The first day of summer is June 21st, and I hope many of you will be able to get away with family and friends for a little rest and relaxation. Are you looking for suggestions for your summer reading list? A vacation from the day to day of running the art gallery, frees your mind to refocus. It can be an excellent opportunity to learn something new or see your art gallery’s strategy in a new light. To that end, I have some books you may want to consider putting in your beach bag this summer.
The list below are the books on my summer reading list. I read a lot of business books so that I can stay on top of trends and strategies for my subscribers. I chose these books because I believe they may have some good informational gems that you can apply to run your gallery business. As you will see, only one is actually about the art market and the gallery sector.
My Summer Reading List
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
by Priya Parker
I’m reading this book now. What peaked my curiosity about this book is that it focuses on how to bring people together in a contemporary and meaningful way. The author describes herself as a facilitator and has many years of experience creating gatherings for conflict resolution. Her observations are about the traditional way people gather today and how they have become lackluster and unproductive. Her approach to the art of gatherings centers on a human-focused approach that develops meaningful and memorable experiences. That is what many art galleries are trying to create with their art exhibition gatherings, but with often disappointing results. It is a struggle to move beyond wine and cheese social event to an engaging, meaningful dialogue about art. I’m hoping for tremendous inspiration at the end of this book. So far, I’m really enjoying it. I’m seeing event creation in a new light.
The Great Reframing: How Technology Will––and Won’t––Change the Gallery System Forever
by Tim Schneider
This is another book I’m currently reading. The role that technology plays in the gallery sector interests me and probably does to most of you too. While most of the book, like other’s written about the state of the gallery sector, is focused on the system used by galleries operating in major art cities. Schneider offers his viewpoints and personal experiences as well as explores possible changes in the future. While there is yet a clear remedy to many of today’s gallery pains, Schneider offers new insights and elaborates on opinions of others in the art industry. He examines current inefficiencies and how technology may, or may not, be the answer to struggling art galleries. Even if your gallery operates on main street in a small city, you are sure to be intrigued by what is talked about in this book. You could glean inspiration for changing how you use technology and business practices to offer more value to collectors, reduce expenditures and improve the efficiency of your gallery business.
On the List
Resonate: For Anyone Who Wants To Build An Audience
by Alex Wolf
The title grabbed me on this one. Art galleries are always looking to resonate with a new audience for their artists. Art is often difficult to talk about among various personalities that you encounter in the gallery. Finding creative ways to communicate an artist’s vision and the gallery’s viewpoint that actually resonates is the challenge. Alex Wolf was named the “Top 100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company Magazine, Inc.’s “Top Creative Entrepreneurs In Marketing and Media,” and Adweek’s “Top 20 Influencers Who Radiate Creativity & Get Everyone Talking”. So that peaked my interest. Now, I believe her “audience” that she is resonating with are primarily Millennials. Attracting this demographic is, of course, vital to the current and future success of art galleries as well. I’m always looking for new, practical and creative ways to attract art collectors for Gallery Fuel members.
Conversationally Speaking: Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness
by Alan Garner.
I’m interested in this book because conversation is such an essential aspect of marketing and selling art. However, many people struggle with useful conversation skills. Now me… I like to think I can carry a conversation with all walks of life. Hell, I talk to my plants in the garden. There is always room for improvement. This book comes highly recommended and one of the business bloggers I follow, Sharron Senter, proclaimed it the one book she would urge all business owners to read. Looking at the table of contents, it seems to have chapters that would appeal to younger or less experienced sales staff, artists with social anxiety, recommendations to reduce manipulation that may come in handy with certain demanding clients and more.
Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done
by Laura Vanderkam
I suppose I’m a little fascinated with different time-management techniques and productivity strategies. When I first left corporate America to work for myself, time-management was something with which I struggled. Since then, I have formed some good habits to improve this issue, but I have found what worked for me is a mix of different techniques. I’m always on the hunt for new ways to get more done in less time and with less stress. I bet you are the same. Vanderkam’s goal is to teach us how to “savor life’s best moments–no matter how busy you are–through mindset shifts that alter your perception of time.” I read another book she wrote and enjoy her writing style. If you feel like you’re so busy and stressed that you are not enjoying life as much as you should, read along with me this summer. Her philosophy is not like other time-management experts.
What other books would you recommend?