Agora

There is some debate in the art world as to the validity of Agora Gallery in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. Some artists find this to be a respectable, even profitable way to exhibit their art, while many others have had experiences that border on scam. Agora has a pretty high profile reputation for this. Artists confront steep upfront costs to exhibit as well as commission fees. There are those who assert that Agora Gallery is held in low esteem by fellow Chelsea venues. The bottom line: you must decide whether spending thousands of dollars to put your art in a gallery of questionable reputation is the best way to launch your art career. Plain and simple.

6 thoughts on “Agora”

  1. I was looking for exhibition opportunities in Nordic countries and found out a gallery in Helsinki, Galleria Huuto, apparently is “an independent artist run collective” managing three spaces and receiving funding from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, however it charges fees from 500€ up to 1500€ for a three week exhibition period. Does any finnish artist out there that know more about Galleria Huuto? http://www.galleriahuuto.net/?page_id=53&lang=en

  2. Stay away!!!
    Years ago, when I first move to NYC I went around Chelsea galleries, in a mostly fail attempt to get a gallery, art dealer or curator to see my work.
    At this point I have been living from my art work and projects in Austin Texas, where my art career developed in a very organic way.
    As I went around trying to distribute my portfolio no one even bother in looking at the work or talking to me seriously. (Now I also understand that that was the wrong protocol)
    I only got two places to look at my work, one was a gallery that commented that my work was not postmodern enough, and then there was Agora Gallery.
    They sent me an email raving about my work, and promising the earth and the sky and the stepping stone for a successful art career.
    But the first meeting o had with them I realize there was something very fishy about it.
    They basically wanted to charge me thousands of dollars to become a “artist in residency” with right to some wall space to show my work and my work featured in their own “art magazine”
    But I notice right of the back that they did not have any artist represented for more than one show. I looked up an artist that had shown there in the past.
    He told me that it cost him a bunch of money, they did not sale a single piece of work but at least he could put in his resume that he had his own NYC art show which back in his country was kind of a big deal. Specially because no one really was familiar with the reputation of this gallery.
    I would say stay away!!!!
    There is no merit in showing there you are only proofing you are one more sucker this vanities galleries have preyed on.

  3. When a gallery in the USA contacts an artist in the UK (my web address and email address both indicate my location) then you have to wonder. Either their research is unbelievably bad or they’re up to something.

  4. I applied for one of their “open calls” once, years ago, when I was still an undergrad and 19 years old. Still in school, no exhibition experience, still very much developing as an artist – very green. I got a voicemail from one of the women that worked here, raving about my work, about how “wonderful” it was and how “they’d love to represent” me.
    I spoke to one of my professors, who is a represented artist at a reputable and known gallery here in New York, and asked him about this place. He laughed. He said that it’s a vanity gallery, that no serious critics or curators ever set foot in there, and that they will not only charge you an arm an a leg to show some of your work, you’ll also be asked to “volunteer” your time to help run it, sit at the desk, etc.
    He said the whole idea of “pay to play” galleries preys upon artist’s desire to “get discovered” and be famous, etc, but in reality it’s a joke. Save your time and your money and focus on your work.

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