Help! I Want to Open a Gallery Co-op


In 1987, Patricia Thompson wrote an article explaining how she opened a gallery co-op with several fellow artists. In this article there is (refreshingly enough) no mention of things like social media strategies. Instead, this is a solid introduction on how to get a bunch of your artist friends together and open a gallery.

How to Organize an Artists’ Cooperative Enterprise

In December of 1985, I founded and organized our artists’ co-op. The co-op has been successful since opening and every month we do better. We are always open to new ideas and methods which will make the group more successful. Our program is arranged to benefit both the individual artist, as well as the co-op.

Several factors contributed to the initial smoothness of our cooperative venture. I have a background in administration and was familiar with real estate. I personally knew each artist invited to join us, or had a recommendation for them from someone I knew. The dedication of everyone in the group made painting and cleaning our newly acquired space and other tasks go quickly and efficiently. Today, two years later, the members of the Co-op are still saying this was the best thing that ever happened to us.

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Photo by art_inthecity.

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