Once a month I work at a co-op gallery called Watercolors Gallery. Despite the name, the media is diverse. Artists work in watercolor, pastel, acrylic, oil, and mixed media. The front of the gallery has large windows and lots of natural light. I love to watch the crowds congregate in front, especially the art students on their way home from school.
Being part of a co-op has its advantages as well as its down side. The advantages I've found are the camaraderie of working with other artists (see downside!), another venue to show and sale your work, the opportunity to learn the business side of art, and the opportunity to become involved in arts events happening in the city.
The downside? Working with other artists can be great but as with anything the more people involved the more you find the workers and the queen bees. Personalities are generally low-key here at Watercolors, so I can't complain about histrionics. Running a co-op requires business skills many artists aren't prepared to take on. It takes a full devotion and a willingness to "do what it takes." That is hard to sustain with a large group.
Watercolors Gallery has been going for 10 years now. There are issues with rent, membership and such. It will be interesting to see how it evolves over the next 10 years.