After my post about the advantages of a studio gallery, a few folks asked if I could share some of the criteria I used to help me choose a location for mine. No earth-shattering secrets to success here, but the following are what I looked for. (In no particular order.)
1. A relatively small town with some existing galleries.
2. Consistent foot traffic. (Limits the need for a lot of advertising.)
3. The right kind of foot traffic. (It helps if a good percentage of the potential customers are willing to spend the money necessary for original art and aren’t only looking for a t-shirt and ice cream. A vacation spot can be a good location since vacationers seem willing to spend some money to make their getaway more memorable.)
4. Affordable rent, utilities, etc. to keep overhead as low as possible.
5. A nice-looking space with room for a display area and a studio area.
6. Enough room to teach classes.
7. A place where I and my family would enjoy living.
8. An area with inspiring scenery for outdoor painting.
9. Good proximity to a larger city with museums, galleries and stores.
Opening a storefront will always carry a certain amount of risk, but these criteria helped me at least make my risk a little more calculated.