Getting your art into galleries

by | Artwork, Fine Art


If you’re an artist looking to get your work into galleries, chances are good that you’ve already tried to enter competitions, submit portfolios to galleries and dealers, and even make a few cold calls. While there’s no harm in doing these things (and they may in fact be helpful), there are other steps you can take that will improve your chances of getting noticed by the right people at the right time. In this post I’ll give some tips on how to navigate the process of becoming better connected within the art world so that more galleries will want your work on their walls!

Be willing to give up a lot of control over your work.

One of the most important things to remember is that you are not in control of how your work is presented. Galleries will do what they want with it, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

If you’re lucky enough to be accepted into a gallery, don’t worry about how much control they have over pricing or marketing; just focus on making sure that the images look good and are well-composed (and if they aren’t already perfect).

Keep in mind that most galleries aren’t interested in selling the art they exhibit.

Galleries are not businesses, they’re institutions. They exist to promote art and artists in their communities. Many galleries also have a non-profit mission: they might be owned by an artist or group of artists who want to share their work with the public; they may be focused on supporting emerging artists; or they could be run by volunteers with no financial interest in selling anything at all (in this case, you should probably just send your work somewhere else).

Many galleries don’t even sell artworks! If you’re looking for a venue that will buy yours outright, consider submitting it instead to an auction house like Sotheby’s–or try contacting wealthy individuals directly via email or phone call.

Try not to be too precious about what you make, and think carefully about how you brand yourself as an artist.

The best way to get your art into galleries is not to be precious about it. Artists who are too precious about their work often find themselves in a position where they’re not willing to try new things, or ask for help from other artists and creatives.

If you’re looking for advice on what kind of art will sell in galleries, here are some tips:

  • Try not to be too precious about what you make, and think carefully about how you brand yourself as an artist.
  • If you’re asked to do something that you don’t feel comfortable doing, like being part of a group show or having your art featured on the gallery’s website, don’t feel like you have to say yes just because it might help your career.

When it comes to getting your art into galleries, there are a few things you should consider:

  • First, have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve by showing in a gallery. Is it exposure? Money? An opportunity to meet other artists and share ideas with them? If you know what’s important to you, it will help guide the decisions that come next.
  • Second, know your own strengths and weaknesses as an artist–and be honest about them! It’s easy for us all (myself included) to get caught up in thinking we’re better than we actually are at something; but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years doing this job is: no one knows everything about anything! So don’t pretend otherwise just because someone told me once “I think I’m good at X.” Instead take advantage of advice from people who have been there before me; ask questions until we understand each other; don’t let fear stop me from learning new things… And remember: always ask myself why am I doing this project? What does success look like for me here? Will this help move forward toward those goals or not – then go from there!

If you’re serious about getting into galleries, make sure you know what kind of role you want to play in the process.

If you’re serious about getting into galleries, make sure you know what kind of role you want to play in the process. Do you want to be “discovered” by an art dealer and have them swoop in with a contract? Or would it be better for your work if it were shown at a gallery that has already exhibited similar artists’ work?

If the former is true–if you want someone else to bring attention to your work–then consider sending samples of your work directly to art dealers at galleries where they sell similar pieces. If this sounds like something that would benefit your career, then go ahead and do it! You might get lucky!

If not…and if instead what matters most is getting feedback on how much potential these pieces have (or don’t) have before deciding whether or not they’re ready for prime time…then consider contacting local curators who specialize in exhibiting emerging artists’ works (but don’t necessarily represent them). A good curator will give honest criticisms without being overly harsh; this can provide valuable information while also helping build relationships with other professionals working within related fields such as publishing houses or literary magazines who might later provide opportunities down the road.”


Here are some steps that artists can take to increase their chances of being represented by a gallery:

  • Build a Strong Body of Work: The first step for any artist is to create a body of work that is unique, cohesive, and showcases their skills and talent. This body of work should reflect the artist’s vision and style and be able to stand out in a crowded art market.
  • Do Research: Research galleries in your area or in locations where you would like to exhibit your work. Find galleries that exhibit work similar to yours and make a list of those that you would like to approach.
  • Make Connections: Attend gallery openings, art shows, and other art events in your area. Network with other artists, curators, and gallery owners. Building relationships with people in the art community can be a valuable asset when trying to get your foot in the door.
  • Create a Portfolio: Create a professional portfolio of your work that showcases your best pieces. Include high-quality images of your work, artist statement, resume, and contact information. Your portfolio should be tailored to each gallery you approach.
  • Submit Your Work: Once you have identified galleries you would like to approach, submit your portfolio to them. Follow their submission guidelines carefully and be sure to include all requested materials.
  • Be Persistent: Getting into galleries can be a long process, and rejection is common. Do not be discouraged by rejection and continue to submit your work to other galleries. Keep building your portfolio and networking with people in the art community.
  • Consider Alternative Venues: If you are having difficulty getting into traditional galleries, consider alternative venues such as art fairs, pop-up shows, or online galleries.

“As an art professor, I believe that creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly. The more you create, the stronger your skills will become. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things. Remember that mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow as an artist. And always remember to seek out resources and support from fellow artists and designers, as they can provide invaluable insights and inspiration for your work.”

Michael Apice

College Professor of Art, Graphic Design, & Web


All in all, getting into galleries is a complicated process that requires a lot of work. It’s important for artists to know what kind of role they want to play in the process, and whether or not they feel comfortable giving up control over their work. If you’re serious about getting into galleries, make sure you know what kind of role you want to play in the process!

Remember that getting into galleries is not an easy process, but with persistence, hard work, and a bit of luck, you can achieve your goal of exhibiting your work in galleries.

Rejection is a natural part of the process, so don’t get discouraged and keep putting your work out there. With patience and perseverance, getting your art into galleries can lead to increased exposure, recognition, and opportunities for your career.

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