The gallery is a meeting point for art lovers, where they can see and purchase artworks by emerging, established or master artists. There are physical galleries, where exhibitions are held in a physical space, and virtual galleries, where exhibitions are shown online. In both types of galleries, the staff is responsible for displaying and selling artworks by artists.
Getting Represented in an Art Gallery
The goal of any artist is to get their work exhibited at a gallery. But the path to gallery representation can be a tricky one with plenty of obstacles along the way. Luckily, we chatted with some of the industry’s top experts to get their take on the most important do’s and don’ts for aspiring gallery artists.
Keeping Track of Sales
Galleries often like working with artists who have solid records of sales. They also value artists who have a plan for their future and know how to implement it. Whether it’s a plan for a new series of paintings or a set of study prints, having that information on hand will help you when submitting to a gallery.
Visiting the Gallery
Attending gallery openings is an excellent way to meet and connect with the curators and owners of galleries. It can also help you develop a relationship with the artists at the gallery and give you an idea of what it’s like to be part of a gallery community.
Creating an Exhibit
A good gallery will take care of all the logistics for a solo or duo exhibition, including transporting and storing the work, installing the pieces, press interest, invitations, openings, and selling the artworks. The gallery is also responsible for promoting the exhibition, which usually involves marketing on social media and in print publications.
Having an Artist-led Exhibition
Many galleries have a program where they invite emerging and established artists to showcase their work in a joint exhibition. This type of collaboration can be a huge step forward in the careers of both the artists and the gallery.
If you have an existing art portfolio or a book about your work, make sure that it is well-packaged and delivered to the gallery. This will help you stand out from other artists who have not taken the time to package their work.
Having a Professional Image
Gallery owners look for artists who have an established presence on the internet and are ready to sell their work. This includes a social media account with a strong following and a website that features images of the artworks.
Having a professional online presence and a good web design are both important when it comes to representing an artist and making them stand out from the competition. This is especially true if you’re a female artist or an LGBTQ+ artist, since these groups are more likely to be interested in the visual arts.
Practice Your Elevator Pitch
A gallery’s curators will be looking for ways to engage with your work, so it’s helpful to have a plan for how you want to present it. You might want to talk about how your work reflects your experience with the world or how it addresses an issue that is important to you. You can also talk about how it connects with a theme or a style that’s popular among the gallery’s clientele.