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Query Regarding Exhibiting Art-works

Posted by: Pratyasha Nithin on 06/12/2013 - 11:23 PM

I am thinking of approaching some galleries to exhibit my art-works sometime in next year.

1. I would like to know whether I need to create paintings exclusively for the exhibition or can I use the paintings I have uploaded in web-sites? I mean to say, can I exhibit the same works in the gallery that I have put up here in FAA?

2. What preparations should I make before approaching a gallery owner?

3. How many paintings should I have for exhibition?

4. Does gallery helps one in framing the art-works?


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Chaline Ouellet on 06/12/2013 - 11:35 PM

Hello Pratyasha,

Most galleries won't object to you having work on line. So yes you could show those paintings but there may be restrictions on you selling prints of those exhibited in a gallery.
Before approaching any gallery, research it well, know what they show and for how long. Be familiar with who they have been showing in the last year or so, the style and theme of work (landscapes, portraits, etc.)
Contact the gallery first in writing, most have websites and they may have a section on submissions as well as how and when to contact them. Learn as much as you can before contacting them.
Prepare a succinct artist statement and artist bio. Compile your best works most suitable for the gallery you wish to approach. Get professional photos taken of your work and have an available site for them to review online unless they accept hard copies or files on disk.
Most galleries do not frame so if frames are required that would be your responsibility.

Hope that helps a little!


Posted by: Pratyasha Nithin on 06/12/2013 - 11:39 PM

Thank you Chaline. Can you tell more about preparing artist statement and bio? What is the difference between the two? Would having a blog with all my works do? Or should I have a website?


Posted by: Chaline Ouellet on 06/13/2013 - 1:23 AM

If you can set up a website that is great, but a good blog would work as well. You can set up a pretty professional looking one on word press they have a tutorial for creating an artist blog that is very helpful.. It is just a tool to send them to in order to view your pieces.
An artist bio is basically your 'credits' education background, the time (years) you have been working as an artist, shows, awards, honorable mentions, group shows or exhibits you have participated in, that sort of thing.
The artist statement is where you describe yourself in relation to art, what motivates you to make the art you do, what your influences and inspirations are, what your medium of choice is and what it is you hope to convey or express through your work. .. those are just some areas that you may want to touch on.

Think of it in this way if it helps: Artist Bio= very much like a resume or C/V and artist statement, more say like a cover letter where you get to go into a little more personal detail.

Again.. hope this is helpful!


Posted by: Pratyasha Nithin on 06/13/2013 - 1:44 AM

Thank you. It was indeed very helpful. :)


Posted by: Chaline Ouellet on 06/13/2013 - 2:55 AM

You're welcome!


Posted by: Betsy Jones on 06/13/2013 - 10:32 AM

You need a cohesive collection of artwork, and should have a portfolio of at least 10, no more than 25 great pieces of art.
In that portfolio, you should also have a 1 page artist biography about you and your process and message. Then you'll need an artist statement, a few sentences about your body of work.
And of course, a contact sheet of how the gallery can contact you and find you online.

Once you have that together, call or email to set up appointments to visit with curators and/or gallery owners.

I recommend researching the galleries to see if your work would be a good fit - it should be similar to other work they exhibit, but also different enough to get noticed.

As for actual exhibits, solo exhibits should have around 15-30 pieces (depending on the size and needs of the gallery), and group exhibits you'll probably have 3-5 pieces (depending on size and needs of gallery, and number of other artists involved, and size of your work).

Most galleries do not help with cost of framing of the work, though many galleries these days are also frame shops, and I'm sure would be happy to frame your work - at a price. That's something you'd have to ask during your gallery visits.

And always remember - be yourself, and stay true to you and your art. Always read the fine print, always get everything in writing. Don't get swindled by fees on top of fees on top of commissions. And lastly, enjoy the process - it's hard work, but is a really great experience to exhibit your art!!!!! :)


Posted by: Pratyasha Nithin on 06/13/2013 - 12:41 PM

Thank you Betsy :)


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 06/13/2013 - 12:57 PM

If you were or are near as old as I and you have awards and credits from way back - unless they were major awards - don't put anything in over about 10 years back. Most are looking at your activity lately - not pulling stuff out from under the bed - you have to slip that stuff in.


Posted by: Pratyasha Nithin on 06/13/2013 - 1:28 PM

Thank you Roy. I will keep that in mind. Even though as of now, I had started painting only in 2010, that is 3 years ago. So, everything I have is kind of new. :)


Posted by: Raffi Jacobian on 06/13/2013 - 1:45 PM

I have the greatest distrust for galleries as a whole! Have a written contract specifying prices and what you would receive in case of a sale. A few galleries are reputable and won't mind your requests for a contract. I no longer deal with galleries. I represent myself and so far have sold more than they could or would. It won't matter one bit how old your work is or what it represents so long as the work is good.

Galleries know nothing about framing so have a professional do it or do it yourself based on your own preferences. Most galleries take half of the sale, some even take 60% or more. In my experience which is considerable, galleries are the wrong way to go. They look for well publicized names, perhaps celebrities. The only exception would be if the gallery owner is a friend or relative who takes a personal interest. Otherwise, be on the alert if you deal with them! They only care about quick sales they can make at your expense.


Posted by: Alfred Ng on 06/13/2013 - 1:48 PM

Pratyasha, I admire your self-confidence! I wish I had that after I graduate from art college.


Posted by: Pratyasha Nithin on 06/13/2013 - 1:51 PM

Raffi, How do you sell your original paintings (I mean apart from online websites), if you do not exhibit in galleries?

Alfred, Thank you :)


Posted by: Betsy Jones on 06/13/2013 - 3:17 PM

I don't ever do business with a gallery that takes more than a 35% commission. Usually nothing more than 30% - if they try to take half of what you charge for it, then imo just keep it moving. Don't waste your time - those are the galleries that do not take care of their artists. 60% commission is absolutely ridiculous! I'd run for the hills with one of those! LOL


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 06/13/2013 - 3:33 PM

You might try a co-op gallery, one with other local artists - that's work and everyone has to do their share.

I was referring to your bio/artist statement (which I despise but is necessary) when I said to leave out any awards that were more than 10 years old. It's ok once you get accepted to bring in older work - but for now - show your newest work - so that the gallery rep knows what you are doing now - then you can bring out any work - even from childhood - if it's still good.


Posted by: Alfred Ng on 06/13/2013 - 3:35 PM

Betsy, most of the big cities galleries take 50% and the very well known ones take 60%. I wish I can just give them 35%!


This discussion is closed.