The galleries have the artist pay for shipping TO the gallery; they pay for the return. Shipping to one show was $225. Shipping to the other show was $250. For the show in Boston, I made new work...the supplies for that cost me in the neighborhood of $650. And for the show I had in Portland that did not materialize I spent $1500 for frames. Add to this, my entire summer was gobbled up with the process of showing.
In addition to these bigger shows, I also apply to small group shows/juried competitions...most entry fees are somewhere around $35 (some are $25, some are $50...in the last 2 years I paid $75 twice just to enter a show, and $200 once.) But I often get in, and then there is shipping. On these small deals, it is up to the artist to pay both ways (to and from) the gallery. The least expensive box I shipped last year was a total of $40 round trip (combined with entry fee that show then cost me $75.) Nave was $60. Radius I don’t remember, but it wasn't cheap. OK, so what do I get for it? Well, sometimes I sell a piece, and sometimes get monetary awards, but most often I just get lip service and a line on my resumé.
Just the numbers I mentioned above amount to over $4500. But I am barely just scratching the surface here and blurting out the chunks that are easy to remember. There are countless expenses –some of them huge—that I've not mentioned here. . .like the fact that I have to have a decent computer to do my photography and maintain my website, that I have a completely unknowable, and huge wad of money invested camera gear, chemicals, aluminum for plates, artists’ paints and mediums, silver gelatin paper, an Epson 3880 professional printer with 8 ink cartridges each costing over $55. So I have $440 just in INK in my printer right now.