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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Manifesting the Perfect Galleries

I'm big on writing things down in order to manifest my heart's desires. I'm sure that is one of the ways I found myself in four galleries in four cities my first full year as a full time professional artist. I have learned more than I can possibly share about the process of locating the perfect galleries and the best partnerships to ensure success for the gallery and me. I've made a few mistakes and am grateful for those. I am smacking myself a bit that I didn't apply all the things I know from past careers in management, sales, retail, business, entrepreneurship etc. before I accepted some invitations to show my work in galleries that were not a good match. Hey...I am still learning discernment, okay?!

There is much written for artists about how to select gallery representation. I say "select" because I do feel some artists (ahem, me) can be so eager to have representation they settle. That is not good for anyone. With so many ways to market ourselves it's possible for our art to be sold while searching for the perfect partnerships with the very best galleries. A bad partnership is far worse than no partnership.

So, I have gone through the process of listening to my heart (duh, I forgot for a moment!) and have made my own list of criteria for what I need from galleries with whom I entrust my heart. I look at it the same way I would if I were interviewing for a job. Not only do they need to want my paintings because they know they will make them money, I have to believe in them and their professionalism and integrity.

Maybe my own list of what I need from Gallery Representation will help other artists who are on the same journey. And, the list serves to remind me that it is great partnerships that are non negotiable for me. 

I see the galleries with the below qualities:

Partnership with artists is important to both parties
Agrees to have adequate number of paintings hanging (one or two paintings won't pay either of our rents and takes me off the market in surrounding areas)
Professional sales people on staff
OPEN retail hours of business
Co-op advertising possibilities
Participates in local marketing opportunities
Does local networking
Hosts Artist's receptions
Has Artist's shows
Website is updated regularly
Utilizes Social Media
Stays in contact with existing collector base about new work
Notifies artist when paintings are sold and provides feedback
Scheduled monthly pay schedule
Open to Artist participating in demos and receptions
Does marketing via email and snail mail 
Nurtures collectors by showing appreciation and inviting back to gallery
There are so many other things to share that have already been written about the Artist/Gallery relationship. I share this article for that purpose.
I am now tenaciously and actively focused on manifesting representation in all the places I know will sell my paintings with joy and gratitude and make us all successful!
I am fortunate to be in the  Dutch Art Gallery-Dallas who has been in business for 50 years! Obviously they know what they are doing and have set the bar VERY high!  See you there On November 7th for the 50th Anniversary show!

Thank you for stopping by and come on by my website often to see newest paintings. I am ever so grateful for your interest!

1 comment:

Sharon Markwardt said...

Well said, and I agree. Another suggestion I might add for the artist is to contact a few of the existing artists in a gallery to hear how their experience has been. The majority of galleries are honest and hard-working, but a few are nightmares. The other artists will help you decide if you should have confidence in the counsel of your heart, or pay attention to niggling doubts and run the other way!
I have no doubt that many rewarding and successful relationships lay in your future!