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What role does today’s gallery start-up play in the art world ecosystem? Where do you begin if you want to run a gallery? Looking at a variety of gallery models as a resource, this course focuses on general gallery operations and how a gallery makes money. Over the course of 6 weeks, you will look at how business plans are developed for gallery startups, understand how to project revenue and expenses, examine issues related to staffing and sourcing artworks, and practice building sample exhibition schedules and related programming.
As part of the course you will have an opportunity to put theory into practice by creating a gallery business plan, sample exhibition schedule and brand concept. Fundamentals of Running a Gallery provides a solid background for those looking to pursue a career in a commercial gallery, or for those interested in learning more about the role galleries play in the buying and selling of art.

By the end of this course:

  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of how a gallery functions by looking at the institution from many different perspectives.
  • You will learn how to procure artwork and build relationships with artists, and hear about the different approaches galleries take to key aspects of the business.
  • You will understand what fundamentals guide the creation of an art gallery by creating a business plan, artist program and gallery brand.
The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    March 6 - April 16, 2017

    Online orientation opens on February 27, 2017.
  • Faculty


    Amy Davila
    MBA, University of Texas; BA, The New School

    Amy Davila has over 20 years of art gallery experience working with such prestigious galleries as David Zwirner, David Kordansky Gallery, Hannah Hoffman, and Overduin & Co. Amy worked as an international consultant for Ernst & Young LLP in Houston and San Francisco before entering the art world. In 2009 Amy founded her own consultancy business, ArtSmart, Inc., working as a financial advisor and business manager for artists and contemporary art galleries in Los Angeles and New York. Amy provides business strategy solutions, financial & career consulting and infrastructure organization. She works with artists at varying stages of their careers and varying degrees of success as well as gallery owners to strategize about business goals, analyze budgets and manage relationships with galleries, banks, accountants and lawyers. Amy also designed and created the ArtSmart App, a cloud based inventory management tool for artists and galleries.
  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    Week 1: What Does a Gallery Do?

    • Overview of gallery and the key element of sales

    • Business Plan/Executive Summary Introduction

    Week 2: What is an Executive Summary? What is a business plan?

    • Elevator pitch

    • Investors

    • Benefits of writing a business plan

    • Who, What, Why, Where and When

    Week 3: How Does a Gallery Function within the Art World?

    • Context of gallery business: primary and secondary market

    • Different sectors (for profit, non profit, etc.)

    • Non-gallery art businesses

    • Competition: Auction houses, Art fairs, Art advisors, Online marketplace

    Week 4: How is a Gallery Structured?

    • Departments

    • Artist/Dealer relationships

    • Sales and marketing

    • PR, Communications and Social Media

    • Operations and production

    • Who to hire first

    Week 5: How Does a Gallery Make Money?

    • Sharing artist’s and artist’s contracts

    • Production

    • Commissions

    • Consignments

    Week 6: Bringing it all together into the Executive Summary

    • Recap themes of previous classes

    • Elements of successful Executive Summary

  • Online Orientation

    Online Orientation

    Our online orientation operates the same way as the course, giving you the opportunity to become familiar with the technology and the dynamics of online teaching and learning. Participation in the  orientation is not required, but it is strongly encouraged as students who complete the experience have a better chance of success. The orientation is available one week prior to class and remains open for you to use as a resource.
  • Course Fees And Enrollment

    Course Fees And Enrollment

    $1485 ($1335 if booked before February 1, 2017)

    Registration Fee: $15

    Click here to enroll and pay online.
    Terms and Condition
  • Contact And Request Information

    Contact And Request Information

    For further information, please contact:
    Claire Hoover, Program Manager of Online Learning
    Email: or Request Information Tel: +1.212.897.6644

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