What Are We All About?
Gearbox Gallery is an artist-run contemporary art gallery located at 770 W. Grand Ave, Oakland, directly below the well-established Transmission Gallery. GearBox is dedicated to showcasing the work of a broad range of regional contemporary guest artsts alongside the work of member artists in an artist-run space. As a member of Oakland Art Murmur we participate in the famous First Friday Art Walks and other OAM events.
Gearbox provides visual artists with unique opportunities to show their work, participate in curation and learn the business of running an art gallery.
An application form with more details is available here: APPLICATION
For best results with the online form, fill out the applicaion in your browser and then either “Export as PDF” or “Print” as a pdf to your pc, giving it a file name that includes your last name.
Please submit your application and portfolio information to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us if you have questions about participating in an artist-run exhibition space.
Benefits of Joining:
• Exposure of your work: Members’ art is on display in the gallery on an ongoing basis.
• Networking: with our members, other artists, curators, critics and gallerists from the Bay Area and beyond.
• Exclusive “gallery only” Artist Opportunities through the Oakland Art Murmur.
• Marketing benefits: Periodic advertising in Art Ltd. , weekly Facebook & social media posts, press releases, studio visit features and frequent website updates featuring member artwork.
• More independence and control: Without having to work through a dealer, Gearbox artist-members may assume more independence in what they create and how the work is priced.
• Increased earning potential: Gearbox Gallery, LLC’s commission on sold work is much less then the conventional galleries that often take 50%. Gearbox’s commission is 20%, our artist’s retain 80% of a cash sale.
• Technical/business assistance: Gearbox Gallery, LLC provides its members with opportunities to learn more about working with general business matters, such as obtaining insurance and accounting.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the monthly membership dues?
Gearbox member artist dues are $140 a month. We say dues rather than rent, because when you’re a Gearbox Artist, you are a managing member of the gallery. This amount covers an equal portion of gallery rent, utilities, catering for openings, publicity, website fees and general gallery operating costs.
Is the gallery a safe space for Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQIA artists?
Yes. We are committed to creating opportunities in membership, curatorial projects and juried show participation for under-represented artists. With that said, we are just beginning the work of equitable representation in the hopes of creating a gallery that is reflective of the vibrant Oakland and Bay Area community. Gearbox supports Black Lives Matter and honors the fact that our gallery exists on unceded Ohlone Land. We are actively inviting in and creating space for future BIPOC and Queer arts leadership in Oakland.
What if I’m a great fit for the gallery, but the membership dues are cost prohibitive?
While we don’t have scholarships or reduced priced membership, one way to help pay for the professional costs of being a part of the gallery could be to start a Patreon account. Many artists use Patreon to help cover the costs of their creative practice.
What kind of monthly time commitment would I be expected to make to gallery operations?
In a usual month, gallery business could be completed in about 6-8 hours a month. Depending on your role in the gallery, this might include preparing the space for exhibition, creating wall labels, working on publicity (depending on which committee you are a part of.)
How often would I be expected to gallery sit?
As a part of the 6-8 hours (mentioned above) members participate in gallery sitting during open hours. These can be arranged to work with your schedule. During normal, non-pandemic gallery hours, each member is assigned to gallery sit once a month. This is usually a six hour shift. During the gallery sitting shift, one can often also complete any committee work they might have. Member artists are also encouraged to participate in gallery events whenever possible in two hour shifts (openings, artist talks, etc.)
How are gallery business responsibilities divided equitably?
What is the neighborhood like that Gearbox is in?
Gearbox is in the vibrant and culturally-rich heart of West Oakland, and shares a building with The Transmission Gallery In many ways, we exist on the front lines of the rapid change in Oakland. On the one hand, we are a 10 minute walk from the gallery scene on Telegraph Ave., and the gentrification that came with it. On the other hand we exist in community with Oakland residents who have become displaced and un-housed by that same gentrification and affordability crisis. We are looking for member artists who understand this dichotomy and the opportunities and challenges that come with it. Together with all our members and in consort with the Transmission Gallery, we practice common sense safety in the gallery and engage in positive relationship building with our neighbors, all proactively to ensure that the gallery is a safe, comfortable and valued venue in our community. We even have members that choose to partner up with someone to make gallery sitting less lonely.
What kind of new member training will there be for understanding how the Gearbox business works?
We have a new member committee that will work with you on everything from how to make a sale to how to care for the gallery space and how to participate in member meetings. They are your liaison to help you become familiar with all of the gallery’s inner workings.