EDITOR’S NOTE: Prices and information below may be out of date. Since launching our own art website service for artists atFoliotwist.com, we no longer feel unbiased enough to continue updating or reviewing other art website services. Visit the website below for their most recent information.
If you’re a college art major, or a talented high school artist, you might want to take a look at Ugallery.com. Ugallery is a new online art gallery specifically for students and recent graduates—and it operates a bit differently from many other online art galleries.
First off, Ugallery is only a year old, so it doesn’t have the kind of traffic that other sites offer, but it’s already doing a lot of things right. For instance, all artwork on the site is chosen by a panel of 4 curators (to weed out the not-so-great art) who also help price the artwork (presumably giving it the best chance to sell).
And for you art students on a budget, it won’t cost anything to submit or display your art. Once your art sells, however, Ugallery will take a commission of 50%. Yes, it’s a bit pricey for an online gallery—no argument there. I’d like to see that commission rate drop into the 25-35% range to be more competitive with other online art sites. . . but perhaps they’re just starting out high.
I also noticed that Ugallery restricts artists from selling the same artwork elsewhere at the same time, so keep in mind that if you choose to exhibit a piece on Ugallery, you’re sort of locked in.
Ugallery has a few really excellent features, however—like managing the whole shipping process.
Here’s how it works: as soon as a piece is sold the artist receives a special order number via email. The artist then drops off the art and order number at a UPS store where it’s packaged, shipped, and insured at no cost to them.
Now that’s pretty nice. . . and maybe even worth the higher commission.
On the buyer’s end of things, Ugallery.com is simple and easy to use. It’s not the best interface I’ve ever seen, but it does the job.
Collectors can browse for art by school and state as well as by artist, size, color, medium, price, and genre (a mix of subject matter and style). There’s also a section for the most recently uploaded artwork and an advanced search function if you’d like to narrow the field between several categories.
And here’s the kicker—with only 120 artists and less than 1000 works on display (as of October 2007) it’s a good opportunity for student artists to have their work seen, especially considering the recent press Ugallery’s had in several major publications, including the Wall Street Journal, PC Magazine, and American Artist Magazine.
So if you’re a student (or an art collector looking for your next big find) take a moment to check out Ugallery.com. It might be just what you’re looking for.
Editor’s Note: As of October 2009, Ugallery now accepts both emerging student artists and established artists.
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