Online gallery sites are a great way for artists to promote art to a much wider international audience. Most of the websites I have seen allow the artist to post artworks and a bio, and sometimes even prices. But, that’s as far as it goes.
Promoting the portfolio is usually up to the artist. For artists who do not already have a huge following, they may be left behind.
I recently came across an online gallery called Ugallery that is different. The setup reminds me of a traditional art gallery. They do not allow all artists. U gallery represents over 350 artists.
The main problem I find with larger sites, such as Fine Art America, is the sheer number of artists. New artists may take awhile to become noticed. Even if they do, art collectors have too much to choose from, and it may be difficult to gather a following. An artist may sell a piece to one collector, but that collector will probably go elsewhere to purchase their next artwork.
For artists, who manage to qualify for Ugallery representation, they will have an instant advantage over larger websites. With a smaller number of artists, U gallery focuses its efforts on promoting its existing artists. Yes, you heard me right! They promote artists work through large advertising campaigns, as well as with their large online network, and also at art fairs. Since 2006, they have managed to build up quite the reputation, and have been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Art in America.
Listed below are some of the features of U gallery. If you are an emerging artist hoping to bring your art to a much wider international audience, becoming a member of Ugallery may be a worthwhile venture for you.
UGallery Online Art Gallery Features
- Visit Ugallery here.
- The Ugallery application is open to any artist living in the U.S. They are planning on including artists from other parts of the world in the future though. Applying to U gallery costs just $5, which is non-refundable. They ask for full contact information, artistic background, and 5 to 10 photographs that are representative of an artists’ work.
- Most types of art is accepted, besides video art and digital printmaking. Before being published, art must be reviewed by a team of curators. This ensures that art displayed on the site is of the utmost quality. It also gives collectors confidence in Ugallery and the artists they are buying from.
- For photographers, Ugallery has something similar to a print on demand service. Photographers may upload their photographs, and U Gallery handles the creation and shipping of high quality prints.
- Ugallery holds huge advertising campaigns to promote its artist members. They promote with Adwords (the Google ads that appears on Google search and on many websites). They are very strong in the SEO field, and are at the top of search engines for certain keywords (ie buy art). They also promote their artists through social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, and their blog. Ugallery also takes part in many art fairs, and asks member artists to participate.
- Ugallery takes 50% from all sales of artwork. This may seem like a huge amount, but when you consider their huge advertising campaigns and how just being a member can help an artist’s career take off, it seems like a worthy investment. Artists still retain all rights to the artwork after being sold. So if you want to make prints, you are free to do so.
- Member artists are not allowed to post artworks that are shown on their website elsewhere to be sold, such as in similar virtual gallery websites. But, Ugallery encourages artists to seek gallery representation, as this can be beneficial to both them and the artist.
- When an artwork is sold, all the artist has to do is visit a UPS store with the order number and the painting. U gallery takes care of paying for the shipping.
Our previously featured artist Iris Scott is a member of Ugallery. I have been seeing her work promoted all over the web through Ugallery sponsored Google ads. Recently, she sold a huge painting (11x11 feet) to an art collector in Dubai through U gallery. View the photos of her experience here.
What do you think of Ugallery and similar websites? Do you think they are effective venues for the selling of artworks?
Are you a member of Ugallery? How is your experience with them?
I think this is a great idea, I just wish it applied to Canada. I'm so tired of wasting time shopping on sites that don't tell you up front they only ship to the continental USA. I hope they have a wait list for outside USA - I will investigate.ReplyDelete
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