By Carolyn Edlund
A classic guest post on the Artsy Shark blog is Rhonda Schaller’s excellent “Selling Your Work in New York Galleries/An Insider’s Story” where she discusses how (and how NOT) to connect with galleries and present your work for their consideration.
It’s a long article, full of great advice and wisdom – and if you read deep into the comments, you will find that Rhonda Schaller shares a Top 10 list compiled by Heather Bhandari, who runs Mixed Greens Gallery and attorney Jonathan Melber, who practices art law. They are the authors of the book ART/WORK: Everything You Need to Know (and Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career, which has been called “sure to be required reading at art schools” by NY Art Beat.
Together with gallerist Jen Bekman, they polled over 100 gallerists and art dealers in New York City, and list the top ten ways gallerists find artists:
1. Artist Recommendations
2. Curator Recommendations
3. Solo or Group shows
4. Art Fair
5. Slide registry or flat files
6. Submissions/Open calls
7. Other recommendations
8. Social event
9. Open Studio
10. Juried show
Throw out the unsolicited requests, cold-call gallery visits, and moaning about how you will never have a chance to even speak with a gallerist. What have you done to make yourself be seen and known?
Notice the participatory nature of this list. Networking, meeting the right people, going to events. Gallery owner and popular arts blogger Edward Winkleman says “you must get in the game.”
This list gives you plenty to think about, and planning to do. Who do you need to know? What events, registries, and fairs do you need to participate in? Get involved, and you will hear about opportunities, be seen, and become known to others who may offer referrals, recommendations – and perhaps even the gallery relationship you are seeking.