As the landscape for art consumption expands, the contemporary art market’s explosive growth calls for a more in-depth look into the role of the gallery. This course explores the fundamentals of establishing and running a contemporary gallery in today’s interconnected art market. From business strategies and day-to-day operations – including ideas for using new technologies to drive sales and engagement – to key considerations for cultivating clients and managing artists, this course provides an invaluable introduction to the high-stakes world of commercial art galleries.
“Studying at the Institute influenced our art world career. It really gave us the foundations, skills and confidence needed to open our art gallery. From understanding logistics behind running a gallery, learning about how to analyze and price artwork, curate an exhibition, exploring ways to use technology to elevate our value proposition, and much more, it really allowed us to structure the project and turn our idea into a concrete plan of action.”
– Ranji Safarian and Edward Van Houtte ’21, Founders, EDJI Gallery
To recognize the different types of commercial galleries, and articulate how a potential artistic program would fit into the gallery landscape.
To understand the variety of day-to-day logistics and roles that are required for a successful gallery business.
To leverage new technologies to create engaging digital gallery content.
Course Leader, New York
Manuela Paz, born and raised in New York, is cofounder of Embajada, a gallery and exhibition space in San Juan promoting Puerto Rican and Caribbean voices in an international context. There, Paz, together with her partner, artist Christopher Rivera, have maintained a rigorous exhibition program showcasing important local artists since 2015. Paz started her career in the arts receiving a BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City (2003). In 2005 Paz started working for The Armory Show in New York, beginning as an assistant and working her way up to Director of VIP Relations over the course of eight years. During her tenure at The Armory Show, she co-founded Armory Arts Week, a city-wide public programming series recognized and supported by New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs. In 2013 Paz was appointed Membership Director at the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), developing year-round programming for emerging galleries.Read More
Day 1: Uncover the basics of running a gallery and learn about galleries in a historic context.
Day 2: Acquire comprehensive understanding of the diverse range of day-to-day logistics and essential roles necessary for running of gallery.
Day 3: Explore galleries in the Tribeca neighbourhood including James Cohan Gallery and hear from guest speakers Paula Naughton, Ebony L. Haynes, and Wendy Olsoff about their trajectories and impact in the field.
Day 4: Learn about emerging galleries with a visit to New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA).
Day 5: Broaden your understanding of the role of the gallery and share insights with fellow course participants through group work and presentations.
Course participants take away in-depth and valuable insight into the current and future art world. Those who successfully complete their course will receive a certificate of completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
Sotheby’s Institute of Art course participants come from all over the world, from a wide variety of backgrounds. As they study, travel, and explore the art world alongside each other throughout the program, fierce and long-lasting collaborations are frequently born. Individuals who complete these courses join our network of over 8,000 alumni around the globe who hold top positions at renowned art organizations.
English Language Requirement
Course participants should be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and presentations in English.
Courses are open to participants 18 years of age or older.
All fees are listed in pounds sterling. However, at the time of registration, registrants will have the option to pay in the currency associated with their billing address according to the current conversion rate. For more details regarding payment, please see our Terms and Conditions.