Love Art? Read how you can open an Art Gallery of your own

. 6 min read
Love Art? Read how you can open an Art Gallery of your own

The pandemic has brought about a lull in our lives. A lot of people are turning to art as a way of respite from this long drawn slow down. If we allow art to enter our lives, the world would feel more joyful.

Contemporary Indian art is flourishing, and Bengal, Mumbai, and Delhi are important centers of art in India.

Art galleries are a business like any other, and its purpose is to sell art. The total value of the international art business is around $ 45 billion. To start an art gallery, you have to be an art lover and also be knowledgeable about artists. As an owner, you have to strike a balance between the business world and the creative world.

Art galleries attract many types of visitors, from art critics and collectors to the general public. Your art gallery can become a local cultural hub and also attract far-off audiences online. Commission and collaboration with famous artists can lead to commercial success for your gallery.

The following tips will set you on the right path to open an art gallery:

Step-1: Become an expert in art

Reading and educating yourself through constant engagement is the best way to approach and interpret art. Before buying any piece of art, you have to be very knowledgeable about that. You may have to visit different galleries outside your city, either in person or online. Nowadays, you can also view video clips of several collections online.

If you enhance your knowledge, then buyers will be very comfortable dealing with you; you can easily explain each piece of art that interests them. The facts any buyer would like to know are the originality, importance, meaning, socio-historical importance, and subject matter of any artwork. Keep yourself updated on what is happening in art fairs and auction houses, both nationally and internationally.

Step-2: Research the local market

The first step in starting an art gallery is to know the market. Meet artists and other members of the art community, and survey what is available in your city. If you get familiar with the local galleries, you can plan what new you can bring to the table.

You should first visualise the size and scope of your gallery and try to create a niche in the local market. Your vision is the identity of the gallery and will define everything, from the artwork that you will exhibit to the clientele you desire.

Before you open your art gallery, you have to decide on your mode of business. Create a business plan that will explain the operations, marketing, and other avenues of future growth. Decide on the management and funding.

You have to think about ways to earn income. If you plan to charge a commission on sales, determine what percentage it would be. Also, now is the time to define your organisation structure - whether you want a sole proprietorship or a partnership. If you opt for a sole proprietorship, it will simplify your business structure since you can combine your personal finances with that of the company.

Step-4: Funding

To start the art gallery, you will need money to lease the space, pay for the art collection, decorate, and other expenses. If you can afford it, finance the business alone, or take some partners on board. If that is not possible, take a business loan from a local bank. Another option is to look for investors who will give you the start-up money in lieu of equity.

Step-5: Choose a location

Your art gallery should have enough space to house several art collections. It should be visible from the road and easily approachable by car. In the future, you might have to host parties or receptions for artists; so, make sure that the space is ample for a small gathering of people and their hospitality.

Choose the location for your art gallery with utmost care. A good idea will be to look for an area near art schools or any newly developing place. Also, make provisions for extra space for any future expansion.

Step-6: Interior Décor

It is better to opt for minimalism while doing the interiors of the gallery. It should not take attention from or compete with the artwork on display. Make sure that it is in sync with your vision and complements the mood of the gallery.

You should have some room for storage of extra pieces, also include an office for yourself.

Step-7: Products and Representations

Cultivate personal relationships with new artists whose work fits the mission and style of the gallery. You can also take the recommendations of curators or collectors and look out for promising artists online. There are many options available to collect the artwork-it all depends on your interests. You can source ancient art creations, as well as provide a platform to upcoming artists to showcase their talent.

If you want to start a contemporary art gallery, you can showcase a variety of art. From thought-provoking abstract paintings to meaningful photographs, visual art, and interactive installations - the range is un-amassable.

Step-8: Marketing and Selling

Marketing and selling artwork is significant to sustain the business. We share with you the following tips:

Sell art through the website - You should create a dynamic website using the various website making tools. Make sure that your contact information is easy to find and up to date.

Sell through an online store - After you start your art gallery business, you have to build an online presence. You can use a cloud-based inventory system to connect directly to your website.

Putting your work online is an easy way to let prospective buyers go through your collection and to get an idea of the prices. After putting it online, there is not much to do apart from updating it regularly. You can let customers pay for the artwork online by giving a percentage of the sale to third party payment processors like GooglePay or Paytm.

Engage Art Advisors - Art advisors work as consultants to an individual, a family, or a corporation and helps them build their art collection. You can take their help in selling. You might have to give them a percentage of the sale (generally between 10%-20%), but this is standard industry practice.

You can start a monthly newsletter sharing updates on artists and upcoming events.

Step-9: Mark Your Presence on Social Media

Share your gallery’s art and vision on social media. You can create a dedicated following on Facebook or Instagram and promote new artists and openings.

Step-10: Be Imaginative

Success comes to those who display creativity. Due to the pandemic crisis, you might have to hold art exhibitions online. It can be a 3D virtual exhibition enabled by AR/VR technology to create a remote viewing experience. Online spaces offer different avenues to engage with art. For those wanting to see the art personally, you have to introduce a socially distanced walk-through at the gallery.

You have to be bold and bring in new and experimental artists. It will shake up the market, and people will start to notice. You can rent your gallery space for events and photo-shoots. It will help to make additional money.


Connecting with people, both within and outside the world of art will help you in marketing your art gallery.


You can collect the works of artists on a consignment basis. You can charge a commission from various artists for marketing, displaying, and selling their work. It can be up to 50% of the total sales proceeds. You should never sell artwork without receiving payment in full.

Documentation of Sale

Whenever you make a sale, you should prepare an invoice, clearly documenting the items sold and the terms of sale.

How can you sell your paintings?

Selling art is not easy. Whether through your own studio, an online platform, or through a gallery, selling your paintings can be challenging. You can display your art collection on social media or your webpage and sell them online. You can also sell them on various online art platforms like Etsy or Artsy.

The first step is to market yourself and your work and let people know. These days the most obvious way to promote your art is through social media. You can generate business through your Facebook or Instagram account.

You can also create your own website to showcase your work. It should contain labeled photographs of each painting and also a summary. For this, you might have to hire a professional photographer.

Collecting art is as old as civilisation, and there will always be a demand for art. If you are both an art lover and a businessman, starting an art gallery will be a lucrative opportunity.

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