Approaching a Gallery: The Initial Email (an Example of What to Send)

At any point in an artist’s career, they many begin to seek out representation from a commercial gallery. This has several benefits for the artist, including more exposure, a better venue to show work (presumably), less self-marketing, and hopefully more sales (if that is what the artist is after).

As many galleries are quite established and receive numerous submissions constantly, it can be tricky for artists to get a good “foot in the door.” The best first step is to do your research and approach a gallery to see if they are actually accepting submissions. This is best done with a respectful, polite email (with a link to your portfolio cleverly inserted).

Example of a good initial email:

For the attention of the curator,*

I am a Vancouver artist seeking representation** locally. I am writing to inquire if you are currently accepting submission proposals. If so, could you please let me know which format or materials you prefer.

Your Name***

The key points in this email are: Continue reading

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How to Create a Press Release for your Art Exhibition

You have an art exhibition coming up. Great! Depending on the venue, the staff might take care of the press release for you. Excellent! But, if you find yourself in an exhibition with no promotional machine at work already, you need to make sure that your show gets the attention it deserves. Different from an invitation, a press release contains background information about the artist, the work, and the show. It is targeted to members of the press who may want to check out, write about, or even review your show. That having said, you can also send your press release to clients, gallerists, curators, or anyone you think might be interested in knowing more about your work.

What should the press release include?


Your press release should feature one image from your show. There are no rules for choosing an image, but it is usually good to choose a piece which is representative of the entire show either visually or thematically. The image on your press release should be large enough to view easily, don’t use a thumbnail image. It is all about the art after all, right?


The information for your press release should contain four main parts: Continue reading

How to Email your Artwork

The days of lugging a large portfolio full of prints around are waning. Through some meetings might still require a physical portfolio, much art world business including image presentation is initiated over email. The reasons are obvious: it’s non-cumbersome, convenient, and free. Artists email their artwork to introduce work to a prospective gallery, to send a price list and / or available works to a client, or even to show their work to a curator or writer. Though not many galleries would take on an artist without a studio visit, people do often purchase work through images online. In any of these instances and others, email is used to begin a dialogue. Therefore, it is important to send a clear, professional, and properly-sized email of your artwork.

Image format and image sizing

Whether you are emailing your artwork to a gallery or to a client, you should always keep the size of your images to a minimum. This is because emails with large-sized files attached can be blocked by servers, plus you don’t want your recipient to grow impatient waiting for images to load. In rare cases, if you send a high-resolution or print quality file of your artwork, someone could print it out themselves and essentially steal your art! Luckily, you can send small-sized files with little or no image quality loss by emailing images of your artwork in JPEG format. JPEGs are the art world’s standard for emailing images and can easily be compressed into small, manageable sizes.   Continue reading