Why Should A Gallery Show Your Work?
How to Answer this Important Question
Of course your work is stellar and that’s obvious when people see it. You get compliments all the time and you’re in love with it!
You decide to it’s time to start exhibiting this body of work which will be great because it’ll add a line to your resume and be an opportunity to sell some of it! That’s an exciting thought!
So you start to look for galleries where you’d like to show your work. You’re finding some that are maybes and some that feel like a perfect fit. As in an amazing fit. You intuitively feel like your work would look amazing in this space. ...Exciting stuff!
So you start to gather your submission materials and somewhere along the way you might start worry about what to say in the email or cover letter. You know you can make a big impact by saying the right things but you start to feel stumped for words and like all of the monarch butterflies have migrated into your stomach! Ack!
If you’ve ever felt yourself heading into that mini-panic place (OMG, WHAT DO I SAY??) I’ve got the perfect thing to help you out here so keep reading.
If you don’t *specifically* know why a gallery should show your work, it’s going to be tough to regularly exhibit and show your work. When you have those *specific* reasons that a space should show your work, it demonstrates to them that you understand they need a few tools to help them enter your work, especially if it’s new to them.
While they may like your work, giving them the reasons why they should show your work helps them to know if its a fit for their business and their audience. You may be making connections that they wouldn’t have come up with on their own.
By explaining why their space would be a great place to exhibit your work, you’re helping them make their decision faster which makes their job so much easier. They’ll feel like you’ve done them a solid.
And, you’ll increase your odds of getting shown, by a lot.
So think of a specific gallery where you’d love your work to be shown and answer questions like these:
Does your work “fit” within the conceptual framework of the exhibitions or artists shown at this space?
Are your price points in alignment with the work they currently show?
Are you making new and fresh work regularly?
To help you get figure out your connections faster, download this free, short Why Should A Gallery Show Your Work? worksheet that has additional questions that will help you get shown faster.
What To Do With These Answers
Now that you have answers to these questions, tailor your submission with this information. Here are a few ways to do it:
Add these answers as bullet points to your submission cover letter.
Weave these reasons throughout your proposal, introductory note or cover letter.
Incorporate these ideas into your bio or artist statement.
Share these points if you have a live conversation or studio visit with the curator or gallerist.
Even if it’s amazing work, a gallery (or any kind of exhibition space) needs to easily understand why your work would be a fit for their space. If a gallery is going to have your work installed for a month or more, how does it benefit them?
I encourage you to dig in and come up with a few reasons. Your cover letter and submission materials will stand out from the crowd because they’re tailored to that specific gallery. And, it might just help you get that show!
Take a look at the free worksheet and let me know in the comments what one reason is for that gallery to show your work.
Here’s to your making amazing work! Keep at it!!