Should artists exhibit in Restaurants?
My Opinion: In my experience lighting in restaurants is usually poor, which usually makes the art look poor. There are also reports of artwork being damaged by food, smell, heat, air conditioning and grease. I even recall replacing a print for a client due to wine being accidentally spilled on the glass, (which bled into the frame, and damaged the print). Damaged inventory while on consignment, is a big issue for artists and REALLY effects the bottom line profits. Another reason I'm not fond of restaurants is that art rarely sells itself and I've never met a server who has time to sell art. I also don't think patrons are in the mindset to buy art when they are sitting eating dinner or lunch. They may enjoy what they see, but how does the artist follow-up with any prospects. Overall, I think art in restaurants benefits the restaurant owner more than the artist. I hope this doesn't sound too harsh, but exhibiting artwork is so very expensive, it's important to reduce risk, and maximize the effort and cost.
My advice regarding any exhibition venue would be to make sure your art and price-point matches the demographic of the patrons visiting the establishment. Survey the space carefully to make sure your art looks great (good spots, track lighting, displayed at the right height) and that your art can be safely displayed.
Saying all that, some artists do have had good luck selling in restaurants. As with any exhibition venue, be selective, and work with a space that has a good history for selling art or delivery prospects.
What are your feelings on exhibiting in restaurants?