When you are starting out, the idea of gallery representation may seem like a pipedream to you. It’s normally not as easy as contacting every gallery in your city and approaching them with your portfolio. While there are always stories where an artist gets immediate representation after those in charge of buying artwork review their portfolio, this is not usually the case. In fact, you are more likely to annoy a gallery and have your portfolio ignored if you are too aggressive, according to some in the art community.
So how you do get noticed by galleries that could potentially display your work? While luck is certainly involved, there are ways you can get noticed by both smaller and larger galleries all across the country. Here are three ways artists forge their path towards representation:
Enter an Art School or Residency Programs: If you are thinking about becoming an artist and haven’t done so already, you may want to consider applying to an art school or a residency program. Obviously, some artists may not have the time or money to do this, but those that can will be able to reap many benefits. Improving your craft, learning the business of art, and networking opportunities are just a few of the many reasons why artists enter these programs. In addition to that, gallery owners often pay close attention to what is going on these various art programs.
Target Galleries that Represents Your Skill Level and Style: If you have been painting for a year and are applying to a gallery that only showcases and sells artwork from the greatest masters, chances are you are not going to get accepted. You shouldn’t just apply to every gallery you have ever heard of either. Assess your work, experience, and connections in the art community and compare those to potential galleries you’re considering applying to. And be sure to work with reputable galleries that treat artists fairly as you don’t want to be taken advantage of.
Maintain an Online Presence: If you are a serous artist and you don’t have a website, you are doing it all wrong. Those in the art community are constantly passing along artists’ links to each other, and a website is often the first place someone is introduced to a new artist. Whether you’re looking to be noticed by art dealers in Philadelphia or Milan, a website can be seen by anyone.