The Gallerist's Perspective
I love my career. I have had the privilege to experience so many facets of the art world and work behind the scenes of many amazing places, as well as met so many artists and art aficionados over the years.
When I was working in the Charleston gallery, I met artists almost every day. Most were coming in to admire and find inspiration. Many also bought. (Which is such a great compliment, by the way - artists buying other artists' work!) Quite often these conversation would turn into Q&A sessions.:
How do you select your artists?
What's the trick to getting into a gallery?
How do you know an artist is good enough?
Are you accepting submissions?
Will you look at my work?
All are great questions that I am happy to answer. However, that last question, when asked, can be the hardest one because of what proceeds...
Usually, the person is already pulling out their phone, scrolling through thousands of images of family, foodie pics, vacations and selfies to try and find examples of their work. Meantime, I'm standing their trying to be pleasant, patient and accommodating. It is for this reason I no longer will look at artwork on phones. As nice and quickly as possible, I decline and invite them to email me.
So, if you're an artist just starting out, here's a free tip:
Don't put a gallerist on the spot to look at your work on your smartphone.
Find out the submission process and follow their guidelines.
Remember, gallerists are there to sell the work of the artists in their gallery.
And besides... a little screen is not going to justice to show your art.
Despite the occasional awkward moment, I've always enjoyed having conversations about the gallery business and the process. Maybe it's my loquaciousness. More so, though, I just really like what I do, and by nature I like helping people. And, if I may be frank, I think it's important to give people the know-how of what NOT to do so they don't waste their own time or make a bad impression on the galleries they really want to work with.
I want to help artists cultivate their career and get a little insight from the Gallerist's Perspective. So... that's exactly what I'm going to do.
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