Last year I was on the hunt for a gallery to put up my artwork. It had been less than a year since I was out of college and I wanted to take that leap and find my niche. Finding a gallery is a tricky thing to do. It’s almost like finding a job, but not exactly. At the end of April, I will be leaving this gallery for new endeavors. Here’s what I learned while being a part of this gallery in the last year.
Find a gallery that can physically hold your artwork. Earlier in 2015, I found an open call to be a part of the White Pelican gallery in Illinois. On inquiring and visiting, I found out that the biggest issue I seem to face was that they did not have enough wall space to accommodate my large pieces of work. Which was one of the overarching reasons I chose MindWorks Gallery.
Location is key. I was so blinded by the dimensions of the wall space, that I had forgotten that MindWorks Gallery was situated at a mall, and visitors at a mall do not normally shop for three to four feet large art pieces.
Audience. Unlike landscape, portrait and realist painters, surreal art does not cater to the average person. As a surreal artist, considering that the gallery was located at the mall, the chances that this not-so-average person who sees value in the weird would be lingering at a family mall, was pretty slim. Figure out your audience before you approach a gallery and ask yourself if this will be worth your time and money.
Social Media. We live in a world where a website by itself does not describe much about a business or organization. Always check social media networks of these galleries to see how many they engage and how often they post. How often they post tells you that they might also be updating their website as often.
Price. Don’t always fall for the price of renting the gallery and the commission that will be taken. In fact, a certain amount of commission taken from a gallery will prompt a gallery to put some effort into advertising your work. So it’s not all that bad of a deal.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to approach a gallery. It may seem daunting and it might be hard to find the right gallery to represent your work, but it will always be an experience to something better.