Bellwether Owner Becky Smith Breaks Down Expenses and Revenue Loss

by Art Fag City on July 27, 2009 · 10 comments Blurb

art fag city, bellwether
Chelsea gallery crawl, May 29, 2008. Adam Cvijanovic show at Bellwether. Image via: J-No

“Gallery owners struggling,” reads the headline of an Associated Press article published yesterday.  Becky Smith, whose Chelsea gallery Bellwether closed last month, offers the AP a few staggering numbers.

Becky Smith knows that all too well. She owned the Bellwether Gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood for a decade, but closed at the end of June after watching her revenue plummet to $80,000 gross in the first quarter of 2009. She had $40,000 net, and $10,000 of it went to rent each month.

The $80,000 figure was down from about $350,000 the same quarter in 2008 and about $600,000 during that period the year before.

“I was really startled,” Smith said. “It was the spring of ’08 where I saw three shows that should have been blockbusters underperform, and I was in shock.

“Things were booming so intensely a couple years ago and the pendulum has swung so far in the opposite direction, it was impossible to know where I stood,” she said. “And I didn’t want to be paying for a storefront while I was figuring it out.”

To read the full article, click here.

  • http://www.justinmata.com justin

    the good news just keeps on coming

  • http://www.justinmata.com justin

    the good news just keeps on coming

  • jim s

    the assumptions here is are this work deserves to be bought and that things should go back to the way they were…
    i agree it’s great that this art can exist, but cultures and economies fluctuate, and not every gallery and artist can be patronized. where do you expect that money to come from? art is always the last thing people(s)buy anthropologically speaking … after all the other stuff is taken care of.

    tons and tons of artists, galleries, curators, collectors, etc. etc. is a luxury, and in my opinion dilutes the meaning of art.

  • jim s

    the assumptions here is are this work deserves to be bought and that things should go back to the way they were…
    i agree it’s great that this art can exist, but cultures and economies fluctuate, and not every gallery and artist can be patronized. where do you expect that money to come from? art is always the last thing people(s)buy anthropologically speaking … after all the other stuff is taken care of.

    tons and tons of artists, galleries, curators, collectors, etc. etc. is a luxury, and in my opinion dilutes the meaning of art.

  • gp

    Boo Hoo, another wealthy “dealer” goes broke. No mention of the artists left high and dry. Typical.

  • gp

    Boo Hoo, another wealthy “dealer” goes broke. No mention of the artists left high and dry. Typical.

  • mm

    finally, maybe we will begin valuing the work and not the price it goes for…

  • mm

    finally, maybe we will begin valuing the work and not the price it goes for…

  • gp

    not holding my breath…

  • gp

    not holding my breath…

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