Whether you’ve been creating art all your life, for a few years, or even a few months – you might have always had dreams about having your art perceived by hundreds of visitors.
Having your work hanging up proudly on a gallery wall is a surefire way to get to that point. But how do you even get your art into a gallery in the first place?
Sometimes, just saying our dreams out loud makes them sound a bit silly, or like we’re living with our heads in the clouds.
But hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll see that’s not the case, and you could soon see your artwork being admired by many!
Before you potentially waste time approaching a number of art galleries, make sure your work is up to scratch!
It can be a heartbreaking process applying to get your work accepted by an art gallery only to find out you didn’t get in – so you might as well do yourself a favor and make sure you’re proud of your own work.
As well as having the peace of mind that your work is the best you can do, it’s also important to be realistic in terms of the galleries you approach.
If you’ve got to this point in your art career, you need to know that each art gallery caters to a specific audience.
Take a look at your own work, and the work of the gallery you’re interested in, and compare and contrast whether your art could fit in.
For any gallery, picking and choosing which artists they feature if a business decision. In other words, while it might be a dream for you, it’s also a money-making decision for the business.
Just like any other business venture, there are several ways to get involved. Here are just a few.
Especially ones that are actively looking for new artists.
However, if you’re just starting out, it’s probably a good idea to go to any kind of art gallery event, whether or not they are looking for new artists.
You’ll get to show who you are and show off your work, which is the ultimate personal aim of having it hanging on a gallery wall, anyway.
This is a great way to build connections with a gallery that specifically means something to you, whether that’s on a personal or professional level.
If you build up a strong enough rapport, you could benefit from being the first to hear about when they’re looking for new artists.
They’ll already know who you are – so you should be a stronger candidate than most, especially if all the other elements are in place (more on that later).
Look into getting your own event space in your area. You never know who could show up – it might just be a commissioner from your favorite gallery.
If you don’t have the resources to do this in person, you can do it online. Making sure your professional artwork is viewable is often the first step to getting it noticed in person.
Did we mention you should research?
A great way to narrow down your applications to galleries is to make sure in advance that your work is a great fit for the clientele.
This will benefit you not just in terms of knowing which exhibitions you should apply to in the first place, but also when it comes to pitching, which we’ll discuss later.
This answer really depends on the method the artist used to get into a gallery.
If you take our previous example of an artist becoming a patron in the hopes of one day being commissioned by the gallery, that could be considered a payment to the gallery by the artist.
While every venue is different, galleries do pay artists in commission.
That means that while no money is paid upfront, if your work is chosen by a gallery, that gallery believes your work will sell.
There are a few galleries that exist that charge their artists to exhibit work.
These exhibitions have less of an incentive to sell the art that’s hanging up since they have already been paid by the artist.
There’s a range of answers here – so it really depends on the situation, the artist, and the gallery in question!
So, you’ve completed all the tips we’ve given, and your research has led to a dream exhibition that your work is just perfect for.
That’s just the beginning! Next, we’re going to focus on how to pitch your art to get into that dream exhibition.
Pitching, like the transaction between gallery and artist, is all about business.
You can be emotive in your pitch – that’s the point of art, after all – but at the end of the day, keep in mind it’s a business decision.
Here’s some advice on how to pitch your art to an exhibition:
You’ve probably already done this if you know your piece is a good fit. Use the info to your advantage!
While you’ve put the work and research in, you’ll want to keep your pitch brief. Don’t waffle on!
You need to know the purpose of your art inside out!
Have an inviting and friendly body language, but keep it professional. You’re an artist!
Rehearse your pitch by speaking out loud and reading it over and over.
This just shows how engaged you really are with your art.
In short, that’s just some advice on how to get your work into a gallery.
From tips on attending art events and pitching your work, hopefully, this information will help you reach your dream!
If we can't teach you, no one can!