The business of Art making, Sales and Commissions

taking care of business 2

As all professional artists know commissions are a necessary part of creating a career.  The agency commissions levied by Tulgeen is in line with the National Association of Visual Artists guidelines.

ART IN THE GARAGE – AGENCY COMMISSION

As a not for profit organisation and program supporting emerging artists, Tulgeen’s Art in the Garage levies  all Art in the Garage artists a 30% commission on all art sales  whether sold directly from our studios and/or at exhibitions. This includes all commissioned works.

Additionally gallery and other exhibition spaces may levy their own sales commission rate to host an exhibition promoting it to their existing clients/mailing list.  This is in addition to Tulgeen’s agency commission.

WHAT DOES AN ARTIST GET FOR TULGEEN’S 30%?

Tulgeen provides and includes all the following services to every Art in the Garage artist, regardless if work is sold or not.  Typically, the 30% commission covers all the functions for Art in the Garage artists that they would normally have to undertake and pay for upfront.

  • Provision of comfortable and safe professional studio space and secure storage for artists and their works. Studios are normally owned by artists or rented via upfront payments to a third party.
  • All art materials for all works and reference materials, as required.
  • Program or guest curation of artworks for exhibition.
  • Professional mattes and framing for all hanging works.  Framing is a significant cost in presenting exhibition quality works and is supplied for all hanging works, many of which may not sell.  This includes wire and d-rings or hanging as per the gallery/exhibition space’s specifications.
  • Canvases or other presentation material for artworks.
  • Wrapping and folio presentations for non-hanging works.
  • Gallery hire cost as per market rate for a minimum of two weeks per exhibition.
  • Grant writing and the occasional ‘win’ where grants are sourced to provide additional technical mentoring, professional development and/or exhibition opportunities for the artists or the development of the physical studios.
  • Production and cost associated with high quality marketing and promotion materials, catalogues, labels, paid advertising and organising media releases and press publicity including newspaper and radio interviews.
  • Production of gallery invitations for Spiral mail out to gallery clients and Tulgeen mailing list.
  • Set up and hanging of artworks by Tulgeen staff and take-down afterwards.
  • Packing and transport of all artworks to and from gallery pre and post exhibition.
  • Catering, setup and clean-up for the exhibition opening.

Remember ALL our Art in the Garage artists get the above support and commissions are only charged when work is sold.  This is very important for artists who are just emerging and may not achieve any sales but who still get a chance to exhibit without financial burden or outlay in advance whilst they build their professional practice.

WHAT ABOUT THE GALLERY COMMISSION?

As a professional artists program, Art in the Garage only exhibits its members works in reputable galleries and spaces which serve to  respect and enhance the provenance of our artists’ works.  You will never find an Art in the Garage show in the foyer of Woolworths even if they do not charge commissions.  If this is what you seek, then Art in the Garage is probably not for you.

Commercial galleries typically take a 15-50% commission on the sale of two-dimensional artwork- paintings, photos, monotypes, etc., and anywhere from 33.3% to 40% for three-dimensional work.   This is in addition to Tulgeen’s 30% agency commission.  

Of course, not all galleries are created equally.  Tulgeen tries to work with galleries who work hard to represent the work of our artists and where appropriate, Tulgeen tries to negotiate a more favourable commission  for sold work on behalf of our Art in the Garage artists.  It is generally difficult to influence a gallery’s terms which are set.  These terms are known well in advance of a booking for an exhibition.

Where possible Tulgeen tries to work with galleries and spaces who not charge additional commissions, however, this is increasingly impossible as Regional Galleries and public spaces become reserved only for non-acquisitive exhibitions.

At all times, Art in the Garage artists are aware of the commission structures charged and can choose to opt out of the particular exhibition.  To date, none of our artists have done so.  Instead, they have reveled in the delight, fame and proceeds from their exhibitions in spite of the commissions.

IS THERE ANY WAY FOR AN ARTIST TO AVOID COMMISSIONS?

Yes, there is.  As an artist, commissions may be avoided by:

  • Paying for your studio space and all art materials upfront.
  • Framing and/or wrapping/packaging all your exhibition artworks prior to sale upfront.
  • And, providing your own exhibition space and maintaining and staffing it at your cost.
  • Developing and creating, publishing and circulating all forms of marketing and promotions at your own cost upfront.

However, this is not how Art in the Garage operates and if this is what you would prefer, we wish you every success in a venture few have dared.