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If you are trying to sell art furniture or high-end craft items, galleries can play a major role in your marketing strategy.

Many galleries will not carry this kind of work, preferring to focus on what they consider to be high art. This pretty much limits their offerings to paintings and sculptures. Some will venture into ceramics which has always had a crossover into art component and, more recently, glass. But when you say wood, if the word sculpture does not immediately follow, doors can close rather quickly.

There are some galleries that promote woodwork along with other mediums and a few that specialize in woodwork. These are few and far between so it was with great sorrow that those involved with making art wood objects saw the closing of one of the most highly respected specialty galleries in the country, the del Mano gallery in Los Angeles. Del Mano has been a stalwart promoter of fine woodwork since the early 70s and has always had a stellar reputation.

Since their announcement of closing, stories have been flying around the internet relating somewhat less than stellar conduct by this gallery. Some artists have claimed that they lost or sold work without paying the artist. Apparently this has been somewhat common over the last five or ten years. Why these stories did not appear earlier is anyone's guess. Some have stated that they felt it was a good tradeoff for the prestige of being shown in a top gallery and that the enhancement of their reputation led to enough sales that they offset the losses. Some are angry but felt that they could not speak out because they feared losing the status this gallery offered.

I would be very interested in hearing any comments on this. Not specifically about this particular gallery but how those who show in galleries feel about them in general.


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