It is every display artist’s dream to get their masterpiece work into an art gallery. It is, however, so unfortunate that most new artists find it hard to get art gallery doors that will open to them. It is so hard to break the thick glass ceiling to get into any serious art gallery.
If your artwork is impressive enough, art gallery owners and seasoned artists will eventually see you and invite you to display it in their galleries. However, some upcoming artists struggle too hard. They will knock from door to door with their portfolio. Kind of a hard sack situation according to William Hegman.
It is pretty much a dead-end in many cases.
That brings us to our million-dollar question, how do artists get their work into an art gallery? No matter how desperate you might be to get your work out there, there are more wise ways you can go about it.
Take your time to find out some of the ways you can break through into an art gallery as listed in this article.
Proven Ways You Can Get Your Work into an Art Gallery
We have broken down the critical steps that will help you get your finest art into an art gallery. Do this before you seek any representation!
1. Build Relationships with Galleries
Relationships are the key to success in anything. You need other people to help you reach your destiny. Besides that, most galleries will choose art to display from their relationships-base. Identify an art gallery you would like to display your art and try to build healthy relationships with them.
Follow them on all their social media handles, enroll on their mailing list, attend their art events… Do anything healthy you can think of to get close to them. Make them notice you as their number one fan without telling them loudly. Actions speak louder than words. Always leave an uplifting comment on their posts.
2. Find Out their Submission Policies
It is easy to be tempted to do the door-to-door marketing of yourself. But that trick doesn’t just cut it for many artists. Besides that, it might rap the gallery the wrong way about you as an artist. As a beginner artist, you cannot afford the luxury of misconceptions. You ought to be professional.
Most art galleries put everything on their websites and social media handles. Follow them and find out about their submission policies. If no information is given on the website, visit the gallery yourself- not to market yourself, but to find out how to submit your art. If you are a part of the gallery community, it becomes even easier. You will already know their guidelines and policies.
3. Show the Gallery What You Can Do for Them
The best way to always get a golden opportunity in anything is by showing your potential clients the value you will bring to them. Never ask what they can do for you. Galleries play very expensive gambles. This is by giving artists an exhibition. Make the best out of an exhibition when you are given a chance.
Being a giver and not the taker is the name of the game. Remember that you are not the only talented person in this world. No matter how brilliant your work is. There is probably a long line of well-deserving artists who would appreciate the chance.
4. Make Peace with The Gallery’s Commission
It is super expensive to run a gallery. It is even more troublesome and hard to deal with artists. Most galleries will ask you to pay much in commission; you might feel the pinch along the way. Don’t rush to judge or make decisions. Pay Caesar his dues. They help you to make a sale which you might have otherwise not made on your own.
5. Be Fluent and Confident About Your Work
When a gallery opens up its doors and is contemplating exhibiting your work, be fluent about the work. Be detailed about what story your art is telling and what inspired you. No matter how obvious you think your art is, it doesn’t speak for itself. We have different perspectives. Since you are the creator, it is your duty to enlighten other people about your good work.
6. Have a Personal Fans
In an age where getting an audience is keyboard away, it is not so hard to build on your fan base. Have accounts on all social media pages to promote and market yourself. You might be tempted to think that the gallery should do the heavy lifting. I put it to you that it is not. You are responsible for your work. All that the gallery can do for you is an exhibition.
Besides that, it gives the gallery some security knowing that you have an impressive fan base. This can work two ways. They provide a space you flood it with potential buyers. Most artists underrate social media, but it is one of the most efficient marketing tools.
7. Beware of Vanity Gallery
When you are a beginner desperate to get your work noticed, it is so hard not to jump on your toes when someone makes an offer. No matter how small and unattractive it sounds. You will call it ‘building your portfolio’ but deep inside, you know it is just a desperate move.
Scrutinize every offer that comes to you and take your sweet time to make any decision. Do your due diligence. Read reviews from other artists. Have a conversation with other artists and find out their experience with the gallery. Don’t fall prey to the vanity trap.
Be careful with the terms and conditions. You might end up completely signing over your hard work. Understand their guidelines and policies and check if it agrees with your work ethics. Find out if the gallery has submission and exhibition fees. If a gallery extends your exhibition contract for money, raise an eyebrow.