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From Submission to Exhibition: How to Get Your Work in a Gallery

Stop right there! If you are wondering how to get your work in a gallery then watch my video on how to reach out to galleries and designers! Click here to watch the full event!

Getting your work displayed in a gallery can be a major milestone for any artist. However, it can be a daunting task to navigate exactly how to make this dream a reality. Today, I️ will share my tips on how to apply and get noticed by more galleries.

Research galleries and find the right fit for your work.

Before you can know how to get your work into a gallery, you must first know how to find a gallery. It's important to do your research and find the right fit for you. Look for galleries that exhibit work similar to yours in terms of style, medium, price point and subject matter. A great hack is by looking where other artists that you like show their work. Often artists will have a resume page on their site and this can be a great way to learn what galleries are out there.

Take note of the galleries that seem like a good fit and make a list of their submission guidelines and requirements. This will help you tailor your submission to each gallery and increase your chances of getting noticed.

Prepare a strong portfolio.

This is where artists tend to get confused. What exactly is a portfolio. Luckily, I️ am here to help! Watch my full video or check out my templates here.

A strong portfolio is a document, often a well-designed PDF, that includes your artist statement and bio, information about the work and photos of the type of work that you are interested in showing at that gallery. Before you hit send…check out my last few tips.

Follow submission guidelines carefully.

When submitting your work to a gallery, it's important to follow their submission guidelines carefully. These guidelines may include specific instructions on how to format your portfolio, what types of work they are looking for, and how to submit your materials. Make sure to read and understand these guidelines before submitting your work, as failure to do so could result in your submission being overlooked or rejected.

As a gallery owner, there is NOTHING more frustrating than an artist that doesn’t read the guidelines because it takes time out of my day to email them to correct their submission and often it makes me feel like they are not that interested. Think about it, this is like applying to a job, you want to follow the instructions or the company is going to not think of you as a great hire. Additionally, make sure to submit your materials by the deadline and in the format requested by the gallery. Following these guidelines shows that you are professional and respectful of the gallery's time and resources.

Stay organized, professional, and persistent.

Getting your work in a gallery can be a challenging process, but staying organized, professional, and persistent can increase your chances of success. Keep track of the galleries you have submitted to, their submission guidelines, and any feedback you receive. I️ love keeping all of this in one giant excel document. But if the word excel made your heart race, no worries, use whatever tool works best for you, just have a system and stick to it! This will ensure you never miss an opportunity.

Additionally, always present yourself and your work in a professional manner, whether it's through your portfolio, email communications, or in-person interactions. Finally, don't give up if you receive rejections or no responses. Keep submitting your work and seeking out new opportunities, and eventually, your persistence will pay off.

Know when to follow up.

After submitting your work to a gallery, it's important to know when and how to follow up. This is where your excel document will come in handy. Review when you last reached out. Did they give you a timeline (ex: “we will take new submissions in 6 months”) Use this information to your advantage. Write it down and follow up as requested.

Most galleries will have their own timeline for reviewing submissions, so be patient and wait until that time has passed before following up. When you do follow up, be polite and professional in your communication. You can send a brief email or make a phone call to inquire about the status of your submission. If you receive feedback or a rejection, take it as an opportunity to learn and improve your work for future submissions.

If you want help creating a portfolio or crafting an email to reach out to galleries then sign up for a 1:1 session with me!


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