If you are eager to market your art pieces and have decided that gallery representation would be a great way to do it, a big question obviously presents itself: how you are supposed to get your art pieces displayed in galleries? Of course, you should reach out to those galleries – but would they be interested in your art?
The answer is likely to largely depend on whether they reckon your art would be right for their audience. Here are several ways you can help yourself to make the right choice of art gallery.
Look at local galleries before considering any further afield
If you are within driving distance of a few galleries, make a point of visiting them in person – without telling them that you are an artist and seeking gallery representation. Just visit as though you are an ordinary member of the public casually dropping in.
As this article will elaborate, there are various things you should check while perusing the gallery – but, if it isn’t to your liking, you could start considering visiting long-distance galleries as well.
Before you do visit a gallery, assess its website
This tip can be especially useful if the galleries that initially look right for you aren’t within driving distance. As explained by artist Carrie Lewis in an article for EmptyEasel.com, “you can still visit their websites and learn quite a bit – perhaps even enough to make your decision.”
It would bode well if a gallery’s website is up to date with well-written content, proper grammar and good spelling – along with images sufficiently large for you to see on your screen.
Check out what type of artwork is on display
Whether you check out this artwork at the gallery itself or on its website, you should take close account of several factors – especially the artwork’s medium, size and subject matter.
Also, would your own work look right if displayed alongside it? If your gut instinct is “no”, then the gallery probably won’t be all that keen on representing you.
Scrutinise the physical exhibition space and building
This might strike you as slightly odd, but the condition of the physical building can be a surprisingly important factor in your decision-making. If you see evidence of structural issues, like leaking windows or water stains, the gallery might not be in the best position to look after your art.
Even peeling paint or rusty handrails should be classed as warning signs, as they may indicate that the gallery is financially struggling.
Consider galleries outside your usual market
Sometimes, less obvious choices of gallery can actually be surprisingly good choices. You might have been too quick to rule out certain galleries due to an outdated perception of what they would pique their interest.
For example, you might not have realised that, as Londonist notes, the Saatchi Gallery has shown art pieces besides just those from the collection of Charles Saatchi, whose website you should nonetheless check. After all, it could give you a good idea of his artistic tastes!