Different artists have different ideas about what constitutes being successful. If you are an artist, your focus may be on selling your work quickly and making as much money as possible, or you may be more concerned with having an art gallery or museum display your work at some point. In art, as in life in general, prioritizing is important, and most of us learn to do that one way or another.
It’s certainly a tempting proposition if an art gallery contacts you and wants to show your work, and that’s exactly how many artists start working with a gallery. However, it often happens that the art gallery and the artist have a different idea of what it means to be successful and what their long term goals are. If you choose to work with a gallery, it’s important that you understand exactly what your goals are and what theirs are.
If you decide to work with a gallery, it’s important that you are working towards being successful based on how you see success and asking yourself these questions can clarify things.
1) Location Of the Gallery
Exhibiting your work in a gallery in your home town may make sense if your goal is to get some exposure in your local area. However, you can potentially get exposure in your home town and outside it if you exhibit in an art gallery outside your immediate area, giving you the best of both worlds. And you may want to choose a gallery that’s located close to shops and other businesses to increase the amount of walk-in traffic.
2) How Long Has the Gallery Been In Business?
A gallery that has been around for at least a decade probably – but not always – has a strong client base of potential contacts who enjoy collecting art and don’t mind spending money on it. You can potentially enjoy some great sales if you exhibit in a gallery that has an established list of customers, although it can depend on how the gallery has grown their business over the years.
3) Consider the Quality of Presentation
Take a look at the gallery’s website which can often tell you a lot about the actual gallery, including how they do business, how up to date they are, and their overall image. You can also get a good idea of what their emails are like if you sign up for one of their mailing lists. If selling your work is important to you, you may want to work with a gallery that regularly sends out exhibition reminders and generally tries to promote their artists’ work. It can help if you try to see things for a potential buyer when looking at a gallery’s image, including their website and any email campaigns.
Think of it this way – you are allowing the art gallery your choice to represent you and be a spokesman for your best paintings in Vancouver BC. For that reason, it’s essential that you work with a gallery that takes that responsibility seriously and is able to represent you properly, and promotes and market your work. It’s worthwhile to spend a little time in the gallery to get a better idea of how it operates, what the clientele is like and how professional and knowledgeable the staff is. Look for a team who seem passionate about art as well as knowledgeable, who are polite and friendly when dealing with customers and who make a point of greeting everyone who enters the art gallery. Remember – the staff can make you look bad or good.