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Hanging paintings for sale in businesses: Yay or Nay?

The answer to, “Whether or not to hang paintings for sale in a business” seems like an obvious ‘yes’ on the surface. And at first, I too figured, “Well, it’s better to have my paintings hanging in a public place rather than sitting in piles in my house.” However, lately I’ve been asked to hang my paintings in dentist offices, health and wellness companies, law offices, and other similar businesses. Thus… I can’t help but ask myself whether this is a legit effort to support the arts, or whether it’s actually securing wall decor for free, sale-tag aside. (In other words: If a business wants to ‘support a local artist,’ shouldn’t they buy the art they want to hang?) In my case, I’ve said yes to some, and no to others; usually a ‘yes’ to restaurants, since their customers are returning, numerous, and often ‘captive’ (waiting for food, looking at the art around them). That said, I don’t mean to look a gift horse in the mouth, and I recognize that it’s a well-meaning endeavor on the part of local companies to ‘feature’ local artists on their walls… but on the flip side of things, I seek to be an ARTIST, not an unpaid interior decorator. What are everyone’s thoughts? (Stats: I’ve hung paintings in maybe 8 places in my area, and I’ve only ever sold one piece off-the-wall.)

***However, if the White House calls, the answer will be an unequivocal Yes.

I def would! I’d rather have them in doctor’s offices too because in restaurants they could get damaged…that said though, I have a print framed and in a coffee shop. From that place alone and that one print a tourist saw it and LOVED my style and came to my house (to see my gallery) and purchased 3 originals off the wall!!! $$$


I have work regularly showing in businesses and have had very good luck with sales. Really never have had any problems with damage.

NAY. Coordinating an exhibit in a non-art venue takes too much time and energy (1) and (2) the people who frequent businesses/restaurants and public places are not looking to buy art. If the business wants to “support your art” they can buy a painting or put one of your paintings in their newsletter.

I agree with Diane, I’ve done a number of different businesses and non profit locations. It serves as community service, but yielded nothing in sales or web site hits.

I had a coffee shop/gallery walls and artists sold out of there OFTEN, and when we didn’t have a piece they wanted they asked for the artist’ contact info when they liked their style.