Getting your work into galleries.
This is a short no-bull guide to getting your work into galleries. You might save yourself some big bucks on “How to Get Your Work into Galleries” seminars with this cheat sheet.
1. Method: Most galleries take 4 jpgs and/or a link to your website as a submission. Include a cover note about yourself including your location and a couple of notes about factors that might be appealing to the space specifically in showing your work.
2. Process: Get to know the gallery first. Become a familiar face. Bring collectors in if you know any to impress the gallerist. They don’t need to buy necessarily. (If you don’t know any collectors, that’s okay, just bring your smiling face). Buying something small will also get their attention. If you can’t afford to that’s okay. Don’t pretend you are going to buy something and then reveal you are an artist instead. Avoid cons altogether. They might get you a one off show but will not lead to a lasting relationship. Once you are familiar and have become familiar submit the work. Follow up in a few weeks if no response and continue to follow up unless you get a firm no.
3. Things to keep in mind: Galleries have huge risks. Every month expenses are typically $4-20K. Without a large collector base to balance this risk you are not going to get a gallery to risk a solo show straight away. Asking for one straight up may be coming on too strong without building a business relationship first. Certain galleries specialize in artists at specific career points. Don’t waste your time applying to galleries that only deal established artists if you are a beginning artist. You will have your best luck with new galleries, as older galleries have schedules set 1-3 years in advance. Keep an eye out for these on the events calendars and approach them when you see a new one.