Recently I was in Martha's Vineyard photographing a four day event. Between working I explored the little town I was in and checked out a few of the galleries they had there. One day I found myself alone in a gallery and when I introduced myself to the woman sitting at the desk I found out she was the owner. I have to say I don't end up in many galleries these days and I knew I had to take the opportunity to ask some questions.
I told her about Real World Creatives and our mission and asked if she had any insights for artists looking to work with galleries. Here's what I learned from our conversation:
1. Make sure you're appropriate. When reaching out to galleries make sure you've done the research on the gallery and know that it's an appropriate place for your work. This means finding out whether they represent local, regional, international artists or a mix. And, are the artists emerging, established or historical? If they are accepting submissions be certain you've provided all the information they request or may need to know to understand your work.
2. Document your work and shows/exhibitions. Whatever shows or exhibitions you've participated in before you should have documentation for- photos as well as information on what other artists were showing with you. It helps galleries visual how your work is displayed and what might go with it in a gallery space. If you haven't been in shows I suggest having your website include sample images of how your work would look in a room/hall/environment that you envision it being shown in. (That may or may not require some photoshopping!)
3. Reach out, don't wait to be found. While gallery owners are always on the look out for talent they will also get tips from different galleries, artists and others in the industry. Reach out and start making connections with those in your area. Go online and find the social media and networking groups gallery folk use and start engaging. A friendly acquaintance that knows of your work could be the missing link to getting in with a gallery!
I'd love to know who of the RWC tribe has been in galleries or would like to be? Comment below. If you have more questions, as always let me know so we can get you some answers!
Peace, love & pixels,