Home | City Government | Baca County | Business Directory | News
The following is an outline of what was presented at the Artists Marketing Workshop held in Eads on February 12, 2005. Fancy coffee was served and a sandwich lunch was served.

Artist Marketing Workshop

Artists of the Plains Art Gallery, Eads

February 12, 2005

Conducted by:
Deborah Thornton, Resource Development and Outreach Coordinator, Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration Don Thornton, Business of Art Center Manitou Springs

Funded by: Colorado Council of the Arts Economic Development Administration SE CO Regional Tourism Group

Interests of the group included: how to get material in other galleries, advertising, successful gallery selling, time to create, presentation, reaching local markets, and market Value

Preparing for the Market


1. Do Research:

  • What can the market pay?
  • Compare @ different galleries, internet
  • Who’s the artist? What are they charging versus what are they really receiving
  • There is a tendency amongst newer artists to price too high

    2. Methods & Strategies:

  • Pricing can be done by sq. inch – after a little public awareness, i.e. murals, public art
  • By Project
  • By Time & materials & profit


  • Use pricing as a way to connect to the public – to introduce yourself – start too low then periodically raise prices – build a client list – let clients know about changes & that you appreciate their purchase. There is a price tipping point
  • For art guild membership - have patron membership for $50 and they get a piece of art.
  • For art gallery fundraiser - Chili supper and silent auction. 1st 100 people got a personal bowl, or other piece of art. Having a live auctioneer helps push things more.
  • Hire a personal marketing assistant when you are doing well. Could go further, faster.
  • Give tickets to encourage someone to visit the gallery
  • Have activity outside to get people to stop off the highway, i.e. train hold-up fundraiser


  • Materials you definitely need: business cards, display, and brochure
  • Remember that everything you do affects people
  • Have note cards to keep in touch with clientele including info. on back (modern postcard) about artist & gallery
  • Don’t undercut the gallery. If you sell at a gallery, give them credit and sell your work at the same price as is posted at the gallery. Have a consistent message. This focus attention on the presence of art in the area.
  • Don’t raise prices for gallery commissions – decide whether or not you will use a gallery as a marketing piece
  • Regional art guild meeting 3rd Tuesday in March in Eads – brainstorm gallery ideas
  • Include pictures from various workshops for EDA report
  • Compile a CD about artist’s work. They cost about $1 each. These are useful when visiting other galleries
  • Don’t put a price tag directly on a piece - use a business card with artist's name and medium
  • Framing needs to bring out the artwork and be ready to hang – 1/3 way down then 1” from top for wire
  • When delivering work to gallery bring in work carefully to demonstrate value of work
  • Build your own display for 2 dimensionals as most galleries do not have the equipment to appropriately display these pieces
  • Use plain packaging for sales – butcher paper, newspaper, plain plastic bags, and/or personal stickers
  • Shipping: wrap before putting in box – don’t put plastic next to paint
  • Look for used frames that are in good shape and fit the artwork
  • Create a mystique around your talent

    Connecting to the Market

  • Not necessarily where you live
  • You define who your market is
  • Increasing the local market
  • Maybe 2 parts to an artist: using skill to earn and doing art because of passion
  • How do you share your passion? An artist statement about the pieces
  • People bring their own perception to the work they see

    Internet Research and Books

  • Art Calendar magazine
  • Ebay.com (groups)
  • Art Marketing 101
  • A Visual Artist, Guide to Estate Planning
  • Colorado Artist Tours - $10 to get the forms to enter the different festivals.
  • Nolo Press (HYPERLINK "http://www.nolo.com - good resource for artist marketing publications
  • Artmarketing.com
  • Communications Arts magazine
  • Artistsregister.com (Denver-based) – National organization
  • Include artist bio info @ your local gallery in a binder or with their pieces
  • Be intentional
  • Work as a region to promote local talent
  • Market research for galleries & independent artists, just like business
  • People want assurance that they’re doing the right thing when buying your art
  • Contact clientele 4x/yr by mail (personal touch)
  • To attract potential donors – presentation about organization that is eye-catching and include a portfolio
  • Artists – carry a little photo album for anytime discussion
  • Seattle Filmworks is good with developing photography
  • CBS Sunday morning 7-8:30am – About an Artist
  • Art is lifelong learning