Different Types of Art Galleries

Art galleries can be classed into several types, but one of the key goals of the art gallery should not be overlooked: it is one of the primary phases that determine an artist’s employability, integration, and longevity. Art galleries provide a structured setting for artists to market their work.

This includes the artist’s interaction with gallery officials involving the sale, marketing, networking, and consumer relations related to the selling of an artwork.

While different art galleries have their own methods for carrying out these types of operations and activities, the goal of an exhibition for a public or private audience is a common feature. Below is a list of the various sorts of art galleries and what they mean in context.

Commercial Art Galleries

Many artists create art for a variety of purposes. For ages, the main reason has been to sell the artwork. The term “commercial” may have negative implications for a commercial art gallery. The objective of the commercial gallery, on the other hand, is to work with the artist to assure the sale of the artist’s artworks.

Commercial galleries also help artists advance their careers and reputation in the art world.

People in an art gallery looking at artwork. It’s a gallery opening with artist and gallery owner guiding people through the exhibition.

The commercial gallery is typically made up of a collection of artists who work together with the gallery to establish the desired reputation, ensuring positive income and recognition for both the commercial art gallery and the artists they represent.

Artist Owned Galleries

If you are a university art student looking to start your own gallery, an artist-run gallery may be appealing. An artist-run gallery is exactly what the name implies: a gallery controlled by a collection of artists.

An artist-run gallery has more freedom because all members share the same goal and ambition.

Group of women looking at modern paintings in an art gallery.

An artist-run gallery is less scary to visit than a commercial gallery. The advantage of choosing the commercial gallery space is that commercial galleries tend to have more exposure and strategy when it comes to networking and “breaking into” the art scene.

Mega Art Galleries

The mega-art gallery, as the name implies, is just a larger commercial gallery. This means that it has moved beyond the limitations of serving only as a space for artists, gallerists, buyers, and visitors, and has instead expanded through multiple areas.

This is an updated version of the commercial gallery that employs a big number of people and wields more authority in the gallery sector.

Mega Art Gallery Showing Art Paintings and a Sculpture

Only the most well-known artists are represented by mega galleries.

Vanity Art Galleries

The lack of a well-curated selection of artists distinguishes the Vanity art gallery. This sort of art gallery works by involving the artist, who pays for the gallery to represent their artwork.

Side view portrait of a young African man looking at paintings and thinking at an art gallery or museum exhibition

The “vanity” art gallery, often seen negatively, connotes a location that exists purely for the monetary worth it can derive via association with persons who can afford to pay for the association.

It is like a club and quite often, practically any anyone can apply to have their work exhibited and automatically become a “artist”.

Open Ended Art Exhibitions

The final version of an “art gallery” is any facility available for hire for the purpose of exhibition. This built area belongs to no one, and artists can rent specific locations for temporary activations.

This is commonly referred to as “Gallery X,” and it is not a curated program.

Open-ended art exhibition space

This is an excellent opportunity for new artists and beginners to exhibit their work as an alternative to entering the commercial market. Many artists simply want to work with a commercial gallery because the administration is typically handled better than the business start-up equivalent of an artist-run gallery or a temporary exhibition space.

Non-Profit Art Galleries

Art is closely related to business because it involves some type of financial transaction in exchange for artwork. Non-profit art galleries rely on grant applications and contributions for support. These organizations usually provide a lesser commission percentage than a commercial gallery.

These galleries tend to focus artist selection based on awards rather than word-of-mouth or popularity.

Two young men hanging abstract paintings on the wall while preparing for the presentation of a new artwork collection

Living Artists Emporium is a commercial art gallery in Johannesburg, we have a wide variety of artwork you can view in our shop or you can visit our Art Gallery during the week and over weekends.