Making your way as an artist is always a challenging endeavour. One of the hardest parts of being an artist is usually getting your art discovered. It’s difficult to get exposure, especially with so many other artists working toward the same goal. There are lots of online platforms you can use to share your artwork or you can create your own website to gain exposure, but the best way to have people recognize and patronize your art is through an exhibition in a gallery. Getting your work noticed by a gallery is often challenging, so here are some tips on how to maximize your chances for getting your work into a gallery!

Honestly evaluate yourself

Before putting in all your time and effort to get noticed by a gallery, you need to take an honest evaluation of yourself and determine whether or not your work is gallery-level quality. While you may be passionate about art, it may be more of a hobby than a career for you. Ask people who will honestly tell you whether or not they believe your work is gallery-level. Submit images of your work to forums and get feedback from knowledgeable sources. If you have friends who are established artists or work in galleries, ask them for their input as well. Once you feel confident that your work is worthy to be displayed in a gallery, you can continue attempting to get an exhibition. Don’t be discouraged if you realize a gallery isn’t for you; it’s great that you enjoy art and you should continue pursuing this passion.

Research the gallery

Once you begin submitting work to galleries, it’s important to adequately research beforehand. Most galleries have specific types of art they take and guidelines for submissions, so pay attention to these details. Check the gallery’s upcoming schedule and the type of artists they’ve has previously featured. If they don’t have many events in the upcoming weeks, that’s the best time to pitch your work, because the gallery will be more likely to consider your work when they aren’t preoccupied with organizing various exhibits.

Make a great portfolio

As you begin to seriously consider submitting your work to a gallery, make sure your portfolio is the best it can be. Evaluate all of your work and feature your best pieces in your portfolio. Research portfolio requirements of each gallery you’re considering and tailor your portfolio to fit these requirements. You might have an incredible portfolio, but if it doesn’t meet a gallery’s guidelines, it may never be viewed.

Utilize references and connections

When researching a gallery, check whether or not you have any connections to artists or employees of that gallery. Even if you have friends at other galleries or who are established artists, referencing or asking them to vouch for you can go a long way when submitting your work to a gallery.

Practice your dialogue

If your portfolio peaks the interest of a gallery, they’ll contact you, so it’s important that you know what to say. Be polite and gracious and think about any questions you have for the gallery. Conduct yourself in a professional manner and be ready to answer questions about your art. No matter how great your art is, it’s important that you can carry a conversation and discuss business with a gallery. Always remember that getting your art shown in a gallery is ultimately a business deal and it’s important to remain professional.