How do you get art into a gallery?

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  1. #1
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    How do you get art into a gallery?

    My girlfriend is an aspiring artist. She mostly just draws with pens and pencils but does sculpture too and I reckon her stuff is good
    http://cybernos-ac.co.uk/art.html
    but don't know how to get people to see it.

    She doesn't know I'm asking so any advice or criticism would be greatly appreciated

    If it's hard to get peer recognition, then can anyone suggest what to do to encourage recognition? Do you do huge drawings? Drawings of something local? Any suggestions?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by barricades View Post
    She doesn't know I'm asking so any advice or criticism would be greatly appreciated
    No, since she doesn't know that you're asking, any advice or criticism would be entirely out of place. You may genuinely think that you're doing her a favor, but it's really bad form to ask for crits of somebody else's work without their permission.


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  5. #3
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    Ok, forget about the criticism if you want - although I know she wouldn't mind, please don't anyone else be put off airing their views - the main thrust of the question is for advice on how to get into art galleries.

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  6. #4
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    You know, is there any specific reason why she can't ask this? She's better on explaining her situation, and at least any help will go straight to her, instead of you telling her (which brings the possibility of misunderstandings and the question "where did you find this info")... unless you're going to show this thread to her. In which case she could have still asked by herself.
    And why doesn't she know you're asking? Does she even want outside help on this?

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    Do your homework and research galleries in your area, find out what they carry and how much to charge for the work you are going to offer. Build a strong list of awards and exhibition history from local and regional then national art shows to establish the strength of the work.

    Galleries are always looking for up and coming talent at shows, but that is not enough, they also want to know that the work is sellable and marketable, and that requires the artist to build a solid reputation for their work first.

    If you do find a gallery make sure you have a portfolio of ten to fifteen pieces all professionally matted or framed. If you don't know how to do that go into galleries that carry similar types of work to see how they are doing it.

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  9. #6
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    Jeez... you guys are hard work aren't you. The situation is that she wants to get her stuff seen but she doesn't want to have to deal with potential rejections so I've been tasked to find things out and move things forward. She knows I'm asking around although I haven't mentioned exactly which forums I've posted on yet, but I'll email her the links if that makes you feel better.

    I can't believe you think I've got anything but her best interests in mind. Did I mention she's my girlfriend? Also I know her situation [almost] as well as she does so I'm sure that she wants to get her stuff into galleries, she did once say that to me. Hopefully no 'misundertandings' crept into my synthesis of her objectives between her saying that and me posting on this forum.

    I'm just looking for helpful advice, are there any pleasant, helpful people posting on this forum?

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    Thanks for the useful advice dpaint. Much appreciated

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  11. #8
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    the easiest way is to enter open exhibitions. lots of galleries have them annually. there's usually a small fee.

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    Now this is going to sound unpleasant but I don't mean it to be. I am trying to be helpful. It just concerns me that she is afraid to deal with rejection. That's not good and if she's not ready to deal with it I don't think she's ready for showing yet. I mean after you move things forward she's the one who will have to deal with the gallery owners, potential buyers etc. Again, sorry to sound negative.

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  14. #10
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    Not unpleasant at all wooden mango. Fair comment.

    If it got to the point where she had to deal with gallery owners etc then she would no problem. I'm just trying to find out a plan of action to get started. A wee kick up the arse if you will.

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  15. #11
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    She has to want it. Not you wanting it, not you wanting it for her, not her wanting it for you, not her wanting you to do it for her. If she doesn't want it, it's not going to happen.


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  17. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by barricades View Post
    She knows I'm asking around although I haven't mentioned exactly which forums I've posted on yet
    Quote Originally Posted by barricades View Post
    She doesn't know I'm asking
    It pays to be clear from the start. The OP came off as you deciding on your own that your girlfriend's stuff should be in galleries against her will (or at least without consulting her), not her actually wanting to get her stuff in galleries and "tasking" you to find out possibilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by barricades View Post
    I can't believe you think I've got anything but her best interests in mind. Did I mention she's my girlfriend? Also I know her situation [almost] as well as she does so I'm sure that she wants to get her stuff into galleries, she did once say that to me.
    No, I don't believe that you have anything but the best in mind, but "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" and your best interests don't necessarily translate into being actually good for her or what she wants, even if she once said something (which could have been a year ago as far as we know) and even if she is your girlfriend.

    And
    If it got to the point where she had to deal with gallery owners etc then she would no problem
    what makes possible rejection from gallery owners a no big deal, but asking stuff in the internet is too much?

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  18. #13
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    Yeah - it isn't really a mystery - it just takes a lot of effort doing the footwork/research into the galleries. I can't really be any more helpful, dpaint explained it pretty thoroughly. The only advice I can offer is it isn't any fun if you're work isn't ready...it is all rejection a that point, but when you're work is ready it is the opposite and a great feeling.

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  19. #14
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    Thanks for the reply. Can you explain a little more about what you mean about the work being ready? Do you mean having reached the required standard?

    From the link I posted can you say whether you consider her work to be ready?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Yeah - it isn't really a mystery - it just takes a lot of effort doing the footwork/research into the galleries. I can't really be any more helpful, dpaint explained it pretty thoroughly. The only advice I can offer is it isn't any fun if you're work isn't ready...it is all rejection a that point, but when you're work is ready it is the opposite and a great feeling.


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  20. #15
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    Well...to be honest I don't think so - but stranger things have happened. Again it all depends on the type of gallery and the market it is in (area). I don't mean to be discouraging in any way, but it is a really difficult business and you have to be either really top notch with your work or have something really unique going on with it.

    Basically galleries can be divided up into two major "kingdoms" (to borrow from biology): representational (academic, traditional) or modern (abstract, expressionism, any other "ism"). Those two main kingdoms each have different levels from the most base "coffee shop" type arrangements on up to major New York spaces. Maybe there's some spaces I haven't though of but most art falls in there somewhere. Personally I don't think there's much point in fooling around with the lower end galleries/venues. It takes the same amount of work and effort and teh return is just not worth the effort.

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