Midcoast artists and makers: Is consignment right for you?

Penobscot Bay Pilot
Posted 2018-02-15

By Kay Stephens / PenBay Pilot

One of the biggest challenges for contemporary artists, craftspeople, and makers living in Maine is finding the right brick and mortar store to carry their original artwork and products.

One solution to getting more exposure and sales is to sell the work on consignment with shops and galleries. Consignment is an agreement between the artist and the shop to sell the artist’s work for a percentage of the commission. Archipelago, both a gallery and the retail side of the Island Institute in Rockland, represents nearly 250 artists from 20 different islands and the coast of Maine. For the last two years, Archipelago has hosted an Artists and Makers Conference that touched on the topic of consignment as a viable option.

Lisa Mossel Vietze, both Archipelago’s Director and conference organizer, has been a big champion of the area’s artists and makers for nearly a decade. She had advice for those interested in exploring consignment as an option. “We have a different take on consignment than perhaps other stores do,” she said. “Of course, we want sales like any other retail store, but we really like to mentor artists and help them grow. If I see something unique or has potential, I’m much more willing to take the risk and give it a try, than perhaps other stores. And I find that consignment is a good place to take some risks.”

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