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.