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10 Ways To Not Upset Galleries When Submitting Work

As a gallerist, curator and artist I am honored to be a part of many aspects of the art world. This article is written to help artists understand and identify problem areas that upset galleries and take away from building professional relationships with them. I hope the 10 pieces of advice below are helpful in aiding you build stronger relationships with galleries so that you can advance your career.

  1. Do not (and I repeat) DO NOT half ass anything when it comes to your art career especially your artwork. Your artwork is your voice, your brain-child, your first impression to many and of course your heart and soul. Do it exceptionally well.
  2. If opportunities come knocking on your door, great! However, understand that does not mean take on a ton of exhibitions to build your resume and give them subpar art and super small pieces.
  3. Galleries invite you to exhibitions based on the work they have seen and your resume, you should be providing them artwork of the same caliber if not better. You should always be improving.
  4. If you are invited to a show as a painter, please do not send a drawing, sculpture, assemblage, etc without consulting the gallery about deviating from your typical art. Unexpected things like this throw us off and we have enough of that to begin with.
  5. Please ship your work with care. The amount of broken art I receive is unsettling and heartbreaking. If you do not care about your work please do not even send it. How are we supposed to want to support you and your work if you don’t? (Article Coming Soon About How to Ship Artwork Safely).
  6. Please make sure you frame and wire the back of your your work properly (Article Coming Soon On This Topic) or use the appropriate hanging equipment requested by said gallery. No gallery wants a dollar store frame or to have to wire your work for you.
  7. Try not to use glass if not necessary. We understand that some pieces require glass (Exp: UV Protective Glass) or that some frames like round and oval ones are harder to replace with something less breakable, however if you can – always ship with plexiglass. It is safer for you, the gallery and for shipping to collectors.
  8. Please for the love of the Saint Patron of the Arts, INSURE your artwork when shipping.
  9. Galleries hate “Packing Peanuts”, period. Unless there is a very special reason to ship with them and your have spoke with them about it, please don’t. Why do we not like them? They are messy. We have enough boxes and packing materials to contend with daily. Chasing packing peanuts down the street if a box tips over is not ideal…..
  10. READ the exhibition agreement and follow the directions. They are there to guide you. All galleries are different and have different requirements so please READ them.

Building relationships is very important in any field and so is honoring/respecting your work. It is my hope that you found this article was resourceful. If you have any additional things you would like to add or found this article helpful feel free to leave us a comment below. We appreciate all feedback.

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