Monday, May 26, 2008

Getting into galleries, the inventory list

To recap, in previous posts we have covered what to look for when looking for a gallery to approach. We also looked at some of the things you might wish to discuss with the owner or manager of the establishment in which you wish to show your work.

Now comes the paperwork. You should always have some sort of paperwork to document the placing of your artwork in a shop/gallery/restaurant. At the very least, you want proof that your work is on site. Why is this important? Well, what if one of your paintings gets stolen, can you prove that your work was actually there? What if there is a fire?

You should discuss insurance coverage with the owner/manager. You need assurance from the gallery that they will be providing insurance coverage for your art while it is on their premises and assurance that the coverage is up to date. Verify that the gallery's insurance will cover fire and water damage or loss, and that they are responsible for the insurance deductible.

As an aside, you might wish to review your own insurance coverage and your options. Is your art inventory covered under your home owner policy? Is your art stored at your home or is your studio in a different location? Are you covered if you teach classes at your home? Do you have the public at your home for shows or during studio tours?

I once read some advice that a gallery owner gave on-line regarding the insurance issue. He reiterated the importance of having proof that the coverage was up to date, but he was coming at it from a different angle. He had once owned a fledgling gallery that was struggling to get off the ground. In order to stay open, the owner allowed his insurance coverage to expire for a couple of months. Yes, there was a fire...Even if there isn't a fire, or a theft, your art may get damaged while it is on their premises. Sprinkler systems may go off, a painting may get knocked to the floor, use your imagination.

So check for insurance coverage.

As part of this, you will need to provide an inventory list to the management. An inventory list should include details such as:

  • the dates of the arrangement - the date you delivered paintings and the date you are to remove them.

  • your name and contact info

  • the title of each piece

  • the size of each piece

  • a description - the medium, the support, whether framed

  • the price of each piece
  • condition of each piece

Keep a copy for your own records.

Have the management confirm that the paintings listed have been delivered and have them sign both copies. This paperwork can be attached to the other contract pages.

You could also take pictures of your art on their premises.

More on contract details tomorrow. Again, if anyone has a comment to share regarding this topic of getting into galleries, please don't hesitate to add your thoughts.

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