View Full Version : gallery refuses pastels!

09-01-2002, 06:28 PM
Just had the experience this week of a gallery, who had solicited me (!), refusing my pastel originals based on the issue that they require special handling to prevent dusting the liner mats and glass. Hello. Art world calling. They did admit to being new to carrying fine art (having been photog., only) and had a really lovely space. Sad for me!
I argued for the growth market for pastels, and for the ease of repair ( they do framing, there). Holy cow! They wanted 45 %, but couldn't see occasional repair-- hardly offered gallery services. I guess I'm better off. Anyone out there had this experience?

09-01-2002, 10:38 PM
Give them the heave ho! If they are not accepting your pastels because they are afraid of them they are not worthy of your pastels, or anyone else's! And 45%? That is steep, though I have heard of very good galleries asking 50%, but they were VERY GOOD galleries and knew what they were about!

Good luck. I hope you get a much better gallery.

How did they come to solicit you and then not accept you? Didn't they know what kind of artwork you had or did they just send mail out to all artists in the area? If so, let them come beg personally.

09-02-2002, 01:06 AM
Thanks for the encouragement.
They actually came into my art booth at a prominent NW fair and saw the originals. Incredibly, I noticed an oil pastel in their gallery that had dust on the mat! (?) I did bring in some works that had been on the road, and were dirty. However, I left several clean ones for them to evaluate.
They were good with my work, but got scared of special handling requirements re: pastels.
I'm learning a lot about gallery presentation. Be uniform in style, with a body of work where each work compliments the others, and make a smooth presentation. Like I said.. learning...

09-02-2002, 05:12 AM
I have been selling pastels for years, and have only ever had to "repair" once, or perhaps twice, out of hundreds of sales. I don't think pastels need any really special handling, and I wouldn't admit to it either!! You are right, you mustn't take in damaged or dirty pastels to a gallery, or pastels which aren't well framed under glass, or you will frighten the gallery owner immediately. He may like your work, but not your presentation.

if the pastel has been overworked with many layers, making it somewhat more liable to shed crumbs, you could have problems. However, if you have worked normally, you can give your painting a damn good shake, banging it on its back, plus VERY light spray of fix before framing, then it should be fine in a mat and frame. Only if the gallery heaves the painting around, should the pastel dust shed onto the mount. A gallery should treat any painting with care - too many galleries have a devil-may-are attitude about our work, as do juried shows - I've lost count of the number of damaged frames I get back from these.

There is nothing more annoying than newbie gallery owners who give you hopes, and then dash them. It is a pet hate of mine ... they seem to have no gratitude for the fact that they have all their stock on sale or return, which is more than can be said for any other shop business. Find another gallery - clearly your work is good enough - but don't ever take in "dirty" stuff, and don't talk about "repairs"!
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09-02-2002, 10:59 AM
Hi Casey,
Agree whole-heartedly with Jackie and Light . .find someone else. Funny though, I've been tempted to go to acrylics 'cause of the handling "problem" and the increased framing costs (triple matts in some cases plus the glass) but my gallery owner told me to stick with pastels "cause it sets me apart from all other artists 'round here . . and I think she's right! . . .mmmmmm

09-02-2002, 01:29 PM
Shoot! I just input a long reply, but lost it on the review process!
In a nutshell- we do pound the work and spray it lightly, and at each layer.
Constant comments on how well framed, design and quality. Most fair artists do simpler framing.
You gotta do these fairs to know the abusive handling they get-- it's incredible!
In sum, I'm responsible for my look and presentation, and I need to be tighter in this area at the gallery door-- never let a casual atmosphere or relationship get in the way of professional presentation.
I'm wary of the gallery world. What are other's comments on gallery representation-- getting in. Opportunity or "rip off"? Dumb gallery owners. Slow sales. Do it right and reap the rewards. Your opinions?
Cheers, Casey.

09-02-2002, 03:14 PM
walk a way with you head held high....:D


side note to Crumb,

I for one would love to see you watercolor......:D