View Full Version : how far to go?

06-19-2004, 08:56 PM
just wanting to know for those of you who market--how far do you go from your home? in my tiny area, its kinda 'dry', no galleries, etc., very little outlets for my work. there are some bigger cities about 4-6 hours from home, and i am considering making a couple trips, scope them out and then pursue the ones i think have the most opportunity for me. any ideas on this? is that too far? i dont' have much choice really, cuz there's nothing any closer! any tips/hints/helps would be greatly appreicated.

Kitty Wallis
06-19-2004, 09:52 PM
I think of 'where is my audience?' rather than how far away are they. I choose a gallery for the work in it and the attitude of the staff. Also If I think my work fits their clientel. They have already done a lot of work, if they know the business, to find a group of customers that they can sell to. Promotions, opening, ads, networking, charity efforts, many more actions are in the arsenal of the selling gallery

Avoid the gallery owner who doesn't have to sell, who is doing it to keep busy, or whatever reason. You can't afford to decorate their walls if there is no effort being made to show and sell your work.

Conversely, understand they are a business, and need to pay for their wall space with steady sales. So don't imagine they are a 'voice of the art world' that their response is a judge of your work. Their opinion is just that, if they don't want to show your stuff, they are not your audience.

Keep looking for the gallery that personally responds to your work. If the staff loves it so will the clientel.

Once you find a gallery be patient. It can take years to develop a following.

The approach:
Bring them a professional presentation. Find out if they are using slides or digital. If they are a small gallery, and using slides, bring along a projector. I had good success with a New York gallery(not a small one) by setting up my projector and showing my slides. I didn't get in but I did wow the crowd, partly with my confidence, to 'take over' their space and make a good show.

Find a way around the usual brushoff. 'Thank you for coming in, we don't look at slides without an appointment, here's our application form. Please send it in with 10 slides.' The best way I've found is: go to a gallery in the same community that does not show work like yours. Tell them you are looking for a few minutes of mentoring. What gallery would they recommend for your style? It helps if you can say you have asked around and heard that they are a well established gallery in the community and know the terrain. Then you can go to the indicated gallery or galleries and say you were sent here by ... I was in Kansas City with one afternoon to find a gallery. This is the method I used and I had a gallery that fit me well before I left town.

Another way around the brush off is: 'Oh, you didn't understand me, I'm hoping to ask the directore some questions aobut your gallery. I may want to show here.' This also has worked like a charm. They begin to eye your portfolio with curiosity.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Deborah Secor
06-20-2004, 12:46 AM
Good advice you've gotten from Kitty here, chewie. You might also go to the art marketing forum and do a search there on 'approaching a gallery'. There's a ton of discussion on that subject there! (Shortcut method: go up to blue bar at top of page, click on Content Area, go to discussion forums, then to art marketing... Maybe you knew that way but I just discovered it not long ago!)


06-20-2004, 09:37 PM
thanks much! i have over a month to even think of leaving the house for this adventure, so i will use the time wisely, and be prepared as much as i can.