Association of Marketing Theory and Practice Proceedings 2011


Art Speaks

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Track

Marketing Education/ The Dynamic Business School

Publication Date



Art has long been admired for its ability to capture attention in ways that are both mysterious and perplexing. The art industry contains similar mysteries as well. This research is an attempt to shine a ray of light on one aspect of this industry, the art galleries. This paper explores how the art speaks to the art gallery owners and curators. Specifically, the culture of art galleries within the context of selecting artists and art works for exhibition and sales were explored. This study started with exploratory interviews with twenty four artists at Canada’s largest indoor art exhibition dedicated to fine arts, followed by an in depth interview with an established Toronto gallery owner. Understandings resulting from these initial steps were explored further through two focus group interviews with Toronto art gallery owners and curators. Focus group findings offered three crucial themes in terms of how Art Speaks: the meaning of art to art creators; to art clientele; and the relationship between artists and art galleries (gallery owners and curators). Implications are offered.

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