Why do We Charge fees?

At Tall Sequoia, we have promotions all the time, and often give opportunities to showcase your work for free. However, sometimes we do need to charge small fees, and we thought that it would help you understand them better if we explained what it takes to manage an online Art Gallery.

Managing an online Art Gallery is by no means comparable with having a single artist website with one’s own gallery’s to showcase their own art. The differences lie in everything: from the time it takes to create and manage it to the effort and involvement it takes to provide the services that we offer. And of course, because there are people behind the scenes who do all this work and get paid for it and there is technology that has been purchased to make this possible, there is also a money aspect to this too.

Below is comparison of activities and approximate costs between a personal artist website/gallery and a public gallery like this one.


  • Domain name costs are same for both.
  • Hosting costs are, however substantially different: while an artist’s website requires a basic hosting package of ~3.99/month, a professional hosting package that provides the scalability and security that is required to safeguard your data on a public gallery website costs upwards of $12.95/month. Compared annually, this a difference of $108 per year.
  • Functionality is required to make the website useful and able to do what it needs to do. These functionalities need to be built in custom code or via professional level plugins. Professional level plugins cost anywhere between $100 t0 $500 per year, and custom code costs even more.
  • Website development & testing is required for both. However, while an artist can build their own website using a readily available WordPress theme and a couple of free plugins (or pay someone ~$200-500 to put it together), a professional website like this one requires a lot of work and would cost upwards of $10,000 just to put it together, plus the ongoing maintenance fees as described just below.
  • Website maintenance & testing is also required in both scenarios. Artist can maintain their own website at no cost to themselves as this is usually done via a content management system with easy to use admin area. An art gallery like this one also uses a similar admin area for maintenance, but the difference is in the amount of work that needs to be done and associated expenses that go with it. For an individual artist, for example maintenance includes items such as posting new artwork to their galleries, periodically putting announcements onto the homepage or a sidebar, updating list of exhibitions and awards when something new comes up. For a public art gallery, however, maintenance includes much wider range of constant activities, such as always updating most pages with new exhibition announcements, removing calls that have expired, designing galleries for numerous exhibitions that are happening in parallel, designing artwork for promotions, flyers, headers, constantly checking for new entries and sorting through them, contacting artists in case of deficiencies in their entry submissions, writing feature articles, writing new page content, keeping track of all dates making sure all pages have up to date and aligned information without discrepancies, tracking promo codes, designing and testing entry forms, solo exhibitions, creating and maintaining products in the Art Shop, performing professional Search Engine Optimization, and the list goes on. The $ costs associated with all this work gets substantial from month to month as there is someone behind the scenes doing all this work on an ongoing basis and they need to get paid for it.Oh, did we mention website backups, software updates, licensing fees, etc.?Website maintenance is an ongoing work that requires a monthly payment to those wonderful folks who manage it! This results in substantial annual fees.
  • Advertisement is necessary for a public art gallery to succeed, and advertisement costs money. This includes social media ads, google ads, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and so on. As you may appreciate, advertisement is not cheap, but it is necessary to ensure that sufficient traffic flows to our website to make it worthwhile for you to showcase your art in our gallery.
  • Provision of Services is not required for an individual artist’s website; however, for a professional art gallery this is an absolute critical task which comprises of many activities such as keeping your data safe, receiving and reviewing all entries, contacting artists in case of discrepancy, replying to inquiries on social media accounts and via email, managing CRM, tracking all entries by category, medium, artist name, etc.; recruiting jurors (this is a time consuming process that requires finding candidates, reviewing their resumes, scheduling interviews and holding meetings to align on process), carrying out the jury process, creating winner certificates, sending email notifications, designing, testing and posting Art Exhibition galleries in a timely manner… Reviewing entries for artist features and Art Magazine, writing articles and posting them… Well, the list goes on, and to include everything would make this page long and ugly, so we will stop. The main point here is that as with everything, there is someone behind the scenes who is doing all this work, and they do need to be paid for this.

We do hope you understand that the small fees that we charge are justified!

Truly yours,