WW Gallery: approaching galleries and finding opportunities

Debra Wilson & Chiara Williams, the directors of WW Gallery put together the tips below, essential to point you in the right direction if showing work and gallery representation are your goals.

  • Do not bombard galleries with unsolicited links and images about you and your work.
  • Check on gallery websites to see if they accept direct submissions from artists before sending your cv, j-pegs and links to your work. If it specifies they do take direct submissions, send them.
  • Many galleries have a dedicated page for exhibiting opportunities, look for these if you come across a gallery where you think your work would fit in.
  • Trying to network at art fairs is not going to impress gallerists, you will just annoy them, they are there to sell artists not meet them.
  • You will find plenty of open calls, residencies and competitions online and through organisations.
  • Organisations such as Artquest, Axis, a-nArts Council England and Re-title all provide and vet open calls etc. for artists so you can trust that what is posted is a genuine opportunity. Artquest also provides great legal advice.
  • If you apply for a competition, residency or an open call, do a bit of research into who the selectors are, who the organiser is etc, make sure you have a chance of fitting the bill.
  • Read the Terms & Conditions of open competitions and follow all the criteria to the letter. It may cost you being selected if you fail to follow instructions correctly.
  • Make sure your statements are informative and concise.
  • If you are asked to send images, make sure they contain your name, dimensions, medium and title of the work.
  • If an organisation offers to ‘represent’ you in exchange for money don’t do it. Galleries take commission on sales and do not charge artists to promote, find opportunities for, or exhibit them.
  • Take a long term approach and do not be discouraged no matter what. Perseverance gets you everywhere.

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