Beauty and the Beast

Galleries are often viewed as ethereal spaces. Little thought is given to the day to day behind the scenes work needed to keep galleries functioning. The production of art and the upkeep of art spaces are true labors of love. Fundraising endeavors are often given a hip spin and patrons flood in wearing their finest and hopefully intending to buy work. Many people lose sight of the fact that art galleries are in fact businesses. Selling work is essential to keeping gallery doors open. Gallery staff must put their over active right brains to use, but not for creating work for a change. They must cook up idea’s and themes for events that will get patrons inside the gallery and intent on purchasing work.

However, showcasing and selling breath taking work is only one piece in a very large puzzle. During a show, each work commands its own space and attention and trying to keep the balance is often a job in itself. Every piece of art work is treated like a high maintenance lover. It must be given a label, its own space and treated with the the utmost care. Not just physically, but digitally. Modern day gallery directors and managers must be computer savvy. Cataloging work on excel, sending blast emails and making sure the galleries website receives traffic are now tools of the trade. And getting your hands dirty is to be expected. Few staff members if any are above getting up on a ladder and hanging work or making a last minute run to Home Depot. A gallery is a beauty and a beast.


Imani Richardson

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