“Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” — Barbara Kingsolver (1955, American novelist)
Are you an artist looking for gallery representation? We listed the 3 most important things to consider.
1. Putting together your resume
When looking for any gallery representation, putting together your resume is first. A gallery or curator should be able to determine that you are an artist who takes their work seriously and has had some experience within the art world. For instance gallery representations, exhibits, publications, interviews, etc.
List your contact details, including your social media handles, your own website and potentially an online art platform you have your works listed with.
List your achievements and experiences in descending order (last comes first). Mention anything you’ve done related to art, such as:
- Group, solo exhibitions and/or installations you have taken part in
- Prizes and awards you’ve received
- Memberships of professional organizations
- Commissioned works
- Institutions that hold collections of your work
Your resume needs to be functional and concise. Look at it as your extended business card with a focus on your achievements. This also means it is important to check your spelling and interpunction! You want the gallery to be able to copy and paste all or parts of your resume for their use. This also means you should prepare it in a proper format, like a non-protected .pdf, .doc, or .docx document.
2. Writing your artist statement
Your artist statement talks about your interests and influences. It distills your career and artistic path into a short, cohesive narrative about how you see and approach your work.
You will need both a short (50-100 words) and long (approx. 500 words) artist statement. Write a long statement first. Afterwards, you can edit it, leaving only the essential items to create your short statement. Don’t try to wow a gallery by using “big” words. Instead use simple and down-to-earth language. Make your sentences not too long and keep it real!
When writing your statement, think about the following:
- What inspires you to create your art
- Which techniques or approach do you use that makes your work unique
- Do you prefer a certain medium? Why?
- Do you have a preference for a certain size of artwork? Why?
3. Selecting your artworks
When selecting your works to submit to the gallery, choose around 10-12 recent works (produced within the last three years), which provide a good overview of your abilities and style. Consider submitting works in a variety of sizes if you have them. You don’t know the specific market the gallery caters to, or what they are looking for when selecting a new artist.
When your submission is online, make sure to send high-resolution images, which mention the title, size, medium, and price indication in the caption.
If you want a gallery to judge your work based on a photograph, that image should reflect all your work’s qualities, including texture, brush strokes etc.
We’d love to hear from you!
We would love to hear your experiences with approaching galleries for representation. What worked, what did not? Feel free to send us an email with your challenges and successes.
Do you think your work would complement our collection? Read up on becoming one of our artists on our For Artists page. A link to submit your work is included on the page.