Just fell into this, need help

J Phipps TN

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Jul 14, 2004
Posts
1,423
Location
Kingsport TN
Two weeks ago, I went to give a proposal, for a Coffe house that is expanding, for some art for the walls.

I mentioned to the owner about what a great idea it would be to lease space to artists and have them pay him to display thier work. Like Roxanne Langley does in her shop.

He loved the idea, but doesn't want to deal with all that goes on with it! He wants me to do it.

He also wants me to keep the leasing fees from the artist to pay for my trouble and the commision of any art work sales.

I would have the contract with the artist,and if a customer wants to purchase the art, they would contact me, not the coffee shop!

Is there anything I'm not thinking of that would make this a terrible idea?

Seems like a win win all around, He gets revovling art with no hassle and I get the benefit of payments. With a little work.

Also, if for some reason I have a space that has no artist to fill it, He wants me to place my things in there. More exposure for my shop.


It is a high end coffee house that will now be opening in the evenings for events.

Tell me what you think...
 
Sounds mostly positive.

Double check the liability issues.

Who's "care and control" is the art in? If damaged, stolen, etc. who is liable. Does your policy cover it? The artist's? Can you write a contract that puts the responsibility/liability on the artist in your state?

Other than that, make a REAL pretty sign with your logo (framed of course) that let's the patrons know to come to your shop to give you money!
 
IF someone gets hurt as a result from banging into the art and it falls and shatters, who will be responsible?

What if something is stolen?

Just make sure everyone is on the same page.

It's sounds good to me, good luck.
 
The issue with the coffee shop hinges around the liability question.

You need to resolve that as it pertains to your state.
 
Another angle...

This is a prime opportunity to showcase your framing capabilities except for the fact that much of the art you will receive will be framed by the artist themselves and we all know what that means...You don't want your reputation hanging on that wall with inferior framing.

You might possibly consider to not even charge any leasing fees but the art must be framed by you. Offer the artist a 15% discount on the framing and the chance for free exposure. They would assume all liability for the work itself. You jury what work will hang. The artist is welcome to set any price they choose for their work. They would deal directly with any purchaser and you could display contact information along with your business cards.

Seems like this could create a win-win-win situation.

Dave Makielski
 
Just remember that whatever contract you have with the artist, both the artist and any potential customer are going to try to weasle you out of your commission. What kind of arrangement are you making with the artists? Are sales generated from exposure at the coffee shop, but not necessarily of a piece showing at the coffee shop, in your jusidiction? There are many pitfalls in dealing with artists on a commission basis. Add to that the third party venue, and you may have a fairly tangled web. Perhaps it would be better, and certainly more beneficial to you, if you were to provide all the artwork to be displayed.

How far is your business from the coffee shop? If they stay open late and a customer wants to buy a piece, and you are unavailable, what contingency plan do you have?
 
I agree with everyone above, and myself being a Framer and an Artist. My biggest suggestion is to make sure that the art is presented well. Artist are good for the Garage sale finds, and not always the nicest frames. If your frame shop is going to be represented, you may want to consider having them come to you for framing!!
Goodluck!!
 
I have an arrangement like this with a local Salon/Spa. So far it has been a lot of work with no return. The hardest part is finding decent art. Don't know how much longer I will be doing it. I still think the idea can work f you are in the right area.

Do you sell much art where you are now? If not, you may not be any more successful in a coffee house.
 
If this space is to be leased, will it be more than one artist per month? If so set up so many square feet = such and such price.Then I think about 20-30% commission for the sales. That would hopefully give you some kind of return. Always be ready to step in and hang work of your own to display. It will happen where someone does not show. Just remember artist=poor, so renting the space might be hard. I would start off at like $50-or something like that. If you see there is interest and it always has people wanting the space, go up after six months on the price.

I would always leave time around the holidays to put some of your stuff up as a calling card.

PL
 
I hate to be a buzz kill here, but I can see nothing but problems.

The liability issue has been raised several times. Even if you could get the artist to sign a disclaimer trying to absolve you of any responsibility should the art be stolen or vandalized, I doubt that it would be valid. Someone has to accept responsibility, so it’s either you or the coffee shop. The fact that these pieces are out of your physical control would make me very uneasy.

I’ve seen art for sale on bank and restaurant walls (and, once, in a physicians office), too. But, I can’t imagine that those are particularly good venues for displaying and selling art.

I also can’t picture someone saying, “Hey, honey, let’s go down to the coffee shop and pick out some art.” Art purchased this way would be on impulse, but conditions that are proposed would make that sale very tenuous. He can’t take his impulse buy home with him – the cashier at the coffee house would have to say, “Sorry, you’ll have to come back tomorrow and go to the frame shop down the road and pick it up there.” As someone strung out on caffeine, I wouldn’t understand that. I doubt that many would show up the next day and complete the purchase.

As Harry suggested: I can see lots of headaches with little chance of reward.
 
I hate to be a buzz kill here, but I can see nothing but problems.

The liability issue has been raised several times. Even if you could get the artist to sign a disclaimer trying to absolve you of any responsibility should the art be stolen or vandalized, I doubt that it would be valid. Someone has to accept responsibility, so it’s either you or the coffee shop. The fact that these pieces are out of your physical control would make me very uneasy.

I’ve seen art for sale on bank and restaurant walls (and, once, in a physicians office), too. But, I can’t imagine that those are particularly good venues for displaying and selling art.

I also can’t picture someone saying, “Hey, honey, let’s go down to the coffee shop and pick out some art.” Art purchased this way would be on impulse, but conditions that are proposed would make that sale very tenuous. He can’t take his impulse buy home with him – the cashier at the coffee house would have to say, “Sorry, you’ll have to come back tomorrow and go to the frame shop down the road and pick it up there.” As someone strung out on caffeine, I wouldn’t understand that. I doubt that many would show up the next day and complete the purchase.

As Harry suggested: I can see lots of headaches with little chance of reward.
 
I'm sorry but I would never manage a program for anothers business. I'm kind of surprised you would offer the idea while giving a proposal for your shops artwork. Did they at least get stuff from you?

I would try o get back to plan A and a proposal for decor for this business. If I went into a brand new "upscale" coffee shop and it was decorated with random local art with prices on it, that would no longer be my idea of an "upscale" coffeeshop.

Brian
 
Brian,

He bought the hanging system from me, and I am the one reaping the rewards for the lease from the artists for my time. It is totally up to me what to charge, what to hang and for how long.

I stand to make some money for my time and if it doesn't work out, he will want his own art work.

Around here, there are not that many places that really feature and appreciate local artist.

The whole idea behind this is to give the coffee shop a different look and appeal. Are the art work must be framed up to my specifications and with my approval! No Junk!

We hope it works out but it is just for a trial period of 3 to 6 months and then we will re-evaluate the whole thing!

Wish me luck, I have already had two Artist who are very excited and that was with one phone call!
 
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