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Breaking into the Art Market: How to Become a Successful Art Dealer

A Guide to Starting Your Career as an Art Dealer

If you are passionate about art and business, becoming an art dealer might be a rewarding career choice for you. But how do you get started in this competitive and complex field? Here are some steps and tips to help you on your journey.

1. Get educated

While there is no formal education requirement to become an art dealer, having a solid background in art history, theory, and criticism can give you an edge in the market. You can pursue a degree or a certificate in art-related subjects at College or an art institution. Aspiring Art Dealers can also take courses online or attend workshops and seminars to broaden knowledge and skillset.

Besides art education, one could also learn about the business aspects of the art world, such as marketing, sales, finance, legal issues, and ethics. You can take business courses or enrol in specialised programs that focus on art management or art brokerage.

It's imperative that you read books, magazines, blogs, and newsletters that cover the latest trends and developments in the art market.

2. Gain experience

One of the best ways to learn about the art market is to gain hands-on experience in the field. You can start by working as an intern or an assistant for an established art dealer, a gallery, an auction house, or an online platform. This will allow you to observe critical art business practices, network with artists and clients, and develop your taste and judgment.

Another angle would be to volunteer at art fairs, exhibitions, festivals, or other events that showcase artworks. This will help you discover new talents, meet potential buyers, and build your reputation.

3. Find your niche

To succeed as an art dealer, you need to find your niche in the market that allows you to hone in on a segment of the industry. One must identify the type of artists & art style you are passionate about and the clientele you want to serve.

You can specialise in a specific genre, period, or region of art that appeals to you and your target audience, i.e you can focus on Contemporary African art, specifically serving the artists that create Abstract paintings.

5. Promote yourself

Once you have established your portfolio and niche, you need to promote yourself as an art dealer. Creating a professional website that showcases your expertise and services and also developing a presence on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to share your latest acquisitions and sales.

It is also very pertinent to network with artists, collectors, curators, critics, and other art professionals who can help you grow your business. In addition, you should attend art events such as fairs, exhibitions, auctions, or conferences where you can meet potential clients and partners; whilst joining associations or organisations that represent art dealers and offer support and resources.

It is worthy to note that becoming an art dealer is not an easy career path, however it can be rewarding if you have a passion for art and business.

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Breaking into the Art Market: How to Become a Successful Art Dealer

March 16, 2023

Art Report Africa

2 min read

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