Co-ops frequently stipulate that each artist work a set number of hours a week in the gallery. In exchange for your labor, the percentage of the sale price of your work going to the co-op is reduced. Each co-op sets their own percentage-of-sale rates, required hours of work and responsibilities. Some allow artists to show in the co-op without working hours in the shop. In exchange, the percentage of sale price that goes to the co-op is usually greater. However, even under this circumstance, the percentage paid to the co-op is likely less than with a traditional gallery.
Everyone’s art is important to members of a co-op, and the key reason you band together is to sell art. It’s a business and everyone’s number one job is selling art. Therefore, to be successful at selling other members’ art, you have to learn about their work’s inspiration, processes and history. In doing so, you are exposed to a lot of invaluable information about how other artists work successfully. Just as important, you will learn how potential customers respond to available art. Being part of a co-op may be considerably more work, but the learning opportunities and hands-on experience far outweigh the workload.
The Tuscarawas Arts Cooperative has an annual membership fee of $55. Additionally, artists pay a $25 per month gallery fee, and a 10% commission is collected for each art piece sold through the co-op gallery.
“Creativity takes courage.”