Does it Make Sense to Pay Up Front to Have an Art Show?

All My Friends at Once at Split Gallery
All My Friends at Once at Split Gallery

Most art exhibitions are either granted/awarded to artists or done in exchange for a percentage of sales, which is typically around 50% in most commercial galleries. This makes exhibiting both competitive and limiting depending on the opportunities available and your style of work. Split Gallery makes it easy: If you want to have a show, just pay for it and have a show.

So does it make sense to pay up front to have an art show?

That’s going to depend on the artist(s) and the objective.

Here’s how we think about it:

  • If you’ve exhibited work before, how have your sales been? Would you do better with having a show and keeping half your proceeds or with having a show and keeping all of the proceeds minus your direct expenses with Split?
  • Do you have an available opportunity to exhibit your work right now? Split Gallery is available for you to book according to your schedule and preferences.
  • Are there other artists who would like to split the costs and effort with you to have a show at Split Gallery? Artists can share the costs and space, draw more people, and share the time commitments of staffing the gallery during open hours. Plus, it’s fun!
  • Is there a collector who would want to finance your show at Split in exchange for art? Perhaps you can let a collector choose a favorite piece from your collection after the show has concluded in exchange for paying the gallery fees.
  • How many pieces would you need to sell in order to break even? To turn a profit?
  • Can you sell some work in advance and use those funds to have a show at Split in order to sell more work and grow your audience?
  • Is having a show and marketing / promoting it worth an investment in an event?
  • Are you interested in the DIY approach or would you rather have the gallery handle everything for you? Split can help as much as you’d like – there’s just more costs associated when Split does more. We believe that transparency in costs associated with gallery services gives the artist more control over how they spend the money from their sales.
  • If sales are not your primary objective, then Split is an excellent opportunity to exhibit and document your work in an environment where you have complete creative control over how it’s presented.

There are lots of considerations, but the only barrier to having your own show at Split Gallery besides creating work you’re proud of is the cost and the commitment. We’ve made the cost as low as possible. All we want to do is pay our expenses. If you can commit, we’d love to have you. That’s what we’re here for.

Learn more about having a show at Split gallery >