Frequently Asked Questions
For Art Lovers:
- Where can I park at the Gallery?
- What type of art does 20th St. Art show?
- How do I know if a piece of art will look good in my home?
- When does the art work change at the gallery?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- Do you show local artists?
- Where else can I see art from 20th Street Art Gallery?
- What other galleries are nearby?
- Do you do art appraisals or art restoration?
- When is your next Open Group Show?
- When is your next High School Art Show?
- Are school classes and groups welcome at 20 th Street Art Gallery?
- Is 20th Street Art the kind of gallery I want to represent me?
- Is 20th Street Art Gallery a cooperative?
- How do I submit my artwork to 20 th Street Art Gallery?
- How much should my art sell for? What is a Price Point? How do I price it?
- Do you have art classes at the Gallery?
- Should artists respond to requests for an art donation?
- What can be done with all my artwork when I die?
- ''How to get along with a gallery.'' (a magazine article)?
For Art Lovers:
1. Where can I park when I visit?
On-street parking is available with a time limit. Parking along the railroad tracks belongs to the Spaghetti Factory - a great place to eat when you visit the Gallery. Please do NOT park in the lot directly across the street from the Gallery, as it is private. For a map of the area, click View Map.
2. What type of art does 20th Street Art Gallery show?
We show original, high quality art at affordable prices - everything from traditional landscapes to avant-garde abstracts. Each month we present a new exhibit. We show mostly two-dimensional art. We seldom show reproductions, photographic works or digital enhancement. A look at Artists gives examples.
3. How do I know if a piece of art will look good in my home?
We want you to be happy with the art you choose. We have approval plan options (with a credit card). You will not be charged until you've tried the art in your home for a short time.
4. When does the artwork change at the Gallery?
With few exceptions, each monthly show opens with all new work the Wednesday before the Second Saturday of the month. After the Second Saturday reception, some pieces may be added to replace others that have sold. At the end of the month, there may be special events, or one- or two-day shows such as The High School Show. Our Website lists Upcoming events and shows.
5. What forms of payment does the Gallery accept?
We accept cash, personal checks, major credit cards, debit cards and money orders. We also offer lay-away options.
6. Do you show local artists?
Over 90 percent of our artists are from the greater Sacramento area. We are committed to helping promote local artists and the art community.
7. Where else can I see art from 20th Street Art Gallery?
In addition to the art currently hanging in the Gallery, we do have back-stock for many artists which we are happy to show. Our Website displays still more. Check out these pages: Current Show, Artists, and Past Shows.
There are also original displays at B Street Theatre and B2 (At 2727 B St. - north end of 27th Street, near the RR tracks). Check out the lobby and hallways of B2, the ticket office and the conference room. Buildings are open daily from 9 to 5pm. The B2 lobby is open during theatre performances. All work is for sale through the Gallery.
8. What other galleries are nearby?
There are many galleries in the downtown/midtown area. For a map pick up the News & Review on Thursdays prior to each Second Saturday. The Sacramento Bee's ''Ticket'' section on Fridays and Mondays has a comprehensive list of galleries and current exhibits.
In the immediate vicinity, please visit:
Sakata Garo: just a few doors down from 20th Street Art Gallery at 923 20th St.
Barton Gallery: Just 2 blocks away - at 1723 I Street
Other local businesses displaying art are:
- In the 20th Street block: Lush, Ray Nakamoto, and Beauty Connections. On Second Saturdays, 20th Street is full-scale party with music and street vendors. Don't miss it!
- On 21st Street: see Tribal Art Fitness and Open Book.
9. Do you do art appraisals or art restoration?
No, we do not appraise or restore art. These are very specialized fields. Please consult local phone listings under ''Appraisers'' and ''Art Restoration & Conservation''. Also, Crocker Museum does infrequent appraisal events.
10. When is your next Open Group Show?
We generally have at least one Open Group Show every year. Check our upcoming events for future shows and opportunities.
11. When is your next High School Art Show?
Our goal is to involve high school student artists in at least one show per year. The next High School Art Show is usually in February. Findlay McIntosh is the chairman. All income from these shows goes to the artists and a selected charity.
12. Are school classes and groups welcome at 20th Street Art Gallery?
Groups are welcome to drop in during any open hours. Students are encouraged to ask questions. Artist statements are generally available. In most cases please do not take photographs, but many works are on our Website in a low-res version. If plans are made in advance, the Gallery will open during non-business hours. Many of our artists will be happy to meet with special groups to talk about their work. Classes at the local colleges in gallery operations often visit during the term. Throughout the year some high school and college students are interns at the Gallery. Teachers can arrange to have non-traveling students visit us on the Web at www.20art.net.
13. Is 20th Street Art the kind of gallery I want to represent me?
20th Street Art Gallery shows many emerging artists along with mid-career artists. We have no ''stable'' of artists, but do have on-going relationships with some artists, including many who show at other venues. The Gallery is not large enough to display the same artist month after month. And we believe our public comes to see new work in interesting group and theme shows.
14. Is 20th Street Art Gallery a cooperative?
No, 20th Street Art Gallery is a commercial gallery. However, we function like a cooperative in many ways. We involve artists and art-loving people through gallery sittings, promotions, stamping postcards and helping with Second Saturdays.
15. How do I submit my artwork to 20th Street Art Gallery?
We love looking at new art and review work from dozens of prospective artists each month. If you are interested in being considered for an exhibition, we encourage you to visit the gallery to get a sense of our prices and the type of works we carry.
Here is some other important information to keep in mind while deciding whether to submit your portfolio. Careful attention to these instructions will increase your chances of success.
20th Street Art Gallery is a privately owned, commercial gallery that shows the work of emerging and mid-career artists. We are committed to showing original, high quality fine art that our customers can enjoy at affordable prices. The gallery keeps 50% of retail sales price for all works sold. We are interested in artists who are steady producers and who can meet deadlines.
The gallery is currently booking shows approximately one year in advance. Occasionally we can fit one or two pieces into a more immediate show. We specialize in paintings and sculpture. We seldom show reproductions, photographic works, or digital enhancement unless related to a particular show theme.
If you decide to submit your portfolio, the procedure is as follows:
- Submit 5-10 photographs (no slides please) of available work. Submissions may be mailed to: 911 20th St., Sacramento CA 95814, or dropped off in person. Please be sure that each of your photographs is labeled with your name and the details of the work (retail price, dimensions, media, title). Your photographs should be of good quality since our initial judgment of your work will be based upon whatever we see in your portfolio. It is also beneficial to submit a photograph of yourself. At least 80% of photographs submitted should be of works completed within the past two years.
- Include a cover letter, statement about your art and contact information. Your cover letter should include any gallery affiliations and a list of any exhibition commitments you have over the next two years. Submit a resume if you have one (if not, now is a good time to start). Include a general sales record (where have you sold your works before and what is the general retail price range you sell at.)
- IN ADDITION to Steps 1 & 2, electronic portfolios or Web site links can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
- After submitting your images for consideration, please allow 60-90 days for a response. Submissions are assessed for their quality, originality, and sales potential. If your work is selected for further review, we will arrange an appointment with you to see the originals. We appreciate your interest. Every submission will be given fair and serious consideration. Thank you!
- Please include a SASE with your submission if you want the photographs returned. Otherwise we may keep contact information and photos on file to be reviewed each month for future shows.
If you have additional questions about portfolio review or don't hear from us, please call (916) 930-0500 and we will be happy to assist you.
16. How much should my art sell for? How do I price it? What is a Price Point?
Artists price their own work and should establish a ''Price Point'' for their ready-to-show work. Price Point is what the artist's average piece sells for. Examples for a particular artist might be:
- An 11 x 14 inch oil on canvas, gallery wrapped (edges painted) for $500
- Or a half-sheet of watercolor paper nicely framed under glass for $800.
Most artists have a particular size they often work with. Smaller and larger pieces are priced accordingly. Hopefully, as the artist develops a base of collectors and as skills increase, the Price-Point will creep higher. For a working artist, ten percent a year increase is not uncommon.
We might give an opinion as to what we think your art might sell for. The Gallery will probably not display work we feel is over- or under-priced. Market research by gallery-hopping and the artist's past sales are good guides. There are formulas for pricing found in many ''how to'' books for artists. An example: price per square inch, plus the framing, adjusted for gallery commission.
17. Do you have art classes at the Gallery?
We do not have workshops and classes at the Gallery itself. However, this year the Gallery sponsored three workshops, held in an adjoining building.
18. Should artists respond to charities requesting an art donation?
We believe you should support any benefit you feel strong passionately about. However, there are many more ''opportunities'' to donate than make economic sense.
And few provide an ideal opportunity to promote your work:
- Rarely do artists receive anything for the work or framing in these events.
- The work is often poorly presented and poorly lit.
- The work seldom sells at gallery market prices, so it under-cuts the market that the artist and the gallery are trying to establish.
- Publicity given by the charity is uneven and in many cases inadequate.
- Often the promotional materials have already been printed and many of the artists are asked too late to be included.
For better or worse, your work will be seen at these events by the public, your buyers/collectors, and gallery owners. Since the goal is for your work to be seen and appreciated, it is essential that effective publicity support the event, that your work appear in its best possible light, and that it sell for near or at its market value.
There are exceptions of course:
- The Crocker does split sale proceeds with artists.
- KVIE has great publicity, sales promotion and Website visibility, a show booklet and TV coverage.
If you feel very strongly about the cause, by all means, donate. BUT:
- Ask to see a sample of last year's program and publicity, ask for free passes to the event, or at least visit it. Your name and a picture of the art should be used in sales promotion and publicity.
- Donate a well-presented original - preferably one not shown often - and display it at full price. The temptation is to send ''off pictures'' that have bounced around for a few years and are dog-eared. Send your good work and see that it is presented in such a way that it will be a ''bell ringer'' (sell at full price) at a first-rate event, such as a KVIE auction.
- If necessary, make your own wall tag or handouts for display with your art. Information should have your photograph and the gallery where you work can be seen. Display handouts in a plastic upright holder. See that your work is properly lighted. Volunteers who put these events on are usually in a panic rush and under-staffed. Artists can help with ready-to-hang, on-time deliveries of their work.
- If in doubt, prepare your own one page contract (and have it signed) ensuring your work will be well-lighted, and if it is not sold for a stated amount, it will be returned.
Another suggestion: Take your current BEST picture and have good giclée copies made. Number and sign the prints. Have a wholesale framer frame them all. Price and show them as prints at 80% of your originals' prices.
19. What can be done with all my artwork when I die?
Here is a wonderful way to pass on the gift of your art to your favorite cause when you pass on. Friends and family of artist Nancy Wright chose this action. Nancy wanted her work to support art programs in schools. Her unsold artwork was assembled and displayed in a two-day showing at 20th Street Art Gallery. The gallery price was marked off 50 percent. One of her relatives matched all sales, so the work brought in full price. All her work, except for a couple of pieces, was sold at this memorial event. Seventy-five percent of proceeds were donated to ''Chalk-It-Up'', which received a handsome check. All her friends and family got a chance to see her work displayed and take home a keepsake. Thanks go to Silvia Trujillo, and to Nancy's son and daughter for this solution.
20. How to get along with a gallery.
This magazine article may be of interest. Thanks to Stella Caluya for sending it to us.
BONDING WITH YOUR GALLERY
By Judy Buswick
The Artist Magazine, March 2004
Make the most of your career by making the most of the artist-dealer relationship. These eight tips will show you how.
Once you've made an appointment, shown your work and been accepted by a gallery, you may think your only responsibility is to produce paintings. That's mostly true. Beyond keeping the gallery stocked with your work, you have some complementary tasks that will support the gallery's sales efforts. Here, we'll outline those, as well as explore the gallery owner's role in promoting your career.
- Select a gallery that loves your work. That's the first step in developing a long - lasting relationship that will benefit both parties. The gallery takes on the responsibility to educate the public about art in general and your work in particular. This process is most effective when the gallery has carefully chosen its artists and can enthusiastically discuss the work. The more the gallery can do this, the more clients it can turn into collectors. With the right fit, you, the artist, can express your inner voice while painting subjects that fit in with the general theme of the gallery.
- Assure a mutual respect by working together in a professional manner. Ask questions as you establish your relationship and discuss details so you know just what to expect. For example: What's the commission percentage taken by the gallery? Will the gallery sell giclées or other reproductions if you publish them? How many paintings are you expecting to send regularly? What is the gallery's time frame for payments once a painting is sold? What are the gallery's policies on your selling artwork from your studio or at a nearby art festival? Put these answers in your consignment documentation and hang on to this paperwork.
- Photograph your paintings. The gallery will need crisp, uncluttered photographs or slides for brochures and catalogs, as well as for newspaper ads. By providing them with professional-quality photographs - no fingers holding canvases upright - you'll help them publicize your work. One gallery owner I spoke with bemoaned the fact that she couldn't give much exposure in her brochures to a certain artist because he repeatedly provided blurry photographs of his superb paintings. You may be thinking that the gallery could just take care of it, but it really is your responsibility to keep a pictorial record of your work and give a copy to the gallery to use for marketing purposes.
Photographs will also help the gallery keep a record of your work that sells and thus, establish provenance. This may come in handy someday when a retrospective on your work in mounted. You'll benefit by retaining a photo and detailed record of your work, as well, especially if you enter your paintings in national shows. The portrait commission or still life painting sold before being photographed no longer helps you. Don't let paintings slip out the door, straight from the easel, without first making a photographic record!
- Pay attention to your frames. The subject of framing boils down to two points: economics and presentation. Most artists prefer to frame their own work to help keep retail prices down. If you mat and frame your work and include that cost in your final price, you'll probably come out ahead. But if the gallery takes care of it, time and expenses will be deducted from your percentage.
Regardless of who frames the work, some thought and attention must be paid to aesthetics because the frame does have an impact on sales. Communicate with the gallery owner on how to create the best and most cohesive look for your body of work.
- Focus on painting. Your chief role is, as you've expected, to be a productive painter. You're the one to select subject matter and decide how to paint it. Keep in mind that you may have to come out of your studio occasionally to make an appearance at opening receptions, or provide the gallery with a mailing list of past clients and individuals who have expressed interest in your work. Still, the gallery's responsibility is to present and sell your art; yours is to paint.
- Be open to different ideas. To comply with themes for group shows at your gallery, consider painting outside your usual technique or subject matter. As the artist, it's up to you to produce works that speak from the heart. But, as the gallery devises exhibit concepts, your input can benefit both your painting and growth and gallery sales if you try something new once in a while. Painting something different allows your artistic muscles to stretch and keeps you flexible.
Here's an example: for 20 years, Francesca Anderson has been asking the prominent artists she represents at her Lexington, Massachusetts, gallery to paint small works for a December holiday show. By mounting a show of ''almost miniatures'' during the gift-giving season, her artists who typically paint large canvases and full-size watercolor sheets provide affordable original art to a wider audience. These shows bring in many clients to the gallery, expose more art-lovers to more artists, and usually result in many sales.
- Listen to comments as others evaluate your work. Gallery owners will relate what aspects pleased customers and what was criticized in your work. The gallery can act as your ears and help identify successful experiments. If clients ask for larger (or smaller) paintings, you may want to respond with works of the size requested. One artist, for example, heard that several gallery clients didn't like the figure sitting in the foreground of a dockside scene. Feeling the figure was crucial to her composition, the artist refused to remove the figure and the painting didn't sell. Once the painting was back in her studio, the constant presence of the dock scene with its prominent figure eventually persuaded the artist to re-evaluate her composition, and she removed the figure. She then sent the painting back to the gallery, where it sold immediately.
Remember, you can listen to marketing advice from a trusted gallery owner and still retain artistic integrity. The trick here is to develop a balance between being a doormat and being a stone wall. The gallery that loves your work will support your artist-driven concepts, but, as one gallery owner stated, ''If the artist doesn't sell, he becomes his own best collector.''
- Don't sabotage your relationship by selling online (or anyplace else that undercuts your gallery). While your Website can be a valuable marketing tool, sales from your Website compete with your gallery's efforts. Your site should announce awards and upcoming exhibits and then direct viewers to the gallery for sales. But the best reason to not focus on sales from your Website is that by doing so you're giving up valuable painting time. It takes time to work on the computer or prepare paintings for shipping to individual customers. The gallery provides you with the time you need to paint.
Another reason to direct potential clients to the gallery is that online images are sometimes distorted, whereas in the gallery the customer knows exactly what the art looks like and can have a firsthand experience with it. Gallery owners such as Larry Powers of Powers Gallery in Acton, Massachusetts, believe the collector prefers this firsthand experience over a tiny representation on a computer monitor. To further the client's experience, Powers brings artwork to show in the home or business setting where the painting would hang - something that cannot be done over the Internet. ''Sales happen when the client takes a painting home and lives with it,'' he says.
The start of a long and beautiful relationship
As the gallery displays your work and invites the world to come see your paintings at group shows and in individual exhibits, you contribute support material and the best painting possible. In the gallery relationship, the work is clearly defined: You paint (or sculpt or photograph) while the gallery takes on the job of publicizing you and your art, exhibiting the work, educating the public, and creating collectors who buy art.