Folksy Ltd

Advice re Gallery

Hi guys,

I am after some advice please lovely people. I approached a localish gallery last year with some of my paintings and was delighted when they took 2 paintings and 2 prints on a sale or return basis. They sold one of the paintings within a couple of months, I had to email them to ask how they were doing, they never emailed me to say they had sold one. I have contacted them every few months to say hi and see how they are doing. Everytime I emailed I was told they would let me know when I had sold one.

I contacted them about a month ago to see whats happening and was told that my painting and prints were in storage. I asked if they had been in storage all Summer still not got an answer to that question.

The last couple of replys I have got have said that they haven’t had a chance to get to their storage but would let me know when they had them and I could collect them. It is a lovely, well known gallery in the area and I have no concern over whether my painting is being stored properly or not. My concern is over the delay in being able to collect them and the fact that I have to email them all the time. I first asked for my paintings back at the end of August.

Has anyone dealt with galleries before, does it normally take this long?


I tend to only sale or return to galleries that I can drop in on, to see how things are displayed or if they are keeping the work clean etc. They tend to be really good and pay me on the same day each month if I have made sales, and will instantly return work to me if I need it for shows.

I did have chasing issues with one in London, so took my work back.
Now I only wholesale to ones further a field.

I don’t think it is acceptable to put your work in storage, they should have returned it to you - it is your money tied up after all.

Yep I tell them you are collecting them give date and time and go collect them don’t give them any May I or Can I requests just make it a statement of fact. You owe them no explanations and don’t allow them to give you an excused either.

Those painting and prints are your property/money. Also state you will be checking that they are undamaged while on their premises and if there any damage no matter how slight you will expect to be reimbursed at that time.

I would also quote breach of contract on their side as they’ve kept them in storage so are not on display for potential customer to view and buy.

I would also mention the Small Claims Court.

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Oh Eileen @EileensCraftStudio remind me not to mess with you. LOL

But your right, I was really taken aback when she said they were in storage and I didn’t know what to say or do. I don’t want to fall out with them as I have no idea if all the galleries around here talk to each other and afraid of getting myself a bad name. Its only the second gallery I have approached. But as you say they are the ones in the wrong.

Thanks Deborah @DeborahJonesJewellery for advice. Feel a lot better now about going back to them and standing my ground. I am not usually a shrinking violet but I really didn’t know how to handle this.

Will let you both know how I get on.

Thanks again
Sharon :sunflower:

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@EileensCraftStudio is absolutely right. Don’t worry about giving yourself a bad name. After all, they are the ones who are supposed to be acting professionally on behalf of artists so they should endeavour to be professional themselves otherwise it’s their reputation on the line. Never think the balance of power rests solely on a gallery’s side - the reality is it’s a mutual relationship and both sides have to act correctly.

As long as you are polite and calm, you have every right to express your feelings. The damage issue is the one worrying thing. Did you have a contract with them before you gave them the work? If not, that’s the thing to take away and change for next time. Great news on selling the painting - it’s always fab to hear that isn’t it?! :slight_smile:

I do some voluntary work in a gallery and I have some views from the gallery owner. She deals with approx 100 crafters / artists, some of which pop in on a regular basis to see what sells, change stock around, pick up sales money, browse and buy other crafters / artists work , volunteer to help out at events and generally support the gallery. These are the ones that tend to get more sales. She has other crafters / artists that never go in the gallery and just seem to dump their stock there for ever! They might sell one or two items in the early days but then nothing, so their items do end up in storage because they don’t sell and she needs the space for other crafters,

Hope that helps

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Cheers Heidi @Textiletreasure for your advice. I am sure they won’t be damaged, fingers crossed. But will definitely need to look into a contract for the next one. I think because I am very new to dealing with galleries I was just delighted they wanted to take anything. And yes selling a painting through them was the best feeling.

Thanks for the incite Sandra @sandranesbitt good to see it from the galleries point of view. I wasn’t sure if I should pop into the gallery on a regular basis. I did call in a few times and emailed and always got the feeling that I was being a nuisance. But that might say more about me than them :confused:

Have just heard back from them and the lady has apologiesed for the delay, which is a first, and I’ve to call her tomorrow to discuss???


Hi guys,

I met with the lady from the gallery on Saturday and had a great chat. She’s not been well and hasn’t been at the gallery much hence why she’s not been able to get my painting. She has assured me that it is getting put in the gallery on a regular basis and that she rotates all the paintings she has. We also had a good chat about what she thinks sells and she’s given me some pointers. Also spoke about how often I’m gonna call in etc.

All in all a really good chat which has given me lots to take away and use when dealing with other galleries.

Thanks again for your advice guys, gave me the confidence I needed. Now all we need is more sales.

Sharon :sunflower:


that’s brill Sharon

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