The Resurgence of Galleries and Their Importance

by Rubén Palma
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These last couple of years we have seen a resurgence in galleries that are being opened around the world, as well as a growing interest in art globally – and post Covid, everything seems to be back in the swing-of-things, when it comes to the art market.

The following article is all pure speculation. I have no facts or statistics to back this up. Believe me, I’ve tried. Scouring the WWW for weeks, I have come to the realization that it is impossible to figure out exactly how many new galleries we’re talking about on a global scale, and how many that close up shop relatively shortly after being opened, or how many that actually stay successful in the long run.

But… with that being said, I think it’s still relatively fair to say, that the general increase in new galleries that are being opened, is at an all time high. But again, It’s important to note that this article is purely based on speculative reasons, and the actual reasons for the increase in gallery openings may vary, depending on the specific local, regional, and global factors at play. Market trends, cultural shifts, economic conditions, and individual motivations can all contribute to the changing landscape of the gallery scene. Therefore take everything you read with a grain of salt.

So… as mentioned earlier, there’s a growing interest in art amongst the public globally, which leads to a demand for more gallery spaces. This could be due to various factors, such as increased exposure to art through social media, greater cultural appreciation for the value of art, and a desire for unique and meaningful experiences in an increasingly digital world.

The growth of urban areas and gentrification of certain neighborhoods, can lead to the opening of galleries as part of the revitalization of urban spaces. Artists and gallery owners may be attracted to urban areas for their cultural vibrancy, access to a larger audience, and potential for increased foot traffic and sales. With that in mind, changing social and cultural attitudes towards art, including a growing emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and representation, may be contributing to the opening of galleries that showcase artwork from underrepresented groups. There may also be a desire to create safe and inclusive spaces for marginalized artists to exhibit their work, and promote diversity in the art world.

Another important observation is a diversification of the art market. Social media has made the world a lot smaller and thereby exposing the public to a wider range of art-mediums, styles and artists from diverse backgrounds. This could be driving the opening of galleries that specialize in specific niches, such as contemporary art, emerging artists, or art from underrepresented communities. Gallery owners may see an opportunity to cater to these specific markets and fill a gap in the art world.

The economic fallout of the pandemic led to many retail spaces becoming vacant, and some of these spaces have been converted into art galleries. It seems as if Landlords have also been more flexible in their rental agreements, making it easier for new galleries to open.

One of the good things about the pandemic, was the adoption of new technologies, such as virtual exhibitions and online sales platforms, which have made it easier and more cost-effective for new galleries to reach a wider audience.

As we know, there is money in art. A lot of money. If you do it right. And there are those who open galleries, solely for the profit and status, with no particular passion or interest for art, or the work the artist puts in, or the history of the piece. And then there are others with a legit interest and passion for all of the points mentioned above, with an entrepreneurial spirit and dream of owning their own gallery, as a form of self-expression and independence. That, plus an eye for opportunity, to create their own space for showcasing and promoting artwork. This may also be driving the increase in gallery openings.

If we take all of these points into account, the opening of new art galleries is a reflection of the growing interest in art and the changing dynamics of the art market. While the reasons for opening a new gallery may vary, the increasing number of galleries demonstrates the continued relevance and importance of art in our society!

Stay tuned for part two, where I will break down my opinion, on the effects Social Media has had on the art market and artists as well.

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