Guide to Opening an art Gallery in New York – 2020 Edition

Guide to Opening an art Gallery in New York – 2020 Edition

Owning and opening an art gallery might seem like an easy thing to do at first glance. However, once you dig dipper you will realize that it truly is a lot of work. The art gallery sounds cool and hip, which is true. But, it is a serious business that attracts all kinds of clients and spins a lot of money.

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and you are a huge art fanatic, this just might be the perfect choice for you. Combining pleasure with business. What can be better? However, because of your passion for both, you sometimes might struggle to keep the balance between the two. However, let’s not jump the gun. One step at a time. Here are a few things that you must do to open a successful art gallery in NYC.

Everything you need to know before opening an art gallery in NY

Wow! You are looking to open an art gallery in one of the biggest art meccas in the world. That is a very bold move. People in New York are always starved for art, which is great for all art galleries. Nevertheless, you need to keep in mind that there is some serious competition as well. That is why every move you make towards starting this business must be well thought out and plan. So, let’s jump to it. There is no time to waste.

Get to know New York’s art scene

If you want to get into this business, you must know the market like the back of your hand. A great way to start is to get in touch with other gallery owners. Not all galleries are in competition with each other. Quite the opposite. Some have great mutual collaborations. That is a great start in market research. Once you understand the market much better you can make the decision on what will be the purpose of your gallery. Doing a little bit of everything is not the best idea. You must have a concrete stand on what will your niche be. Make sure that your niche fits in with the current market and the demand.

pictures and paintings displayed on white walls in a beautiful and simple art space

When opening an art gallery, you must have a business plan

Just like when opening any other business, you need a business plan. This is no exception. Don’t take this task lightly. A business plan doesn’t just entail a bunch of goals that are thrown in a document. Your goals need to be well thought out and realistic. In addition, this document should contain business processes, marketing strategies, funding plans, staff structure, etc. Of course, you must not forget tax planning strategies for your gallery. In the end, once this document is done, it should contain every important detail.

As a gallery owner, you must be somewhat of an art expert

Surely art pieces are pretty and cool, but what do you really know about art? If your desire is opening an art gallery you must have high knowledge of art. Knowledge is power and to be respected in the art community, you must know your stuff.

A guy and a girl drinking coffee next to a large window and chatting away.

Location, location, location!

New York City gives you endless possibilities when it comes to renting space for your business. This is another moment when you must do extensive research before you make any moves. Brooklyn is currently an art hot spot as well as Chelsea. Still, the art fanatics aren’t big on standing still, so make sure you are well informed of the art forecast and of the future predictions.

Think about your art gallery’s interior design

There are a few things that you must not neglect when thinking about your art gallery’s interior design. For starters, you must have enough space to display all the great art that you will have. Pieces in storage don’t tend to sell very well. Also, you want to have enough space for art but also for the visitors. You want potential buyers to have enough space to browse and stay in the gallery as long as possible. A large space is more convenient for art shows and openings. The larger the crowd the better chances are of people buying your art.

Once you have adequate size, think about the décor. You want everything to be trendy but not too aggressive. Minimalistic interior design is the best option because it will not distract visitors from the displayed art.

Always have an online presence

Having a business without an online presence is like owning a bakery that doesn’t offer delicious cakes. An online presence is not negotiable for any sort of business. When opening an art gallery, you must have a website that will reflect everything your gallery represents, and that will showcase your art pieces. Of course, buying art online is not like shopping for shoes. Many fear of purchasing fake art online. Yet, slowly but surely this trend is gaining momentum. There are many excellent web design firms in NY that can help you with this project.

Make a splash on opening night

When opening an art gallery, your opening night will be the start of something spectacular. This is the moment that you should seize and get the momentum going in your favor. Set the mood for the times to come. Make sure that you treat all visitors the same. You want to be polite and welcoming. More than anything, represent your artists well and support them. Organize cocktails and simple finger food for visitors. The goal is for them to mingle and stay in the gallery as long as possible. The longer they stay, the longer they will have time to connect with the displayed art.

many campaign glasses filled up and placed on serving trays.

Art transportation and final displaying

Displayed artwork should also be on point. The art show should have some type of meaning and flow. Throwing art pieces all over the place will ruin the mood. Before the grand opening, the transport of the art should be done by pros. Carelessness and lack of expertise can cause major damage to the pieces.


To the naked eye, opening an art gallery might seem very simple. Yet, by now you know that this is not the case. A lot must fall into place and a lot must be done for a gallery to be successful. However, New York just might be the perfect place for such a venture. After learning all that is needed for opening a gallery are you ready for the next step? You just might be the next best thing that the NYC art scene has been waiting for.

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