November 29, 2022

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Learn how to Get Your Images in an Artwork Gallery

Learn how to Get Your Images in an Artwork Gallery

Learn how to Get Your Images in an Artwork Gallery

Sooner or later of their profession, an artist will likely be approached by a gallery or will method galleries on the lookout for illustration or to have an exhibition. You’ve had some success at native artwork exhibits and festivals and have made some inroads promoting your images on-line, however now you wish to get your work on the market and begin on the lookout for galleries to point out your work or signify you.

It’s an enormous step for an artist to have their first solo exhibition at a public or non-public gallery so that you’ll have to ensure your work is prepared and also you’ll must do some homework earlier than making your submission.

Having an exhibition of your images at a gallery may be a wonderful stimulate your profession. The galleries have common patrons and they’ll promote your exhibition on their mailing checklist. In fact, it’s nice to have exhibitions at notable galleries in your CV.

Having a gallery signify your work will also be a big boon to an artist. Many artists wish to stay impartial and deal with their gross sales and advertising and marketing. In addition they don’t wish to share the gross sales income with a gallery. However that perspective can damage an artist’s improvement and a gallery can pinpoint these consumers which can be apt to flip artworks.

Desk of Contents

Do Your Analysis

Earlier than you begin making submissions to galleries you’ll have to do in depth analysis on that are the very best galleries so that you can undergo. You’ll wish to zero in on a couple of key factors that may determine the galleries which can be best for you and your images. First, be certain that the gallery is accepting submissions. Then examine these factors.

  • Does the gallery present or signify photographers?
  • Are the artists they signify at present on the similar level of their careers as you might be?
  • Do the photographers they signify promote work at an analogous value level to yours?

Excessive-end galleries will signify artists who’re effectively established of their careers. You is probably not prepared for that big-time gallery but, so that you’ll must search for one that may settle for work for individuals who are at an analogous place of their careers as you might be.

Make sure the gallery represents photographers. Most do, however some might not. Take a look on the work of the photographers they signify. Does it have an analogous really feel and vibe to your work? Is it the identical or like in fashion to yours?

If it’s potential, one other a part of your gallery analysis could be to go to the galleries that you simply want to present in or be represented by. A good time to go to is when they’re having an occasion or a vernissage for an artist. You’ll additionally see what the gallery is promoting its work for. If these costs are a lot greater than what you’re at present getting or snug with, you then may not wish to undergo that gallery.

The opposite main level you should cowl in your analysis is what fee the gallery takes after they promote your work. Most galleries take 50% of every sale. Not often do you discover one that may take a larger proportion than that. Most will take 40% and I’ve seen them as little as 25%.

Write a Question Letter to a Gallery

A lot of this analysis may be dealt with with a well-worded question e-mail. They’re comparatively easy to put in writing. The secret is to not be too wordy and never give an excessive amount of details about your self and your work. Be succinct and to the purpose.

In case you don’t have, or can’t discover, a contact individual on the gallery to ship it to, then a basic salutation within the topic line to the curator will suffice. Clearly state what you have an interest in and state whether or not it’s illustration or exhibition house in your present.

Don’t begin pitching your concepts and your work within the question e-mail. You’ll be similar to the annoying door-to-door salesman that randomly exhibits up. Additionally, don’t do a bulk e-mail submission. They’ll understand it’s a blanket e-mail and can most likely not reply.

Until you get permission after your preliminary question to e-mail your submission, or it says they are going to settle for e-mail submissions on their web site, don’t ship any photos of your work with the question. A hyperlink to your on-line portfolio will suffice.

In case you haven’t heard again from the gallery with reference to your question, then it is best to observe up. In case you get rejected, ask if they’ve any solutions on how one can enhance. It may be robust getting a gallery exhibit or illustration and it’s fraught with rejections, so don’t get discouraged and be taught to develop a thick pores and skin.

Sebastião Salgado’s photograph exhibition Genesis. Photograph by Jnzl’s Photographs and licensed below CC BY 2.0.

Choosing Work to Submit

Make certain your work is a cohesive physique of photos with a theme, idea, or sequence. For instance, I created a sequence of portraits shot on movie and printed in my darkroom on fiber-based paper of among the patrons of our local people middle and soup kitchen. On the time they have been struggling and I needed to attract consideration that they have been good individuals who wanted assist and their tales. I additionally created a sequence of photos from my outdated neighborhood the place I grew up. When you’ve got work that explores a typical thread like that, the gallery might take extra curiosity.

Now, these themes usually are not that distinctive so what you must do is discover a distinctive strategy to method the subject material that may make it stand out. You should definitely present your connection to the subject material so it’s palpable to the viewers viewing your work.

Take a tough take a look at your images and ask your self, do these photos seem like they have been created by the identical photographer? Make sure that they do. Every picture has to have a connection and customary thread between them that exhibits the fashion and imaginative and prescient that you simply use to create. A gallery gained’t be too if the pictures are a mix-up of portraits, landscapes, abstracts, and nonetheless lifes achieved in black and white and coloration.

Additionally, ask in case your work demonstrates a exceptional inventive perspective. Have you ever dealt with the subject material deftly as no different photographer has? It may be very troublesome to be that sincere with your self, however you wish to ensure you can move these markers earlier than making your submission.

Choosing the Gallery

When choosing a gallery, don’t observe the outdated axiom of “go massive or go dwelling.” Though your photos could also be implausible, you might be most likely not on the stage in your profession to submit them to the big nationwide gallery of no matter nation you occur to reside in. It’s a good suggestion to begin with the smaller native or regional public and industrial galleries.

Here’s a small refresher on the distinction between the 2 varieties of galleries. A public gallery is operated and managed on behalf of the general public. Whereas industrial or non-public galleries’ major purpose to exist is to promote artwork to personal collectors and most of the people. So remember that a industrial gallery will likely be taking a look at how saleable your work is.

Anders Petersen images exhibition at Liljevalchs public artwork gallery, Stockholm. Photograph by Avery Jensen and licensed below CC BY-SA 4.0.

Submission Tips

Each gallery could have submission pointers. Most make them obtainable on their web sites. Observe them precisely. Relying on the gallery, this will likely be a bodily portfolio, digital photos on a thumb drive, or a hyperlink to a web based portfolio delivered in an e-mail.

If the submission pointers usually are not included on their web site, you’ll be able to e-mail them and ask for the rules to be despatched to you.

Listed below are the important thing gadgets {that a} gallery will ask you to offer in a submission:

Artist Assertion

This can be a doc that talks about your artwork and why you create that artwork. This isn’t a spot to show that you simply used a Thesaurus to give you all these fantastic adjectives or your accomplishments. In it, you can be addressing the way you got here to the kind of images you create, why you created the pictures, and what have been you attempting to convey in them. Clarify your central theme and the method you used to realize it.

Your CV

That is your skilled resume. Right here is the place you lay out your training, solo and group exhibitions, particular commissions, any media and publications the place you have been written about, awards you’ve obtained, and naturally your title, tackle, telephone quantity, e-mail, and web site.


If you’re submitting digital photos, the gallery will inform you of their pointers what pixel dimensions they’ll need. You don’t need the picture information to be so giant they’ll be too cumbersome for his or her pc and in the event that they’re too small, then the standard will likely be very poor after they show them. A great start line could be 72 dpi and 2000 pixels on the longest dimension and in jpeg format.

The gallery’s directions will normally inform you what number of photos they need. In the event that they don’t, it is best to ship 10 – 20 photos. The gallery can even ask for the information to be named a sure manner. Of all of the galleries I’ve submitted to, that is the format I’ve they’ve requested for.

01_artistsname_title_2022 (or no matter 12 months the picture was created)

Attempt to quantity them so they’re in chronological order of while you created them.

Picture Checklist

Present a companion checklist of the pictures you might be sending. Use the identical numbering system and order that you’ve got them in your thumb drive, CD, or e-mail. Additionally, be certain that your contact data is on the sheet.

Artist Assertion

That is the place you’ll expound in your course of for creating your images. You may elaborate in your inspiration, why you created the pictures that you simply’re submitting, and possibly point out a singular course of you could have utilized in creating them. There isn’t any proper or incorrect artist assertion. One of the simplest ways to grasp what they’re and what must be in them is to learn the statements of different artists who’re photographers.

You could wish to take a look at the statements of artists who aren’t photographers. Every gives you a brand new perspective.

And yet another necessary level – your artist assertion must be round 500 phrases, give or take a couple of.

Exhibition Proposals

Some galleries will ask you for a proposal for the exhibition you want to present of their house. If it’s illustration you’re after, then a proposal isn’t mandatory.

The distinction between the artist assertion and the exhibition proposal is the assertion focuses on you, your practices, and your images. Whereas the proposal is your imaginative and prescient and plan in your proposed exhibition.

It is best to embrace the next in your proposal:

  • Inform them in regards to the idea and inspiration for the exhibition. Be temporary however thorough.
  • What number of artworks are included within the present?
  • The timeline you might be engaged on.
  • Any specifics of the set up (i.e. unusually giant measurement works, particular hanging wants for the work, the proposed format within the gallery, and so forth.).
  • When you’ve got a curator concerned or if it’s a gaggle present, a short biography in regards to the curator or different artists.

Issues To Contemplate

If all the above wasn’t sufficient to consider, listed here are a couple of extra issues to remember when preparing for an exhibition of your images.


Ask the gallery what sort of lighting your work will likely be displayed below. If it’s potential, it’s all the time a good suggestion to go to the gallery earlier than you start your submission and observe the kind of lighting they use. As photographers, you might be already very conscious of the varieties of synthetic lighting which can be obtainable and the colour temperatures they burn at. Tungsten gentle will forged a heat tone that you could be not need in your photos.
Window gentle can even have an effect on the pictures on show. A mixture of each could possibly be problematic.

Additionally, in case your work could be very shiny, you’ll want to study how the work is lit. Shiny supplies can usually have scorching spot reflections that may distract from the right viewing of the work. Shiny materials does make the {photograph} look extra vibrant and matte paper does lose some depth to the picture, however you don’t have to fret about odd reflections from the lighting.

Displaying Your Art work

How your artwork will likely be framed must be given cautious consideration. All the time spend money on high quality framing; most significantly ensure that each bit has the right hanging wire or system securely connected to the again. The very last thing you need is for one among your items to fall off the wall.

To supply a uniform show, photographers will usually body their work the identical manner. I like easy, slim black frames in both wooden or metallic. There are many other ways to show and hold your photos. Possibly you might be producing very giant prints which can be 5 toes tall and frames is probably not sensible however there are a number of methods you will get them prepared to hold like mounting on Gatorboard, masonite, and foam core.


Since your physique of labor could have a stream and connection between each bit, you’ll have to plan in what order they are going to hold and the course of that stream. You’re telling a narrative together with your photos so they might be chronological. If the colour you utilized in your photos is a crucial a part of the exhibit then the images may be organized the place the colours stream effectively with each other. They will also be grouped by material.

One of the simplest ways is to step outdoors your self and take a look at the work like somebody who has simply walked into the gallery. The place do your eyes go first and what carries you to the following picture and the following and so forth? You’ll additionally wish to ensure that there may be sufficient house left between the pictures to permit them to be seen on their very own or group them nearer for a unique impression.

Ultimate Touches


When you hold your work, you’ll have to label each bit. In my expertise, I’ve discovered the next label format on this instance works effectively.

If there are photos that you simply don’t wish to promote, then put NFS (Not For Sale) rather than the worth. Every gallery might have a unique manner they like the pictures labeled and can usually deal with that for you. But when there may be necessary data that you simply wish to embrace; that you simply suppose the viewer must know, you’ll be able to ask them about incorporating it.


Now you must let everybody know that you’re having an exhibition! That is the enjoyable half as a result of I’ve all the time loved promotional actions. Verify with the gallery and see what promotion they are going to be doing. I’m positive they’ll have your present on their web site and can embrace it in any of their e-newsletter mailings. Ask if they’re planning every other additional promotion or promoting. You don’t wish to crossover on what they’re planning.

I’ve discovered that in terms of publicity like interviews with the media, information tales, and so forth. the gallery will usually go away that within the arms of the artist. On this case, my suggestion is to create a press launch and ship it off to as many media contacts as you’ll be able to.

Writing a press launch takes a little bit of time and it has a particular fashion that it’s achieved in, so do your analysis on write one – in case you’re planning on doing it by yourself. When you’ve got the finances, it’s a good suggestion to rent somebody who’s skilled in writing them and have them do it. Writing your press launch may be troublesome as a result of lots of people have bother speaking about themselves within the third individual and likewise selling their work, so it’s a good suggestion to contemplate in case you can.

I hope this helps you get your subsequent exhibition and it turns into a terrific success. A last bit of recommendation – get somebody to learn over all of your materials and examine it for spelling and grammar. You don’t wish to make a nasty impression earlier than they even take a look at your images. Good luck!