Empowering Underrepresented Voices and Championing the Next Generation of Artists and Collectors
The traditional art business model reflects socio-political austerity. A system that disproportionately benefits people who do not experience racial oppression, ableism, gender, and class discrimination (to name a few). Acting as a platform and support system artists are often denied, Guts works to challenge and revise this model; that leaves artists and staff undervalued and underpaid. In doing so, Guts exhibits artists at different stages of their career and facilitates genuine relationships between artists and collectors. Connecting artists who reflect their lived experiences in their work with those who are eager to support them.
Guts applies adaptive business practices to position itself at the forefront of the art world’s next generation of contemporary voices. Guts flips the traditional power dynamics between gallerist and artist, creating safe spaces, accessibility, constructive dialogue and collective shouldering. In an art world scared to speak out about inequality for fear of jeopardizing their positions, Guts Gallery refuses to be silenced.
MEET THE FOUNDER
Director and Founder of Guts Gallery, Ellie Pennick is one of the youngest gallerists navigating the art world today. As a working-class, queer Northerner with no art background, Pennick's footing in the art world came through her frustrations at the politics of the arts education system, and lack of opportunities available. After receiving a place at a renowned institution in London, but unable to accept her place due to her financial status, Pennick began to question the wider, social austerity within the arts. Pennick launched Guts to generate a fair art-business model "worth far more importance to me than a piece of paper with a Masters grade on it", and to champion emerging artists, helping artists to demand respect - and ownership - they deserve.
Championing Artists not Representing
Guts Gallery was founded to ensure that those from underrepresented backgrounds could have their own voices heard, instead of being spoken for by those already in power. With that in mind, Guts refuses to “represent” its artists; we have no intention of “speaking for (somebody)”, especially when our own backgrounds don’t give us insight into their personal experiences, and they have powerful, clear voices to speak for themselves.
Instead, Guts “champions” its artists, providing a safe space for opportunity, advice, and support through “vigorous support and defence of their cause.” When trying to be a force for change, we must all ask ourselves, do you want to uphold traditional views or models, or join in with change? We are firm believers that artists should be at the center of the art world, not gallerists, and this is a first step in changing that status quo.
CODE OF CONDUCT
This adaptive code of conduct is to protect the artists we work with as well as staff and visitors within the Guts Gallery space; online and offline. It has been created by Guts Gallery and the artists themselves to create a safe space that no other art gallery has implemented before.
- Guts has a zero tolerance policy for racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, classism, abilism, ageism and any form of discrimination or harassment
- Guts flips the traditional power dynamics between gallerist and artist
- Guts will create safe spaces, accessibility, constructive dialogue and collective shouldering for established and emerging artists
- Guts staff will be paid above minimum wage
- Guts staff can wear whatever they want to work
- Guts will challenge the inequalities within the art industry
- Guts artists commissions will be above the 50% industry standard
- Guts will ensure artists feel no pressure to 'succeed'
- Guts will check in with our privilege constantly
- Guts will protect artists and staff members from burnout
- Guts will facilitate personal and professional advice and support
- Guts will be honest regarding contracts, sales, percentages
- Guts will support artists with external collaborations or opportunities
- Guts will assist artists in finding studios, acquiring materials and general career advice
- Guts will provide a platform for artists to showcase their work in solo and group exhibitions
- Guts Gallery will refuse to be silenced and is determined to be a much-needed change in the art industry