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Old 01-02-2018, 06:23 PM
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CapturingStarlight CapturingStarlight is offline
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Getting work into a Gallery

How does one go about getting into galleries? I've been watching for Calls for Artists and applied for a few galleries (with a bit of success!). I'd also seen several that want a small fee for the entries ($15 to $45). And while I'd like to apply for those, a bunch of small fees adds up very quickly. I'm thinking I shouldn't march into a gallery with my portfolio and ask to see the curator either.

So what path should I take?
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:34 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is offline
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Re: Getting work into a Gallery

There are "exhibitions", which are exhibits sponsored by all sorts of arts oriented organizations, and then there are "galleries" which are retail points of sale for paintings of various kinds and styles.

Both are good for getting your work out before the public, for sales and for building your painting reputation.

Most exhibitions have entry fees per painting. That's the way it is.

Galleries on the other hand, take their commission when a painting is sold. I'd be very suspicious of a gallery that charged a fee to accept your work.

This is why legitimate galleries are very particular about the kinds and styles of paintings they accept--they have to make sales to stay in business and they know what their individual reputation is in the art world. If your work fits into their business model they may be interested. If not, walk down the street!

When it comes to galleries, there's one--somewhere--for every painter, but not every gallery is for every painter. Find the ones for you!

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Old 01-02-2018, 06:48 PM
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CapturingStarlight CapturingStarlight is offline
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Re: Getting work into a Gallery

Thanks Virgil! Great breakdown, I appreciate it.

For galleries, how do you approach a gallery where you think your art would be well received? Cold calls/emails? Wait until they advertise? Something else?
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:33 PM
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cjorgensen cjorgensen is offline
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Re: Getting work into a Gallery

I was in a gallery for a little while. I thought, "If I was just in a gallery, THEN my work would sell". But it didn't. They gave me ONE space for ONE painting, and I swapped it out once a month with a different painting. They didn't sell. I had to be honest with myself that even though I was in a gallery, my work was not ready to sell. So I left gallery and started focusing more on competitions. I am working on getting BETTER.
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:51 PM
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roxyart roxyart is offline
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Re: Getting work into a Gallery

I've been wondering about this, too! Several years ago, you sent your work in slides in an artist package, then it was on a CD. Now, in this very techie world, what do you do? A flash drive? Or do you send a link to your online site/portfolio instead.

I've asked by email, a couple of galleries, what their submission policies are, only to get no answer. There was one gallery website that requested online applications in their contact information.

I've finally gotten over the fear of rejection (yay) and I realize that some people love my work, others not so much. I'm not taking rejection overly seriously at this point.
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:10 AM
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Re: Getting work into a Gallery

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapturingStarlight
I'm thinking I shouldn't march into a gallery with my portfolio and ask to see the curator either.


That's exactly what I did, and I got in within a month. I left the portfolio there. They had a meeting, and I was called with the "good news." You have nothing to lose. Hang out at the galleries. Have a small picture collection of your work on hand at all time so you can actually show your work. Go to the openings (often Friday night art stroll in some places.) meet the galleries other artists. See how you fit in. Choose a gallery that does your kind of work... They cover all kinds of demographics like any other store. Sometimes the gallery looks for similar art in one category, and sometimes the gallery wants an eclectic mix.

You do have to be a bit proactive.

I don't know where you are. but another way to get in is to group up with some like-minded artists and open your own place if you can get a cheap space. (This is why old distressed areas of cities get turned into artist's havens). Make fliers, have a gathering of other art lovers. Send invites to the people who run the galleries (etc.)
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Old 01-26-2018, 01:43 PM
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Re: Getting work into a Gallery

You need to research galleries that are a fit for you as an artist and your art as a brand. Galleries need to sell work that earns them a profit and retains their gallery image. Most galleries that have "call for artists" with a fee are looking to gain some cash from fees. Do your homework. Find the galleries and then follow their submission guidelines. There should be no fees involved for the submission but be prepared for 50% commission fee if they accept and sell your work.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:46 AM
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Re: Getting work into a Gallery

By the way, a lot of galleries are actually businesses set up by some artist/photographer, to sell only that person's work. There are also galleries set up by a group of 4-5 artists where they sell only those people's work.
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