As we can see, an art gallery is very different from an exhibition. A gallery has limited space, so it is focused more on showing off artist work to as many people as possible to gain attention for their artists.

That’s not always the case though, since you don’t necessarily need a large space to have your artwork seen. An online or mobile-only gallery is perfect way to show off your talent!

With that said, here are some things to consider when deciding whether to start an art gallery or organize an exhibition.

Does your idea have depth? If so, starting an art gallery may be better than hosting an exhibition because you would get more opportunities to showcase your talents as an artist.

As we mentioned before, galleries typically only hold a few exhibits at a time, which gives them room to grow. On the other hand, most exhibitions do not have much staying power once they have ended. Your audience might forget about your exhibit quickly unless there are no decorations or indications of what happened.

If you are passionate about creating artistic masterpieces, then organizing an exhibition could be the best route for you to take. You would just need to find a comfortable setting in which to display your work.

Prioritize your strengths

It is important to know yourself well before choosing how to promote your creative side.

What is an exhibition?

An art gallery event is usually one or more exhibitions that are open to the public, typically for a specific amount of time (usually a few days). People can come during opening hours and view the exhibits free of charge.

Many large museums have this system where individuals can visit without paying an entrance fee, it is similar to how you would visit a famous museum like The Louvre in Paris.

There are some exceptions such as when the exhibit has closed and then people are able to go back at that time, but most times there is a two hour window per visitor. This gives everyone equal access to see the artist’s work!

The difference between an exhibition and a normal show is that an exhibition is longer than just one day, it may be a couple weeks or even months depending on what type of artwork it is. This is why it is called an “exhibition” instead of just a “show” because it requires more preparation and setting up of the space.

It also means that there are not always paid openings like with a regular show, unless the curator feels that it is important enough to make an announcement and promote it.

Differences between an art gallery and an exhibition

art gallery vs exhibition

While both have to do with displaying artwork, there is a key difference in what they are called! An art gallery is typically longer than one or two months and usually has a set schedule of exhibitions.

Artists create their work at a studio where it is protected from the elements and displayed under controlled lighting conditions. They use their skills to take down the piece and pack it up when its show is over.

Because an artist goes back into his/her workspace every day, he/she gets to see lots of different parts of the industry. This gives them insights to other artists’ methods and ways to run their studios.

An art gallery is more than just a place for people to look at new pieces, it is a way to connect with other artistic professionals. Artists get to showcase and discuss their work with others who share their passion and knowledge.

Exhibitions are one-time events only, once the wall is packed up, that space is no longer available for showing off new works. This can be limiting for aspiring artists as they must wait until after the exhibition ends to start working on new projects.

Art gallery locations

art gallery vs exhibition

Most art galleries are not free to invite people in, they have limited space, and they require you as a customer to spend money, usually a significant amount of money.

Art galleries are more expensive than exhibition spaces! This is due to the high cost of renting or buying property for a gallery, along with the additional costs of producing and displaying your artwork and running the show.

General expenses include rent, electricity, water, insurance, staff pay, legal fees, transportation, promotional materials and website hosting. The owner of the collection covers the rest.

The owners’ overhead comes out of their personal savings or through donations from other collectors, investors and/or publishers. These costs can add up quickly!

Most importantly, however, is that an artist is paid very little if anything for showing at an art gallery. Artists must cover all these other costs themselves, which limits the number of exhibitions they can have.

Awareness and exposure are also difficult without using a media channel like a magazine, newspaper or online article, etc. That requires spending money too!

So how much does it really cost to exhibit at an art gallery? We tried to compile as accurate numbers as we could, but no matter what method you use to calculate this, be prepared for large amounts of blanks!

We believe our best estimate is around $10 000 per year (annual) for just having a web presence, leaving out all the other costs.

Art gallery opening times

art gallery vs exhibition

As we mentioned before, an art gallery is not only limited to showing you beautiful paintings or sculptures. Some galleries also have event spaces that they use for exhibiting their artists’ work. These events may be open to the public, private, or both!

Art gallery openings are usually one or two nights at a time with start times typically between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. This is because most people do not like spending lots of time outside during night hours.

However, some very popular galleries hold exhibition events all day every day throughout the year! This is because there is always someone out looking for new pieces from them.

Art gallery hours

art gallery vs exhibition

Many art galleries have limited opening times, typically from morning to evening during the week, with some even having extended night time openings or events.

Artists create new works in their field which they showcase to an audience. This is how most artists make their living so it is important for them to understand that their work will be seen by people!

Mostly, these audiences are made up of other professionals in the arts – such as you can be a painter, sculptor or photographer and attend an exhibition to learn more about painting, sculpture and photography.

There may also be members of the public who come to see the artwork for themselves or as way to get into the creative spirit.

Some individuals start their own business later than others but everyone has to earn money somehow! As a professional in the art world, why not help promote the career of an artist?

If you’re passionate about art and want to connect with like-minded people, consider becoming an art gallery visitor or host.

Exhibitors at an art gallery

art gallery vs exhibition

An artist can create their work in any media – painting, sculpture, drawing, writing, or even creating music or fashion designs. They could use natural materials such as water or clay, synthetic materials like plastic or metal, or they could use computer-generated images (CGIs) or digital tools to produce their work.

Art galleries are not limited to displaying only artwork. Some also have exhibits that include products or decorations designed by the artists or themselfs. For example, an exhibition might feature ceramic plates or paintings, or even new styles of furniture or clothing.

There is no rule saying artists must start with making pictures. They can choose to experiment with other forms or genres before moving onto more familiar ones.

Exhibitors at an exhibition

art gallery vs exhibition

An exhibitor is someone who participates in an exhibition. They contribute either materials or services to hold the show together, or they attend the event as visitors.

Usually, individuals who organize exhibitions are artists themselves, so they understand what it takes to run a successful show.

As a participant, an exhibitor gets a chance to showcase their work by putting it up for viewing. For some people, this is the only way they can get attention for their art.

For others, it’s more practical to use the opportunity to promote their product or business.

Art gallery costs

art gallery vs exhibition

Running an art gallery is not free, nor are most of the artists who run them. Most have to pay to use their space or be paid in merchandise for showing their work. Some even have to pay to display their own artwork!

Artists spend money on materials and production to make more pieces so they can earn more income. They also need to maintain their studio and facilities, such as a place to store all of their supplies. All of these expenses add up quickly if you don’t have much start-up capital.

Many people begin running art galleries after receiving some training or being hired as a manager at another gallery. This way, they learn how to do it professionally, but without investing large sums of money.

Running your own art gallery is a great idea if you love creating art and selling it. But you will need lots of savings, and possibly a small amount of funding until you reach that point. Having a supportive community around you can help mitigate this risk.

Sources:, http://thebalancecareer.