With many artists vying for the same few spots at galleries or exhibition spaces, the “competition” for exposure can be difficult and disheartening. Unpersonalized rejections, lack of feedback, or unresponsiveness from galleries can lead artists to take drastic measures to stand out from the crowd. Sometimes these attention-getting tactics are great, and sometimes they ruin your chances before you’ve even begun. Below are some ways to stand out from the crowd.
1. Visit the gallery regularly, be friendly with the staff, and chat about whatever exhibitions they are showing. When you drop off your portfolio in person, the staff will be much more likely to give it proper consideration since they are familiar with you.
2. Treat your correspondence like the gallery is doing you a favor by looking at your artwork. Imagine that you are applying for a job that doesn’t exist, and approach the situation accordingly. It usually works best to be courteous and appreciative, regardless of the result.
3. Choose appropriate galleries to submit to. Consider how the gallery would benefit from having you as an artist or from showing your work. If you can’t objectively find a good reason, you should consider other spaces. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
4. Stand by your work but don’t oversell it. If you have never had an exhibition, don’t hide the fact—many galleries are looking for unseen, new work. It’s best to represent yourself as honestly as possible; don’t bend the intent or the soul of your artwork just to fit in somewhere. If you stay true to your intentions, your integrity will be recognized and appreciated and your artwork will get a proper audience.
Want more information on submitting to galleries? Check out The Do’s and Don’t’s of Submitting Artwork to a Gallery