Guest lecture: Francesca Genovese

Francesca has ben the director of Francesca Maffeo Gallery in Leigh-On-Sea for around two years. Originally working in Further and Higher Education she now works with emerging and established artists. Points I noted from her talk:

Approaching a gallery:

  • Establish and work at relationships
  • There is a lot of ground work that is done prior to any contract being signed
  • Francesca will look at potential clients’ exhibitions, social media and other presence before arranging meetings
  • If you wish to approach a gallery it’s fine to email. Francesca will look at emails in detail probably monthly.  The email must be personal to the gallery. know the gallery, why you chose it, and why you think your work will fit there
  • In your email include an artist’s statement and a pdf. You can include a website link, but a pdf can be printed off and come back to at a later date if necessary

Funding an art practice:

  • Work!
  • Grants/awards
  • There is likely to be commercial /editorial overlapping with any fine art practice

Editions and pricing

  • Set editions can’t be changed if they are already selling
  • If the work is by a new artist it’s a long process to find the right selling price. Their work will be looked at alongside others. Prices can’t be reduced
  • Small editions will be reflected in the price
  • It’s Ok to seek advice to make the price work
  • Francesca might sell work for anything between £1000 and £9000
  • There is a place online for prints /open editions. However this is not advisable if you want to work in a gallery
  • If you are an established artist, editions work well
  • Initially focus on projects and then editionalise

Gallery information

  • There are responsibilities for both parties in the contract. The artist should keep the gallery director informed of their practice, publications, exhibitions etc. Francesca likes to be involved as much as possible
  • Exhibitions are different every time. The same printing labs are not always used. She has recommendations.
  • Exhibitions can be scheduled for the future, and can sometimes be agreed even when they still need an edit
  • Post exhibition, Francesca saves the work in large scale photo boxes. In this way the work always has a place, viewers can still ask to view it
  • Photobooks are increasingly used; sometimes as an object in its own right, sometimes as a support to the exhibition
  • Diary – like work suits photobooks
  • Don’t use the photobook as a portfolio or catologue
  • It should always be about the work, the project, not about making money. Thus should not be a question to ask the director. The rest takes care of itself

Artists mentioned in the presentation, for further research at a later date:

Spencer Murphy, Laura Pannack, Sophie Harris Taylor.