Gallery & Garden Art Responsibilities
This job description should be read in conjunction with:
Gallery Maintenance, Gallery Jobs, Exhibitions, Guidelines for staff in charge of a section.
As the person responsible for the general upkeep and of the shop and garden art areas you play a large role in creating the theme that is set throughout the nursery. The first impression that customers get from the nursery is related to your stock choices and the appearance of the shop area. It is therefore imperative that this area is meticulously maintained and looking its best at all times.
As part of this role you are responsible for:
restocking and merchandising the gift shop and outdoor garden art areas
seeing gallery jobs are done and
monitoring the area daily
orders jams & art supplies, as specified.
Most galleries have dedicated sales people. This is not practical here, but you are one of our key people to help sell and promote artwork within the area.
When you are working in the Gallery familiarise yourself with the artists whose work is on display, which work is theirs, the range of work currently in stock, and special points about it. Much of this is in written material in the gallery, or on computer Ask Merri if you have any questions.
If people in gallery seem interested in works start talking to them about it – without being pushy. See if they need more info, to have their interest, good taste confirmed! With art/craft the story behind the work is often it’s main selling point.
Also, be helpful, informative when answering any customer queries..
It is best to get somebody to clean the gallery on a weekly basis outside of trading hours. Rostered 4 hours a week during Thursday night crew (to be looking best for weekends). Will be needed for extra hours during the lead up to Christmas.
Also can help with restock and with maintenance of outdoor art, water features etc. when needed. See Gallery Maintenance job description doc.
The range of garden art, gifts and gallery exhibits will help define Bulleen Art & Garden’s image as something different to your average garden centre. Read the Image doc. for a detailed description of our intended direction.
Some artwork will be bought more for the interest it creates for customers, the message it conveys and to decorate and add atmosphere to Bulleen Art & Garden, rather than purely for sales. If you are doing this be aware of it
Products should be associated with gardens and plants, produce, natural materials, except for some art and craft such as domestic pottery, glassware, paintings, indoor sculpture
Presentation of works
“Retail is detail”
Bulleen Art & Garden boasts an eclectic range of product and philosophies, without clear merchandising and continued maintenance it will become chaotic.
Works should at all times be presented to their best advantage. Where you display your products is as important as what you stock.
Definition of Product Groups
The Bolin Bolin Gallery must be kept looking like a gallery. Only art or one-off top quality craft should be displayed here. Displays should not be cluttered, but show off each artwork to it’s full potential as an object.
The adjacent shop area is an extension of the gallery & should only have hand-produced Australian art and craft. Displays here can have more concentrated product, but should still be well thought out.
The way the product is displayed to the customer is paramount. Grouping similar products into groups (Bali Hut, Gift Shop, Australian Handcrafts etc.) and clearly defined sub-groups is essential if you are to convey a clear message and help make the customer decision easy.
When grouping products together they will be rated on the weakest inclusion. Eg, The value of a Steve Edwards cous cous table will be lost by surrounding it with “Made in China” chairs.
Consider the qualities of each product & show them off accordingly. Pay considerable respect to the more expensive or handcrafted works, especially those by local artists.
Damaged or dirty product devalues work.
Aisles should be kept clear and wide enough for trolleys and customers to safely negotiate.
Plants Remember that the function of plants in the gallery is to set off the artworks or add interest or atmosphere, not be the focal point of the display. Ask nursery staff if you need help selecting appropriate plants and replace them when no longer fresh and keep watered. Plant can also be used to improve safety of displays eg stop people getting too close to more fragile product.
Be careful where you place plants so that they don’t damage stock when they are watered.
All expensive items (eg over $1000) should be set up to show their worth. Should not have wrong pump size or mixed message, eg stone fish fountain display.
fish fountain display, with some information professionally attached
Even when not rostered specifically to do gallery work, it is still your priority. Keep an eye on the gallery and gift shop every day you are in, particularly on weekends, spend a few minutes in the morning checking the gallery for rubbish and sick plants and see that things are in their rightful place. Moving a couple of pieces can make a big difference. If there is something that needs more than a few minutes to organise either: do it (but consult your manager if rostered elsewhere to cover for you), find someone else to do it if it’s urgent, or get to it as soon as you have the chance.
The same applies for the gift shop. Cobwebs are created overnight, and dust is an ongoing problem, make sure these are kept on top of.
Plants will always be displayed in the shop as well as outside in the nursery, work with the nursery staff to ensure plants are kept in designated spots and not on top of product (especially furniture) that is for sale. Water damage ruins products and loses us money. If you are having trouble with keeping plants off merchandise, talk to the nursery manager and ask counter staff to take care when watering. You have authority to remove plants that mask your displays, or infiltrate an area uninvited and unwanted.
Ensure that the entrance of the nursery is orientated so that it funnels people through the gift shop, into the gallery and then the sculpture garden. This will give the products in these areas greater exposure.
On Thursday nights supervise/direct your part time staff member responsible for gallery maintenance. Point out any areas needing specific attention. This is also the time to create new displays and do major restocking free from customer traffic and service demands.
A quick weekly walk through the nursery checking all your areas, see that things are priced and looking good. As above remove plants that are masking displays and put moved products back in right location, giving them a brush or wipe down as needed. It is useful to take a pricing gun, brush, and blue waist bag with you containing swing tags, handcrafted tickets, felt pen, string and scissors.
Each week on a particular day concentrate on a specific area in rotation i.e.: Bali Hut, Oriental features, Water Features (if applicable), water bowls and gift shop. This way you won’t feel swamped and all your areas will get a thorough face-lift each month.
Check in store or with Joe for any deliveries of new stock. See him for other tasks if yours are under control.
A major clean of all outdoor garden art will be necessary a few times year. There is a pressure cleaner in the smoker’s den, this a fast option for cleaning accumulated dirt and growth. Be cautious with the softer sandstone pieces as the force of the water can knock off the fine detail on the sculptures, operate from a safe distance or clean manually. At the same time you can clean the sides of the nursery benches and the paved areas in the indoor and oriental garden, and water features.
The gallery and shop will need nail holes filled and a coat of paint occasionally, to keep it looking fresh. (See paint colours doc. for info on what type of paint has been used and where)
Pricing and markups.
Take care when pricing up gifts and artworks as it has a much greater implications then the way a bag of fertilizer is priced.
Decide the appropriate method of pricing: Handcrafted? Swing Tags? Stickers? Pricing Gun? Your choice will depend on the origin, price and size of the object. Need to have prices added so that
Attach price clearly, neatly & so will stay on
where it is obvious to the customer – so don’t need to ask staff, or move fragile or heavy works
won’t damage or detract from the work (i.e. not in the middle of Buddha’s forehead).
Pricing guns The stickers with our web page on are removed readily, don’t use the gun with the plain stickers; they damage the product when removed.
Stone sculptures Never use silicon. A natural string is currently being used to attach prices to larger stone sculptures though it needs to be checked & replaced after a while.
Use Hand_Crafted tags & stickers where appropriate. These let people know that the product is something special. Add appropriate information when applicable – if known & if space & if adds to the image of product eg artist name, title of work, country of origin, material (eg limestone).
For gifts, garden art and furniture there is generally a mark-up of 100% + 10% GST.
Jams are 40% + 10%GST.
Art Supplies 65% + 10%GST
Consignment: We take 1/3 commission on consignment goods
The formula is:
Artist Price = Retail Price X 0.645
Artist price/2 + 10%GSTof commission(ArtistPrice/20) + Artist price = Retail Price
Some Discretion can be used for pricing
. Prices should take into account what a customer would expect to pay.
If there is an expensive product we are keen to display you may lower the mark-up,
or increase the mark-up if bought at a lower price or if it’s an unusual item.
Take handling into account increased labour when pricing heavier items or items that need to be put together (eg: Iron bells from Golden Crest)
Talk to yard before organising delivery of large sculptures requiring 2 people to move, there will be an increased delivery charge.
All requests are recorded on the customer orders collab task and should be followed up weekly.
Art & Craft
It can be more difficult to order in art & craft items than other product regularly stocked in the garden centre. It is not always possible to order a similar item.
Check with the artist whether they can or want to fill the order, how long it will take & and price.
Let the customer know
Handcrafted works each have their individual characteristics and rarely would two works be identical. Let them know the degree of variation to be expected for a particular line of work.
Time to delivery. If the artist does not have something appropriate already made there could be quite a long lead time – up to a couple of months. Make sure the customer is happy with this before going ahead with the order.
If it is a one off order explain that they will have to pay for freight also
If the artist is making a work on request the customer would need to pay a 50% deposit, Unless it is something we regularly stock and are confident of selling.
Do not give the artists contact details to customers. They often want to contact the artist directly to get a cheaper price. Artist may not realise this if they go directly to them. This is not fair if we have spent time money space etc in promoting the artist and their work.
The exception to this is If a request is not straightforward and there may be a danger of confusion it may be best to let the customer talk directly to the artist for a commission. Record the customer’s details and forward them onto the artist. Let the artist be aware that we would expect a 15% commission for any work resulting from the introduction. Needs to be with artists we trust.
If ordering stock we don’t usually carry, or the value is over $150, get a deposit or full payment before you order.
Don’t waste time tracking down stuff we don’t want to sell (like pink styrofoam flamingos), or if it is not readily available, or large orders are needed.
Contact customer, apologise, say we can’t help.
Deposits & holding work for customers
Exhibition sales (Follow instructions in gallery folder)
1. Write up an invoice in the gallery folder, with details of the selected work.
2. Mark as sold next to item on exhibition catalogue list in folder, with inv.#. This will act as a record to ensure no works are sold twice.
3. Leave artwork in the gallery with a red sticker on/near it containing the invoice number. Make sure this is obvious to customers and staff & firmly attached.
All artworks are to stay in the gallery for the duration of the exhibition. They can be collected the week after the exhibition closes (note this date on the invoice).
In special circumstances (eg exhibition nearly finished, if a very small piece or are keen for a sale & customer lives a long way away, for a birthday) we might let a work be taken early. If so still write an invoice in the gallery folder and mark the item on the exhibition catalogue, making it clear the item has been taken by customer.
At the end of an exhibition, remove all sold items from gallery & place in store. If not collected within the week, contact customer to remind them.
Work sold from gallery as from any other area when there is not an official exhibition running.
Liaison with Artists
It is important to establish and maintain good rapport with participating artists. Whether by phone or in person they should be made to feel welcome and help should be readily forthcoming to those needing assistance with large pieces.
Discuss their work, become familiar with their practice.
Give feedback to artists, particularly when a series of works have been successful.
Return products that haven’t sold or created much interest. Swapping old for new works is an option which provides the artist with another opportunity and enables us to maintain fresh and interesting displays.
If a new artist arrives when Merri or Joe aren’t available, have a look and see what you think of their work and determine how, if at all, it could contribute to Bulleen Art & Garden.
If they want an exhibition (group or solo) they can either send a brief description of themselves and their work with images to email@example.com, or give contact details to pass on to Merri.
If they want to sell, offer consignment for more expensive, or unusual artwork if not sure on saleability. Give prospective artists a copy of the Consignment handout (Familiarise yourself with what is in it). You can take more risks when accepting work on consignment then if buying outright. Explain that we will trial the work for a period and if is doesn’t sell we’d return it or exchange it for something else.
Art, craft or gift lines are bought outright if,
they may become a standard line – although it may be worth trialling on consignment first
are priced under $20 or $30
are something we are particularly keen to stock
you are very confident work will sell
If you are not sure, take their name & contact details, make notes on the work & discuss with Joe or Merri and get back to them.
Make it clear to artists that it is NOT convenient to collect/deliver work at weekends. If unavoidable, need to make arrangements with someone.
Artist Contact details
These should be under BAG Contact on the internal website.
Add all new artist details as relevant (if not an administrator, pass on to Merri, or someone to add)
Assist Merri or exhibiting artist(s) with the installation or demounting of the shows. Make sure that the gallery is thoroughly cleaned (with plants removed/rotated) in preparation for a new exhibition.
Deliveries or Collection of work
If expecting a delivery try to set it up directly where it is to go. This saves double handling, which means time, or chances of damaging work. If not possible, make sure there is adequate space to receive it in storeroom.
Meticulously check off invoice, record all problems and notify the supplier straight away of any inconsistencies.
If pricing up products later, outside, or in any other circumstance where the original invoice may get lost, photocopy it, put the original in Penny’s invoice tray & stamp ‘copy’ on the copy. The copy can be left in the pot tray until you are ready to price up the delivery. This has proved a successful method of preventing original invoices from getting lost.
Make it clear to artists that it is NOT convenient to collect/deliver work at weekends. If unavoidable, need to make arrangements with someone.
Get a clear invoice or list of goods delivered showing artist name & address, whether price is retail or wholesale, on consignment or paid for, and whether the artist is registered for GST, their ABN or fill in hobby form. Most work in the gallery is on consignment. If they say work is to be paid for, check with Merri, Joe or Penny, organise a cheque to be written and get the artist to write a receipt. Check off invoice with artist there.
Put invoice/receipt on Merri’s clip. Very important for work on consignment
If unable to put on display immediately, keep safe in gallery store.
When work is picked up make a list of what is taken & by who.
It is IMPORTANT to always leave detailed lists of artworks being taken or delivered on Merri’s clip in the office. This is necessary for monthly payments.
If a new artist, they will need to fill in a Statement of Supplier form, these are located in gallery folder at the front desk.
During your weekly walks through the nursery you will become aware of stock levels in all the arty farty areas. Put in your orders as appropriate, or let Joe or Merri know. Monday is a good day for ordering.
Only order the amounts you’d expect to sell in the short term.
Check your clip & email each day you are in. Leave any messages or invoices for Merri on her clip (in office). Email is a great method of contacting her for faster reply.
If there are urgent messages or if artists have picked up their work, please ring her at home. If you give her “studio” number to customers/artist, instruct them to ring during business hours.
Information for Staff and customers
Familiarise yourself with the artists whose work we display; their style, background, the materials they use & processes they employ, or other points of interest. Being familiar with our represented artists puts you in an advantaged position to sell the product, particularly more expensive works where the value may be lost to the uninformed consumer.
Point of Sale
Information should help educate our customers, many who are not very familiar with art, to make a confident buying decision. This especially applies to higher priced items.
This readily available info can help other staff assist customers too (like instructions on the back of a pesticide bottle!)
Your objective is to provide interesting information to the customer letting them know why an art/craftwork is special, and more worthwhile buying than mass-produced alternatives. Examples are: Artist’s achievements, meaning/story behind piece, skilled processes or labour intensity and materials used.
Info about our artists should be displayed alongside their work. If there is none, speak to Merri or the artist themselves and create one. Try and keep all the information presented uniform in display.
Maintain and update.
Database or Catalogues
Exhibition catalogues are on computer under Gallery/exhibition organisation.
There is some information on artists under gallery/artists
There is information on consignment goods in the purple folder. This MUST NOT be removed. It is the only record of consignment goods.
Familiarise yourself with web site. Let Merri know of suggestions. There is information on quite a lot of our featured artists here. It can be copied or referred to for customers who have bought work. It may also be used to give customers an idea of the type of work an artist does. It also has up to date information on exhibitions, workshops etc.
Handling of Stock
Artworks should be handled with care and respect at all times.
Before heading anywhere with a large or fragile work, check that pathway is clear and there is a shelf or space available to receive it.
Always carry sculpture from its base rather then its hands or earlobes, although these seems like good handles they are often a point of weakness.
It is often safer to carry a work instead of using a trolley – eg jarring on a trolley can cause ceramic work to crack, even if no specific mishap.
If you’re nervous about how to handle a particular work seek out Joe.
Gallery Storage Area
Try to store as little work in here as possible – get it collected by the artist or customer and have as much on display as possible.
This area must be kept tidy at all times, this prevents work from being damaged makes everything more accessible and visible to all staff.
Divide store into sections such as:
-Items on Hold
-For return to artists/supplier
-Excess Stock & stock on rotation
-Shelf space to accept deliveries
-Perspex display frames
-Pump storage (both those included with features & those for display use)
Store plinths above SGA office.
Unlike many galleries, where the area is protected by doors, this gallery poses specific problems because it is open to traffic film, wind and condensation, security problems, trolley traffic, customers (sometimes whole families) passing through who may be unused to gallery etiquette. Efforts should be made to keep works free of dust and out of pathways. If customers have disturbed works, restore to their original state. Make note of problems that you think need to be addressed and either put in a Staff Suggestion on the internal website or discuss it with any possible solutions with Bruce, Merri or Joe.
Get a lesson in safe/correct lifting from a manager, before you start work. Always ask for assistance when needed, no one minds leaving their tasks to help you.
Never leave multiple adaptor boards or extension cords on the ground outside or near water & plants.
Beware of sharp edges on artworks, especially in aisles and at eye level of adults or children.
If there is a chance a large sculpture could tip, squash a kid or break an adult, secure it with something.
Make sure plinths are steady.
Don’t leave products, brooms, or cords in walkways.
Where small works are displayed, regular checks for theft should be made. Possible theft should be kept in mind when deciding where to display small, valuable items.
Supplier & Product List
This list needs to be developed. We need a list of regular suppliers with type of product, phone, and address. MP has a separate list of artists & potential artists. Stock list of main products of main suppliers, with prices & numbers stocked. The computer stock list must be kept up to date with new products. A complete review should be done every 6 months. Mark-ups should be recorded for each product.
Familiarise yourself with any upcoming workshops, so that you can answer customer queries & take bookings.
Information on the web site & in gallery folder.