Garvey Simon Gallery

Garvey Simon Gallery charges a $22 fee to review artist’s work. They call themselves a gallery and an art “advisory.” Foolishly I submitted and was told my work did not suit their “program.” No other comments. What did I gain? Nothing. Wiser perhaps….Nothing illegal I suppose….just a waste.

11 comments
  • Jane Schiowitz

    My experience with Garvey | Simon has been nothing but positive. Liz Garvey has been honest, straightforward and thoroughly professional. The $22 referred to above is a modest administrative fee to cover the cost of the gallery’s review of artists’ portfolios. Most NYC galleries either refuse to or do not have the resources to consider under-recognized artists’ work. The fact that Liz does is a tribute to her and her gallery.

  • Tim Nighswander

    The fact is that the number of artists who do not get into any given exhibition will always far exceed the number who do get in – and not getting in is no reason to dis the gallery!

    About three years ago Garvy Simon instituted a review program that begins with paying a very modest ($22) fee to have gallery owner Liz Garvy review an artist’s website. If she likes the work and feels it would be a good fit for the gallery then (for another small fee) the artist can meet with Liz for a one on one review. All of this leading up to potentially being included in the gallery’s summer show. Running a gallery is a business – not a charity. Her time is valuable and certainly worth the small fee she is charging. It is also the least expensive and most direct way I am aware of to have a fair shot at getting work shown in a reputable Chelsea gallery.

  • The Artist Formerly Known As

    This website seems akin to Rate My Professors where if you get an A the professor gets a good rating but lower if the student gets a C. All over America (and perhaps abroad) art galleries are charging fees for juried shows. The fees often go to well-known jurors who charge the galleries a fee to use their names to draw entries. Often these kinds of “fund raisers” can mean a whole lot in keeping a non-profit like Site:Brooklyn afloat or the Member’s Shows of small museums like The Mattatuck Museum or the New Britain Museum of American Art where the entry fee and MoMA (or other prominent) curator is a terrific lure despite the “membership” fee on top of the entry fee. Though many of us view this as a “lottery” it is hard to dismiss, for example, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery $50 fee to enter one work in the The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. To exhibit in the NPG and its subsequent traveling show would be a great opportunity for any artist. Similarly the chance to have a work in the recent Billboard Creative Competition in Los Angeles is enticing. Your work on a billboard in Hollywood? So what if they take 6 months to report; how many billboards could there be anyway?

    Rejection is always a bummer. It is a common by-product of sending out work to be judged. The professional artist must always weigh these opportunities and the financial costs with the possibility, however remote, of a review, a sale, a valuable contact.

    I have sold a number of works through Garvey Simon. I have been paid quickly and I have been treated with respect and kindness. This is a small gallery in an excellent location. I am unaware of any other commercial gallery in Chelsea that looks at an artist’s portfolio. It is certainly worth $22 to be in a summer group exhibition. Or not, up to you.

  • Steve Paddack

    I was fortunate to be chosen to participate in the 2018 iteration of Garvey Simon’s Select summer show. I went through the evaluation process, paid the nominal fees associated with the 2 different phases of said process, and couldn’t be happier with the experience. I had the pleasure of showing my work alongside a number of accomplished artists. Liz Garvey provides a great service to artists with her innovative approach to discovering new or unknown artists and providing them with an opportunity to show. I had been watching Garvey Simon and the artists showing there for 2 or 3 years before applying. I felt that my current work might be a good fit and was delighted to be included in Select 3. Not everyone will advance through the evaluation. This is natural and to be expected. I really want to stress that this is a good gallery, and Liz Garvey is a friend to artists. She shows a lot of good work! Check them out online or in person in Chelsea. Do not believe any negative grousing. Garvey Simon is a bright spot!

  • Anonymous

    I am not sure what you mean by “fee structure”. I have shown my works at Garvey Simon for a couple of times in the past. But, I have never paid any fee for the exhibitions. I know a few people who are currently working with Liz, but have never heard of the fee structure you are talking about. Do not spread fake information. I found Liz and the staffs are very straightforward and pleasant to work with.

  • Kathy Cantwell

    The structure to get into the summer invitational is perfectly acceptable. It’s clear that’s it’s an admin fee and what do I care when i drop fees for everything else worth applying too. For a small fee I’m going to interface with the real McCoy. Nothing better. A very legitimate call for artists. If more good galleries like Simon Garvey would do the same we’d be in good shape. I think Liz Garvey offers a great summer invitational with clear instructions for applying. A brilliant approach. Not to mention Liz is truly a great human being. She’s not scary or mean just a nice person. I suppose it only takes one unchosen artist to give a bad rap but it should be ignored. This is a great show opportunity.

  • Eileen Murphy

    I was in the summer show after the portfolio review and I had a great experience. I found Liz and the gallery staff to be very warm and professional and they did much more than I would have expected to introduce my work to their clientele. I would recommend the portfolio review process to anyone. As for the fee, it’s no different than applying to a juried show—they nearly always require a fee to compensate for the time to consider the work and to be sure that the artist has some skin in the game and has made the effort to consider if their work is suitable for the show before they apply.

  • Ellen Hackl Fagan

    Liz Garvey has been focused on bringing emerging/mid-career artists into the primary market for over two decades. If you are an artist who wants to have your work seen in NYC, it may cost you some money. Someone has to take a sober look at the costs of running a gallery for primary/emerging artists. It’s often a financial strain for the gallerist, which is why galleries in nyc are closing weekly.

    Perhaps consider your own risk/reward equation. For a lousy $22 you had an experienced dealer view your work. Seems to be a terrific value to me, given the costs of paying rent for exhibition space in Chelsea. Heck, even non-profit spaces often charge a fee for reviewing works for juried shows.

    Again, the equation here is risk/reward. If you want NYC, you just might have to pay a bit more. No different than paying up for a grad school application for ivy league programs. You might pay a bit more to have your application reviewed by a more “serious” institution, and they receive funding from donors to cover administration fees.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve shown with Garvey Simon for several years and was never charged a fee to submit a portfolio. From my experience, Liz Garvey is hard working, bright, and devoted to her artists. She is honest and pays her artists in a timely fashion. I’ve known Liz since she was Director at Schmidt Bingham Gallery in the 1990’s.

    For what it’s worth, I believe their current summer show is the result of reviewing artist’s portfolios.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I also got an email that they charged money to review your portfolio for possible interest for a group summer show. That was the end of my interest in them (such BS). They also had some sort of fee structure once you did show with them (also why I never responded). Too bad. Beware.

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