Gallery representation is the end goal for most artists because an artist will have a partner in representing, marketing and selling your art, and an established business that is your partner. Most artists aspire to have an art gallery represent their work, but with the rise of the internet for showing and selling your art, and the increase in the sheer number of artists working today that increases your competition, it’s not the only option for an artist.
Galleries of all types exist in communities large and small. The key is to find the one that suits your style of art, your aesthetic, and the price range of your art. When you submit your art to a gallery for representation and get accepted for representation, it is expected that you will be comply with the role of providing art to the gallery. The gallery is looking for you to fit into their way of doing business and to uphold certain standards.
Gallery representation is for you if you:
• are an accomplished artist with an exhibition record
• have a consistent style and a current body of work (partial or complete) in an established direction
• can be professional and have your materials and documentation well organized
• can adhere to deadlines and can provide artwork on time and pick it up when requested (you may be responsible for shipping)
• are willing to give up a commission on sales
• are a good member of a partnership
• will show up for openings and will meet and greet the public
A gallery is Not for you if you:
• are reluctant to share in commissions
• don’t have an exhibition history
• don’t have consistent production
• have an inconsistent style to your art
• have trouble getting your work finished on deadline
• feel resentful that you are giving up a commission or when you are not included in shows
• aren’t clear about your responsibilities
• have difficulty communicating about business issues
• are not a team player
Working with a gallery can be a great solution for artists. Artists who have a consistent body of work and an established reputation will find that it is easier to get gallery representation. They will like that the gallery takes over a good deal of their marketing and handles most of their sales of their art.
Gwenda Joyce is the author of The Deal of Art: Selling Your Art with Heart and Determination. Click Here to pre-order the book.