Q: I spoke to a local gallery that wants to give me a show in 6 to 9 months. So far, so good, but I don`t know her very well. What questions should I ask? Should we have a contract? Should I use a standard contract that I find online? What if the gallery doesn`t use contracts? Would an informal agreement be enough? What should be covered by a contract or agreement? While the “word of honour” does not seem ineffective for collaboration purposes, it is important for the artist and also for the gallery to emphasize that it is a business relationship that can be governed by different types of contracts for sale. A standard provision guaranteeing that documents notified under the agreement must be subject to written procedures. Who pays for the organization, hanging or other art exhibition? Will the gallery cover all expenses or expect you to pay a certain percentage? Does the gallery have the option of reducing a sale price if a potential buyer makes an offer? If so, what percentage of this price can be reduced? In most cases, the flexibility of 10 to 20% in negotiating a retail price is appropriate. Determining this in advance is always better than asking the gallery to contact you during price interviews and perhaps compromise a sale (provided you are even there to answer the phone or text). Art is often a boost and we do not want to interrupt the negotiations. This clause gives the gallery owner explicit assurance that the works do not infringe the intellectual property rights of a third party and contains an agreement from the artist to reimburse the gallery owners for losses, including legal costs, resulting from claims by third parties who claim a violation of those rights (“compensate”? – Will the gallery represent all of your art or certain works or bodies of works? If the relationship is new or untested, it is preferable that the gallery not have control over all its art, but the exclusive rights to sell only the works or body that interest it most to represent or sell. This way, you can always sell work and generate revenue if the gallery is not able to sell as much as they thought. It stipulates that the agreement must be interpreted in accordance with English law and provides for the resolution of disputes in court. If other legislation is required – that is, if the agreement is not located in England or Wales – or if arbitration is preferred to a judicial procedure, that clause must be amended.
Our website has some free downloads on current legislation and arbitration, as well as on alternative dispute resolution. See ContractStore Z138, Z139 and Z140 documents. The show is announced or promoted. If so, how and where? If it is expenses, who is responsible and what are the percentages of the total cost? Do you need to provide your email or mailing list to the gallery? Will you be able to promote the show on your own? If so, how? Remember that your relationship with each gallery as an artist is a partnership. You and the gallery should be responsible for the proper functioning of the relationship.