How to Approach an Art Gallery for Representation – Cedar Lee
Cedar Lee shares her tips for artists, based on her own experience, on the best way to go about seeking representation from an art gallery.
Cedar Lee has always been an artist. At age 9, she wrote an essay outlining her plans to grow up, develop her art skills, and sell her paintings for a living. The oldest of five children, Cedar comes from a fun-loving family.
Here she shares her knowledge and tips for all you budding artists out there, that want to take the next step.
If you want to find the right representation for you follow these easy guidelines that will help you.
First off find a gallery that suits your work. Visit the gallery or gallery and look at the other work that is being shown. Does it fit with your work? Take a note of the prices and also could you see your work in there.
There are different types of galleries, so be careful when choosing
Standard consigment galleries take bewtween 20 – 80% commission, so be sure to factor this in when doing your price work.
Some galleries are run by artists and the cost of running them is shared between them. So this is an option also.
Avoid galleries that charge large fees and promise you that they will sell your work. If you also receive emails saying that they promise to sell your work, be wary. Only do business with people you have contacted or have come on a high recommendation from other artists.
When discussing your work with a gallery that you like and would like them to show your work, think about beforehand what you will say. Think about telling the gallery that you have visited their gallery, and looked on line at their work. Show you have researched well and compliment them on their good reputation. It shows you simply haven’t just walked in off the street. If you want to email also by all means but perhaps limit to only 3 pieces of your work. You could also create some cards with your details on it and a picture of your work on it. It looks professional and also shows that you are serious about finding a representative.
If you have never approached a gallery before, seek advice from friends and perhaps small art groups, that can help you. You could also put together a small presentation and practice this in front of friends and family. This way you wont get tongue tied and will feel less anxious when doing it for real. Stick to the facts and main areas though, no rambling. These people are extra busy, so short and to the point gets the best results.
After you have done your talk, emailed or sent in a brochure, contact them again in a few weeks. if you haven’t heard anything. Don’t pester them for a response, if they are interested they will get back to you. Don’t take it personally if they don’t, move on to the next and keep going. If you have say three that have said no, there is no harm in asking for feedback. It could be just a simple thing about the way you presented yourself or something that you missed out. constructive feedback is good and take this on board, it will help you in the long run.
Last of all be professional and polite.
Good luck and keep trying, you will get there in the end.