Is it your dream to see your art on the glorious wall of a fantastic art gallery in the center of a major art hub like LA or New York? Well, you are not alone. For most artists, this achievement is the milestone marker of success in their career. Having representation by a respected art gallery can definitively bring credibility to your career. Here are three simple steps to get into an art gallery:
Step 1: Make a list of galleries to contact. Start with all of the cities you would like to have your work in. Then search online for art galleries in these cities. A good database to find galleries by city is www.art-collecting.com. When choosing galleries to put on your list, choose ones that do NOT charge a fee upfront to represent you. They must have good lighting, not too much clutter, sell work at your price level, and represent work that compliments your work. The gallery should be located in districts known for art galleries or tourist areas. Create a list of at least 100 galleries.
Step 2: Contact the galleries on your list. Create a beautiful email with a short intro explaining that you are seeking representation in the city where the gallery is located. State that you have researched their gallery and feel like you would be a great fit. Add at least three images inline in your email and not as attachments, with contact info including your website, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Let them know you will be following up with them shortly. Stay organized by keeping a spreadsheet with any info or correspondence you have collected on the gallery.
Step 3: Follow up. Re-contact each gallery you have not heard back from within 2 weeks, resending your 3 images and letting them know you look forward to their feedback. Follow up with any gallery you have heard back from answering their questions and make time for a phone call.
Do NOT try to walk-in a gallery without an appointment and tell them they should represent you. Do NOT call and harass a gallery. Instead look at their submission guidelines and follow them. Do NOT choose a gallery that wants you to pay them money upfront. A gallery should earn their living from the sale of artwork and NOT artist fees.
Although most artists dream of belonging to a beautiful art gallery, we encourage you to think bigger. There is no better time to be an artist than right now. The most successful artists are self representing and diversifying into print-on-demand product development and developing their own relationships with collectors and controlling their own brand. They create their own online art gallery with their social media and website.
Artists are the influencers of our age. We shift culture and change the world with their art.
Founder/Owner of Milan Art Institute