for me first.

Ego? You bet your butt on it. I'm just not one of those people waiting to be discovered. I also don't expect a gallery to decide my career path for me or make me famous overnight.

As I've always said to everyone on this board, be accountable to yourself and make your choice to be an artist work FOR you.

Drop me a line if there's anything else you need to know or want to discuss.

sculptfoam
08-17-2013, 06:50 PM
What a great topic here...! I have read every word, as I've also been contacted by Agora. My response is this... You are not Jean-Michel Basqiuat and Anina Nosei is not going to ride in on a white horse, offer to buy you art supplies and provide a beautiful workspace in downtown Manhattan. That only happened one time, with all of the cosmic forces coming together at the right moment. I try to think from a collector's perspective. If I was serious about seeing the hot new artists, then I would attend all Frieze events, all of the biennials, some museums who carry new artists (MAD Museum NYC) and visit a few galleries around town (my local area is NYC) who I know to carry works that I personally like. I have never been to Agora, so I can't comment on it. It appears to be a gallery for beginning artists who take themselves seriously. Now, if only I had a trust fund or Anina would ride in on her white horse.