Melbourne jewellery galleries and artists: part 2

27 10 2011

PART 1 yesterday———————————————————————

PART 2 ——————————————————————————–

It’s actually been two weeks since I wrote the first section of this post (part 1), and I’ve since received responses from many of the galleries I contacted.

The question I asked was pretty simple (as I know gallery staff have way more important and interesting things to do than spend time on my emails). And I offer them my sincere thanks for answering me.

Does ***gallery*** have a standard policy for their artist relationships?
(i) exclusive within Melbourne and/or Victoria; or
(ii) an exclusive range or collection, with the artist free to have other work at other galleries / online store / private commissions; or
(iii) no exclusive requirements; or
(iv) something else / combination / depends on the artist.

My summary of the responses is below (with general comments underneath):

  • Alice Euphemia – “rarely requests” exclusivity (as the “handmade nature of the work we have stocked usually limits the production and creates uniqueness and ‘exclusivity’ anyway“)
  • e.g.etal – do not ask their artists to be exclusive as one of their “founding principles was, and still is, to support artists to make a living from their work“; though they do recommend stocking different ranges / collections at different outlets; and they do requests of their artists that prices are consistent if sold through other galleries / outlets (Emma was very generous in her reply)
  • Gallery Funaki – traditionally an exclusive requirement within Victoria, and still to a large extent on a case-by-case basis (Katie sent me a wonderful reply too)
  • Lord Coconut – no exclusivity; though request for consistent pricing if the pieces are sold elsewhere
  • Pieces of Eight – the lovely ladies at Po8 are super-busy on their work in developing Edition X; an online shop for a selection of artists – which implicitly speaks volumes about their vision of the future of the contemporary jewellery space (will write about this soon! and I’ll update this post when I receive their response)
  • Small Space – if possible, a different range / collection from other outlets (though the majority of the work stocked here is Robyn’s); Robyn made an important point I totally understand and can agree with: “to ask a contemporary jeweller to stock exclusively to just one gallery in Melbourne is not a feasible option when making a living from the handmade and the contemporary can be so difficult.” (Robyn was also very generous with her reply to my email)

To add to the above, some of the main points made in the replies included:

  • Some of the galleries have commented that the inclusion of cast elements may impact the possibility of non-exclusivity (and therefore requests may change in the future).
  • Also, many galleries do ask for artists to be considerate and respectful when managing private commissions, with many requesting (one with a specific policy on the matter) a customer to be referred back to the gallery where that customer has used the gallery to effectively ‘shop for’ a jeweller and then approached the maker directly (a practice I wondered about in my previous post).
  • Further, there is consensus that the artist-run online retail-space (like bigcartel platform) is a bit blurry; its increased prevalence and popularity may introduce the need to review such agreements (or at least make explicit considerations of such) in the near future.
  • Finally, galleries are usually founded by people who make and/or support makers, so they are very respectful. Many do take a great deal of care in developing excellent relationships with their artists, through which any of these kinds of matters can generally be managed as they arise.

My sincere thanks to the gallery people who have been so generous in replying to my emails and sharing their practice with me.

I will watch in interest in the coming years as the online economy moves and changes the retail environment – and I hope that galleries can still survive, in fact thrive, in the new market.

….


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7 11 2011
Pieces of Eight: Edition X « Melbourne Jeweller

[…] mentioned this in my previous ‘Melbourne jewellers and galleries’ series of posts recently. In the above text you’ll notice the ‘exclusivity’ mention, which I do […]

27 11 2011
Galleries | Anna Davern

[…] over at Melbourne Jeweller recently posted about Melbourne’s jewellery galleries and retail outlets and I thought I’d broadcast some of my thoughts on the […]




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