December 20, 2018 | Alyson Stanfield

Opening and Running Your Own Gallery with Tracy Miller

A lot of my students and clients have mentioned their desire to open a gallery. And some have done so without putting much thought into what it takes and … later regret it.

I’m excited that artist and gallerist Tracy Miller is on this episode to talk about her experience running Tracy Miller Gallery for the last 7 years.

Tracy Miller Gallery event
Tracy Miller (far left) at one of her gallery openings. Credit: Tracy Miller.

She talks about selecting a tight focus for her gallery, which she feels was critical for its success. The artists she chose to work with are in the genre of New West and have some experience under their belts. They are also savvy professionals.

She also reveals why she chose the specific location for the gallery and the many challenges—including wildfires and city-wide flooding—she overcame while running the business.

©2018 Tracy Miller, Tree Frog. Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 inches. Photo by Brie Filler Photography.
©2018 Tracy Miller, Tree Frog. Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 inches. Photo by Brie Filler Photography.

  1. Tracy, who spends much of her time networking and connecting to people and businesses in the community, offers at least three pieces of advice for anyone interested in opening a gallery.Work at another gallery for awhile. She learned a great deal by working at a large space for 5 years.
  2. Crunch the numbers. And know the numbers. Tracy knows not only her average monthly sale in dollars, but the average sale for surrounding businesses.
  3. Figure out how you will continue to have studio time. If you say you're an artist, you must be making art and serving as an example to the artists in your stable.

Tracy also discusses her decision to close down the gallery and focus more on her own work as an artist.

About My Guest

Tracy Miller was obsessed from a young age with art, horses, and the wide open spaces of the West. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she is inspired by the view of Pikes Peak and the surrounding natural environment.

Tracy Miller, art of the New West
Tracy Miller in her gallery.

She is closing her eponymous gallery at the end of 2018 in order to devote more energy to her thriving painting and licensing career.

See Tracy’s art at TracyMillerFineArt.com and follow her on Instagram @TracyMillerFineArt.

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by the Art Biz Inner Circle. This is a group of unapologetically ambitious artists that my team and I work with for a year. We help them with goals, mindset, business strategies, and focus.

Artists are so generous and I love to see them supporting one another. I’m blessed that I get to be the person who leads this amazing group.

If you think you could benefit from some clarity around your art business (and a year of support to help you implement) please check us out. And do it now because we currently open membership just once a year.

Click to find out about the Art Biz Inner Circle
7 comments add a comment
  • Raymond D. Hunter, Sculpatora

    The Family looks great…..Merry Christmas all! Excellent info as usual. Joy and love for the Holidays.

    Raymond and Nancy Hunter

  • Tracy Miller

    Thank You Alyson, what fun to talk with you about the “biz” and give my fellow artists some insight into the gallery side. And I just want people to know that working with you and taking workshops has been so enriching! Thank You for what you do!

  • Sam Woolcott

    Thank you Tracy! Thank you Alyson!

    Sam here from the SamPoe Gallery in Bisbee, AZ.

    What a great interview.

    As fellow artists/gallerists for over 12 years in what has been called a sister city to Manitou Springs, my husband Poe and I applaud your dedication and business acumen. We recently moved off Main Street and find our new secret location ideal and much less expensive.

    “Time is Overhead” . yes, yes. I will never forget that!

    Good luck to you and your focus, Tracy.
    I have just been invited to Cowgirl Up! 2019 and knowing nothing about it, I was delighted to hear you mention it. Please come visit us in Bisbee ( and bring Alyson!!)

  • Simonne Roy

    Thanks for this podcast, Alyson. Thanks for sharing this information, Tracy.
    Best wishes for 2019.
    -Simonne

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