How the Folio App Enhances Gallery Relationships with New and Returning Collectors

How the Folio App Enhances Gallery Relationships with New and Returning Collectors
How the Folio App Enhances Gallery Relationships with New and Returning Collectors

Portrait of Natalie Kates-Ferri. Exterior view of Kates-Ferri Projects. Courtesy of Kates-Ferri Projects.

On March 4th, Natalie Kates, the founder of New York tastemaker Kates-Ferri Projects, attended a conversation and screening with the transdisciplinary artist Guadalupe Maravilla at MoMA, where she found herself seated next to two curious, talkative collectors. These collectors spoke about their taste and their collecting aspirations, and Kates, as a bystander, felt compelled to suggest artists on her program that she believed would suit their collections. Instead of wasting any time, the gallerist pulled out her phone and opened the Folio app, Artsy’s digital portfolio tool that the gallerist describes as her “pocket-sized gallery press kit.” Before the event was over, Kates had secured two instant sales. 

“Folio is the best tool for Kates-Ferri Projects; it’s user-friendly, and when you understand your collectors’ needs or when building new relationships, it’s a perfect platform to tailor to collectors,” said Kates. “It is building stronger relationships and buyer confidence in my gallery program and artists we represent.”

The “pocket-sized gallery press kit” deftly describes the essence of Artsy’s Folio app. This online tool, included with Plus and above subscriptions, allows gallerists to access, present, and share artworks directly with collectors, whether at art fairs, gallery floors, or during remote interactions. From the convention center concourse to spontaneous interactions, Folio is proving to be an invaluable asset, streamlining the way artworks are curated, displayed, and sold. 

Installation view of Rudy Shepherd, THE GOLDEN AGE, 2024. Courtesy of Kates-Ferri Projects.

Emmanuel Fremin, the founder of Chelsea stalwart Fremin Gallery, highlights the significant advantages Folio offers during bustling art fairs such as Art Miami. During that fair in December 2023, tThe task of juggling curators, collectors, journalists, and fair guests was streamlined for Fremin with Folio, allowing the gallerist to surface inventory wherever it was needed. 

“[Folio is a] huge bonus [at] art fairs; when we are busy at a fair and dealing with a dozen clients at a time, Folio helps to view, select, and confirm the works that clients want to see,” he said. “It’s a game changer.”

The app’s ability to quickly access and display artworks allows galleries to respond more effectively to client inquiries amid hectic environments such as art fairs. The seamless integration of Folio with galleries’ inventory systems, including Artsy’s CMS, means that any updates or changes are instantaneously reflected on the app, ensuring that gallery staff and potential buyers are always viewing the most current and available pieces.

Robert Strati, Fragmented in Blue with Bridges and Bird in Flight, 2024. Courtesy of Fremin Gallery.

Folio’s utility extends beyond art fairs and into daily gallery operations. Its features, like QR code integration, which can be connected to Artsy or a gallery’s website, allow visitors to scan and view all current exhibitions. This facilitates email transactions and enhances communication efficiency.

“We print a QR code connected to Artsy or our website and post it at the entrance of the gallery so people can view all the current exhibitions,” said Fremin. “The enhancement is profound. It just facilitates all email transactions much easier and faster.”

Installation view of Iman Issa, Animal Masks for Tribunal Scene, 2022. Courtesy of carlier | gebauer.

Amy Binding, senior communications manager for Berlin and Madrid stronghold carlier | gebauer, finds that Folio has simplified the gallery’s operations. Binding directly supports the gallery’s sales team by responding promptly to album requests or uploading new artwork, enhancing efficiency while her colleagues might be elsewhere. 

“Prior to Folio, our content was dispersed across various platforms, leading to inefficiencies and suboptimal workflows,” said Binding. “With Folio’s comprehensive storage and seamless integration with platforms like the Artsy CMS, our processes have become notably smoother.”

Installation view of Iman Issa, Photograph—(Un)Like (M)Any Other(s), 2024. Courtesy of carlier | gebauer.

Folio is about first impressions just as much as it is about maintaining strong relationships. Sharing content and artwork, with the ability to curate custom presentations, allows gallerists to cater to new and established collectors alike. “This capability not only enhances the follow-up process, but also contributes to the cultivation of enduring relationships with collectors,” Binding added. 

With Folio embedded into the day-to-day processes of these galleries, both the efficiency of sales processes and the depth of client relationships are bolstered. “We use Folio on a daily basis; it takes a few seconds to select the artworks and email them to our clients,” Fremin said. “It’s a game changer in terms of fluidity, effectiveness, and speed.”