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13 Apr 2016
The Right Art Gallery - Where to find One

Finding a new gallery to your art can be a daunting work for many artists rather than all artists obtain that natural-sales-ability. But, the number one Cardinal Rule for almost any type of sales is sell yourself! Now how does one do that?

- Cathedral City, Ca

First of all, honestly ask yourself a number of important questions:

 Am I ready for any gallery?
 Is my art salable?
 Is my art technically good?
 Have I created a recognizable style?
 Do I've got a cohesive body of labor ready to display?
 Have I had created success selling my operate in art/craft shows, out of your studio and also other non-gallery venues?
 Do I have time to fulfill the supply & demand of a gallery?
 Do I've got a website that showcases my art and details? (This is not a must, but highly suggested)
 Do I've got a portfolio, bio, resume & artist statement?

If your answers are yes, great - there's a chance you're ready to take the next thing toward finding the right gallery. When the answer is no, then tend not to put yourself in a vulnerable position. Approaching a gallery until you are ready is kind of like locating a gangly teenager in modeling school. It's not going to help your self-esteem and it most likely will bruise your ego. Remain calm and hone your craft before the ugly duckling turns into a swan.Okay. Which means you are ready for a gallery. It is now important to do-your-homework and think about where your artwork belongs from the art market. That is easy to do and you may start from home:

 Flip through art magazines and check out gallery ads and 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 still have them suggest galleries to you.
 If you paint traditional floral still life paintings think before approaching a gallery that are experts in contemporary abstract art.
 On another hand, all galleries are seeking that fresh artist to increase their "artists' stable" but - within its genre.

The next step is to venture out and visit some local galleries in your town or take a excursion to some galleries of one's targeted art market. But, view the gallery through the eyes of an collector, not as a painter.

 Watch and see how the staff greats and treats you.
 Are they courteous and professional?
 Walk through the gallery and scan the art, look how it is hung and view the lighting.
 Ask for a price sheet if available.
 Be sure and have references on the gallery business artists.
 Try and visualize your art hanging from the gallery and see the way it compares in quality to their other artists.
 Searching for the ideal gallery is a process of elimination.

The more galleries you visit and research, greater informed you will be about creating the right choice. Now you have a short list of galleries that are a good match and you really are ready to approach a gallery. But, keep in mind that a successful gallery with a decent reputation gets inundated with a large number of artists' submissions weekly. I keep in close exposure to the galleries that represent me across the country. They all have stellar reputations and so they are flooded with artists' inquiries every week. So how do you make yourself stay ahead of the crowd?

Check your target gallery website and discover if they do have guidelines, follow them (or perhaps a rebel and get it done your own way, nevertheless, you might get shut down). In case there are no guidelines then you can certainly try some of the suggestions below:

But, first more about Specific Gallery Requirements:

Some galleries, especially inside the high end fine art market have specific submission requirements and policies. Usually artists must submit help review. This generally means an expert portfolio of at least 10 slides, photos or transparencies or 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 directly to your chosen gallery, be certain and follow the guidelines stated previously. Most artists today still simply submit a marketing package which includes a professional portfolio which often times get stacked in a pile and overlooked. Don't try and get too cleaver using the presentation. Keep your portfolio tailored, professional and filled up with your best work. It's a good idea to follow up a couple weeks later with a phone 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 time, be ready to sell yourself because there is no artwork to hide 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, make your call at least a week before or a week following the after the event. You prevent interrupting a busy and stressed out director.
 It is best to create phone calls either in the morning or after the day. This is when busy directors most generally are in their desks. people during the middle of week.
 Ask to talk to the Director. If he/she is just not available ask when he/she will likely be available and do not leave a message. (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're interested in their gallery, and briefly tell them a little bit about you as well as your art and why you are a match on their behalf.
 Follow up the conversation with an email linking aimed at your web or attach a few jpeg images of your work - try this within a day so they do remember you. Mention within your email that if you cannot hear back from them, you will check back - let them have one to two weeks.
 Or ask the gallery if they would prefer a portfolio, slides or possibly a website to review

The Walk In:

Get ready to sell yourself. This is the more aggressive approach that can or cannot work - the treatment depends on how attuned you feel with all the director or owner. There won't be any set rules so expect to go-with-the-flow. Here are some ideas to help you take that help the door:

 Just like the 'cold call' check the gallery schedule and make sure you are not interrupting a major event or busy time.
 Hopefully you must have done your homework and familiarized yourself with the gallery.
 Look your best.
 Ask to schedule an appointment the owner or director Find out and demonstrate that you realize the gallery program.
 Let them know why your hard work is a good match.
 Do not walk together with paintings tucked below your arm - this looks desperate. Leave a business card with your website information or possibly a portfolio for their review.
 Don't overwhelm them with too much information, leave them wanting more.
 Walk in with a good attitude.
 Be courteous.

Now why don't we say they really just like you and things have gone well...some may ask to have you signal them a few paintings for approval - or they might ask to see some work in person. At this point (this has worked for many of my artist friends, specially when they are on a journey) have few small framed types of your best work out in a car.

The Look-see:

Invite your targeted gallery to check out a current showing of one's work. Many artists show their art is art/craft shows, restaurants, banks, home design firms, frames shops and their own studios. If you're lucky enough to live in a community that has a possible gallery to suit your needs this approach might work. Make sure you send a printed invitation with an image of your art on the director followed up with a phone call.

The Referral:

This is the best way of approaching a gallery. It's got worked wonders for me in the past. If you network along 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. Make sure you have your friend send them to your website or allow them to have a portfolio of the art. This will peak the gallery's interest in you. Within a week it can be up to you to follow through. Contact them and remind the gallery that they are recommended to you because of your mutual artist friend. From that point, hopefully you can build a working relationship.

The Gallery Request:

"If the mountain can't visit Mohammad, let the mountain arrived at Mohammad." What do I am talking about by that familiar, old statement? This is the time the gallery approaches you! Yes, this certainly does happen and has personally many times. But before you say, 'yes,' be sure to check the gallery's references and business record. Should they measure up and look like a good fit, right here is the best of all worlds. The gallery picked you. That means they are excited to exhibit your work in their gallery -- this also can mean more sales.

These suggestions are suggest that I have compiled from my years as a possible artist and talking to galleries and fellow artists. Everyone has battle scars and war stories to see, but I hope these ideas help keep your pain down. But, remember -- "If in the beginning you don't succeed, try, repeat the process," and "Don't be discouraged. It has been the last key in the bunch that opens the lock."

- Cathedral City, Ca


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