The Right Art Gallery – How to Find One
Finding a new gallery for the art can be a daunting work for many artists and never all artists obtain natural-sales-ability. But, the number one Cardinal Rule for almost any type of sales is sell yourself! So, just how does one do that?
For starters, honestly ask yourself a number of important questions:
Am I ready for a gallery?
Is my art salable?
Is my art technically good?
Have I created a recognizable style?
Do I own a cohesive body of training ready to display?
Have I had success selling my work in art/craft shows, out of your studio as well as other non-gallery venues?
Do I have time to fulfill the supply & need for a gallery?
Do I have a website that showcases my art and information? (This is not a must, but highly suggested)
Do I’ve a portfolio, bio, resume & artist statement?
If the answers are yes, great – there’s a chance you’re ready to take the next thing toward finding the right gallery. If your answer is no, then usually do not put yourself in a vulnerable position. Approaching a gallery before you are ready is kind of like placing a gangly teenager in modeling school. It won’t help your self-esteem and it most likely will bruise your ego. Remain calm and hone your craft prior to the ugly duckling turns into a swan.Okay. And that means you are ready for a gallery. Now it is important to do-your-homework and think of where your artwork belongs inside the art market. This is easy to do and you’ll start from home:
Flip through art magazines and check out gallery ads along with the artists they represent.
Checkout gallery websites and find out if your work has to be good fit on their behalf.
Talk to fellow artists and also have them suggest galleries for you.
If you paint traditional floral still life paintings save time before approaching a gallery that are experts in contemporary abstract art.
On the other hand, all galleries are searching for that fresh artist to enhance their “artists’ stable” but – within a unique genre.
The next step is to step out and visit some local galleries in your town or take a road trip to some galleries of one’s targeted art market. But, observe the gallery through the eyes of your collector, not as a painter.
Watch and see how the staff greats and treats you.
Are they courteous and professional?
Walk with the gallery and scan the art, look how it is hung and look the lighting.
Ask for a price sheet if available.
Be sure and acquire references on the gallery business artists.
Try and visualize your art hanging from the gallery and see how it compares in quality for their other artists.
Searching for the ideal gallery is a technique of elimination.
The more galleries you visit and research, the greater informed you will be about creating the right choice. Now you have a quick list of galleries which can be a good match and you’re ready to approach a gallery. But, remember that a successful gallery with a reputation gets inundated with lots of artists’ submissions per week. I keep in close connection with the galleries that represent me across the country. They all have stellar reputations and therefore they are flooded with artists’ inquiries every week. So how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?
Check your target gallery website and see if they do have guidelines, follow them (or be a rebel and do it your own way, but you might get shut down). Should there be no guidelines then you can definitely try some of the suggestions below:
But, first a little more about Specific Gallery Requirements:
Some galleries, especially from the high end fine art market have specific submission requirements and policies. Usually artists must submit help review. This generally means a specialist portfolio of at least 10 slides, photos or transparencies or perhaps a CD depicting recent works. Always send a self-addressed, stamped envelope or risk never seeing your material again.
The Portfolio Submission:
If you chose to send a portfolio straight to your chosen gallery, make certain and follow the guidelines mentioned above. Most artists today still simply submit a marketing package which includes a professional portfolio which in turn times get stacked in a pile and overlooked. Don’t attempt and get too cleaver with all the presentation. Keep your portfolio tailored, professional and filled with your best work. It is a good idea to follow up fourteen days later with a call.
The Cold Call:
This is where you pick up the phone and call the chosen gallery and pitch yourself. Practice and also have a notepad with your thoughts outlined so you do not ramble. At this point, be ready to sell yourself since there is no artwork to cover behind over the telephone. Here are some hints to help you make that call…
Check the gallery hours and exhibition schedule. If you have an event scheduled, help make your call at least weekly before or a week as soon as the after the event. You minimize the risk of interrupting a busy and stressed director.
It is best to make phone calls either in the morning or after the day. This is when busy directors most generally have reached their desks. And…call people during the middle of week.
Ask to speak with the Director. If he/she is not available ask when he/she will be available and do not leave a communication. (You might not get a return call) So, you call back later.
Keep the conversation short, friendly and the point.
Introduce yourself, explain that you will be interested in their gallery, and briefly let them know a little bit about you and your art and why you are a match on their behalf.
Follow up the conversation having an email linking aimed at your website or attach a few jpeg images of your work – do this within a day so they remember you. Mention inside your email that if you don’t hear back from them, you may check back – provide them with one to two weeks.
Or ask the gallery should they would prefer a portfolio, slides or even a website to review
The Walk In:
Get ready to sell yourself. This is a more aggressive approach that may or cannot work – all depends on how attuned you feel using the director or owner. There aren’t any set rules so anticipate to go-with-the-flow. Here are some ideas to help you take that step in the door:
Just like the ‘cold call’ confirm the gallery schedule and be sure you are not interrupting a significant event or busy time.
Hopefully you have done your homework and familiarized yourself with all the gallery.
Look your best.
Ask to schedule an appointment the owner or director Be informed and demonstrate that you realize the gallery program.
Let them know why your work is a good match.
Do not walk along with paintings tucked beneath your arm – this looks desperate. Leave a small business card with your website information or a portfolio for their review.
Don’t overwhelm them with too much information, leave them wanting more.
Walk within a good attitude.
Now let us say they really like you and things have gone well…they may ask to have you return them a few paintings for their approval – or some may ask to see some are employed in person. At this point (it has worked for many of my artist friends, particularly if they are on a excursion) have few small framed types of your best work out in the vehicle.
Invite your targeted gallery to visit a current showing of your respective work. Many artists show their art is art/craft shows, restaurants, banks, interior design firms, frames shops as well as their own studios. If you are lucky enough to live in a community that has a possible gallery for you this approach might work. It is best to send a printed invitation with the image of your art towards the director followed up having a phone call.
This is actually the best way of approaching a gallery. It has worked wonders personally in the past. If you network with other artists, you most likely have friends with good connections. And yes, much like in Hollywood – it’s individual preference know. Ask your artist friend to recommend that you their gallery. Ensure that you have your friend send the crooks to your website or provide them with a portfolio of the art. This will peak the gallery’s fascination with you. Within a week it is up to you to follow through. Phone them and remind the gallery that they were recommended to you from your mutual artist friend. After that, hopefully you can develop a working relationship.
The Gallery Request:
“If the mountain can’t visit Mohammad, let the mountain come to Mohammad.” What do What i’m saying is by that familiar, old statement? This is how the gallery approaches you! Yes, this does happen and has for me personally many times. But before you say, ‘yes,’ make sure to check the gallery’s references and business record. Whenever they measure up and look just like a good fit, here is the best of all worlds. The gallery picked you. That means they are excited to indicate your work in their gallery — this also can mean more sales.
The aforementioned suggestions are suggest that I have compiled from my years just as one artist and speaking with galleries and fellow artists. All of us have battle scars and war stories to share with, but I hope these ideas help to keep your pain to a minimum. But, remember — “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” and “Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”