I am a recent orphan from Vango gallery, which went out of business last year.
The only website I had was through Vango. . . I was with them for two years, and sold several paintings through their platform (including the three in this post). I’m glad I sent my contact information on a thank-you card when I shipped those paintings, in case the buyers ever want to purchase from me again.
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But that’s a bit of a long shot.
Now I have these paintings with no place to go. . . and from what I gather there are thousands of other ex-Vango artists in my position.
When I wrote to Vango’s founder expressing my condolences, he suggested trying Art Finder. However, Art Finder is located in Europe (presumably with mostly buyers from Europe as well). I’d rather have one that’s in the USA, with mostly US buyers. Shipping and returns from Europe would be a nightmare.
Here’s what I’d like from an online gallery
I may be thinking about it all wrong, but here goes. . .
1. A juried online gallery that approves art fairly fast
One online gallery I tried took longer than 3 months. That just doesn’t work.
2. The gallery should be fine art only
I don’t have any misconceptions about the quality of my work, and I respect all artists, but I want my work to be considered for what it is—and I want my artwork to be shown alongside artists of comparable skills.
Among other things, this means that it should be a fine art gallery. It shouldn’t also sell vintage or craft items (like Etsy). I think art collectors and serious art buyers would agree.
3. A reasonable commission
Vango was 30%, Ugallery is 50%. 50% is acceptable if I’m getting some promotion and exposure. I haven’t tried Ugallery myself yet (but I probably will).
Ultimately I think Vango’s commission rate was too low for it to succeed or do enough promotion. It’s nice they wanted to give 70% to the artist, but 70% of nothing is still nothing. I would much rather pay 50% and know my work was being actively promoted.
Plus, if an artist has an idea of what they want for their art, they can set a price with that commission (and the cost of shipping) in mind.
4. A chance at being found by art buyers
Competition is tough, and that’s fine, but on Saatchi for example, my work is buried under the work of a million other artists.
The same thing goes for having your own website. If you Google the number of artist websites, it’s depressing. Just because you have a website doesn’t mean your art is going to sell.
I do feel that artists need to have their own websites, but the thought of promoting it is daunting.
One thing I do know is that now that I’m retired, I’ve finally found the time to paint—and I’ve decided that if I’m doing this, I’m going to be serious about it.
So my question remains—now that Vango’s gone, there any other good online art galleries out there?
Special thanks to Harry Perry for sharing his experiences with Vango, his beautiful landscape paintings, and his ongoing search for a good online art gallery. If you have suggestions for him, let us know!