Getting Your Work into a Gallery, Part 1

November 11, 2009

Sequin Girl doll pendant by Meredith Arnold

Sequin Girl doll pendant by Meredith Arnold

One of the things I hear most from gallerists is that they hate it when people send them CD’s of images and mailable portfolios unsolicited.  They don’t have time to look through all of the stuff they get especially when most of it isn’t what they’re looking for anyway.

Having curated shows for a gallery for a few years, I understand this competely.  I think one of the best learning experiences as an artist that I have had is curating those shows.  Pulling together exhibit after exhibit, even on a two month rotation is a lot of work all by itself, not to mention there is the hanging of the show, promotion of the show and then all the little details that go sideways: artists bring in their work not ready to hang, neglect to submit info for labels of the work for the gallery to use, artists don’t title the work on the back so you have an inventory sheet of titles and dimensions and a bunch of work that you have to figure out which one is which… See what I mean?  Who knew that curating a show included such a scavenger hunt?

End of story: the bigger headache you are, the less people/galleries are going to want to deal with you.  They have a business to run and are busy.  Don’t waste their time.

So if nobody looks at portfolios that show up out of the blue what do you do?  Remember the telephone pole idea in the previous couple of posts?  Stage your own show and send out announcements about it.  I know it sounds crazy but why not?  It works.  See tomorrow for more!


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