A few weeks ago I came across a post written by gallery owner Edward Winkleman, of the Winkleman Gallery in New York.
In it, Edward replied to a letter he received from an artist which asked him how artists should go about approaching galleries, or how to find the gallery that is the right fit for your art. Edward’s reply was very interesting (as was the initial letter) and if you’ve got a moment, I encourage you to go read the original post.
Don’t worry, I’ll wait. : )
His answer impressed me for a few different reasons. First, at the thought of how much artwork a gallery owner must see every week, and the fact that so much of it might be a complete waste of time, not being applicable to what the gallery shows.
In a places like New York or other big cities, I can understand how it would easily add up, and really take away from a gallery owner’s schedule.
Second, Edward makes a great point that artists should understand their art and its place in the world. I’ve spoken before on how important it is to plan and create art with a purpose, and this is a natural extension of that idea.
Being aware of what your art means (or where it fits stylistically) will help tremendously in being accepted into a gallery. Being able to converse reasonably well with others will help even more.
And depending on where you live, your local galleries may have very specific ideas for the type of artwork they show. For bigger cities this is especially true. Luckily for big city artists, there’s also more galleries around, which means more chances that one of them at least will want to show your work.
The important thing that Edward was trying to stress though, is that the artist should take control of the situation. Let’s face it, most of us won’t have instant fame handed to us after completing our first series of paintings. And yet for some reason that’s what many artists expect.
But really, it’s just up to you to make things happen, whether through the galleries, online, or elsewhere. And there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to sell your art, so don’t get frustrated if one avenue doesn’t pan out. There’s always another way.
Check out the rest of Edward Winkleman’s blog (FYI, it gets political occasionally), and if you haven’t already, be sure to read the comments for the original post I pointed out—there’s some good stuff there too.
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