With many artists vying for the same few spots at galleries or exhibition spaces, the “competition” for exposure can be difficult and disheartening. When you submit your artwork to a gallery, the response can be unpersonalized rejections, lack of feedback, or simply no response. This can lead artists to take drastic measures to stand out from the crowd. Some of these attention-getting tactics are great, but some ruin your chances before you’ve even begun. Below are some of the best ways to stand out from the crowd when submitting your artwork to a gallery.
Want to submit your artwork to a gallery? Become a regular there
Visit the gallery regularly, be friendly with the staff, and chat about whatever exhibitions they are showing. When you eventually send an initial email about submitting your artwork, the staff will be much more likely to give it proper consideration since they are familiar with you.
Be respectful of the gallery’s time
Treat your correspondence like the gallery is doing you a favour by looking at your artwork. That may sound harsh, but: imagine that you are applying for a job that doesn’t exist. Approach the situation accordingly. It usually works best to be courteous and appreciative, regardless of the result.
When you submit your artwork to a gallery, make sure it’s the right gallery
Thinking about which art gallery to submit your work to? Consider how each could 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. Also, read “Which Gallery Should I Submit To?” for more help on this topic.
Be confident, but polite
Stand by your work but don’t oversell it. If you’ve 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