Finding a gallery is very similar to dating. Before you know who is the right person for you, you don’t just need to know yourself but also what you expect from a relationship. Engaging with a gallery is very similar. Think about what you want and do your research.
When you look at the gallery’s roster of artists, do you feel that your art fits in? Does the gallery promote abstract art? Figurative? Sculpture only? Is there another common theme that you should know about? Remember that the gallery owner has created their program not just based on their personal tastes but also on what sells to their collectors. Similar to a first date, don’t take it personally if a gallery owner feels that you’re not the right fit. They are doing you a favor. Time to move on to something that’ll work better.
If after your research you decide that you like the gallery and there is a potential match made in heaven, meet up with them. See how they approach the relationship with their artists. Ask questions. Do they work with consignment agreements? Do they bring your work to art fairs? How many shows per year will you get? How much work are you expected to create? If you have a chance, speak to one of the artists currently represented by the gallery. Find out if the gallery is reputable and if they pay their artists on time.
On your end, ask yourself if you want to go exclusive, if that’s requested, and if that makes sense for you from a business perspective. Remember, in this day and age being with a gallery is no longer the be-all and end-all. More and more artists are highly successful at promoting themselves. Being proactive online by having a professional website and regularly updating your social media accounts is one way of staying top of mind with collectors and curators. Have an elevator pitch ready, including images of your art on your iPad, for when you do come across the gallery of your dreams.
Need to refine your elevator pitch? Book an artist coaching session by clicking here.