Art Galleries: Should You Go the Traditional or Digital Route?

Art displays are not done in traditional galleries anymore. Digital galleries have now become an excellent platform for artists to show their selection of work. If you are an emerging artist, you might have to decide to choose between a traditional gallery or an online one.

Traditional galleries

When it comes to traditional galleries, there are still numerous pros even if it seems everything is already going digital. These advantages are:

  • Direct patronage – Artists and galleries survive from the direct patronage of benefactors and collectors. Usually, these benefactors prefer the traditional route especially if they have been collecting art for a long time. The experience of walking around a gallery and inspecting art and deciding on what to purchase is another experience that gallery and art patrons revel in. This experience could not be replicated by a digital gallery.
  • Interaction with patrons – Artists need to develop a relationship and rapport with their supporters. This would be a difficult thing to do if the artist is not interacting with the benefactors. Exhibiting art in Sydney’s leading art gallery could even attract more supporters as the artist could personally explain their works to dealers and connoisseurs. Nothing beats a live audience interaction especially for artists.

Digital galleries

Online galleries are surging now in popularity, similar to everything digital. Art conservatives and traditionalists have also jumped on the bandwagon and decided to try digital galleries because of the following pros:

  • Accessibility – With the current situation and the world being gripped by a serious pandemic, people are encouraged to stay indoors to be safe. This has been a considerable burden among artists, gallerists and dealers. Thankfully, with the popularity of digital galleries, artists have found a platform to exhibit their work. Art dealers have found a way to discover new artists and for artists to make a living.
  • Ease of transaction – Buying and selling art is not as straightforward as other merchandise. But with digital galleries, it’s now as easy as clicking a button. Online selling of artworks entails verification of whether the art is as genuine as it claims. Fortunately, digital galleries would make the authentication for their patrons since these galleries would not want to sell counterfeit arts that would damage their gallery’s reputation.
  • Affordability – Online galleries are relatively cheaper compared to traditional galleries. With online galleries, it could only be a matter of paying for a website whereas for traditional galleries, the space needs to be rented out and paid for the whole duration of the exhibit. There are other costs and expenses that need to be factored in during a traditional exhibition, making digital galleries a more affordable choice.
  • Wider audience – Since geography (and expensive plane ticket) is not an issue anymore, digital galleries have a wider reach because anyone who has internet could access the gallery anytime, anywhere.

Both options have their own benefit and it would actually depend on the artist’s preference which avenue they prefer to exhibit their artworks.

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