Updated: Aug 31, 2022
As an artist in a new environment, the first thing you might want to look out for are art galleries and/or museums. Does your city have art galleries and museums with good reputations? How can you get into them to showcase your work?
Finding art galleries and museums is quite easy, but finding the right ones are not. The ones who would take you and your work in and give you a platform to showcase yourself. The ones that are right for you, because the concept of right and wrong is subjective.
Someone once likened finding good art galleries and museums to finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with, and they’re not wrong. Whatever art gallery or museum your work hangs in determines to a large extent how your portfolio would be looked at by future, potential clients.
There are various kinds of art galleries with consignment galleries being the easiest to get into. Why? Most consignment galleries fall into this category. In this gallery, artists market their work to the gallery and they take on the work to sell to the general public. That is, they display this work to the general public.
Consignment galleries are generally easier to get into because with the number of artists they have under them, it’s easier to generate revenue even though they charge less than a commercial gallery.
Here are tips on finding art galleries and museums:
Ask your artist friends for recommendations
Chances are that your colleague knows a lot more about these galleries and museums than you do. And even if they don’t—because Google has well equipped you—suggestions from someone different never hurt. Ask them what gallery they would recommend you to feature your work in, and compile a list.
Make research on their protocol
Out of all the recommendations you’ve gotten, you’ll still need to pick three or four you can apply to, so conduct research, or a survey if possible. What are their protocols like? What do they expect from artists before accepting them? And after accepting them, what are the do and don’t of those artists?
After compiling a comprehensive answer, check to see if it’s something you can do. Are there clauses that don't sit well with you? Talk to your lawyer about that, and let them explain it to you.
Ask yourself “How ready am I?
Some people decide to feature their works in galleries or museums because someone told them they would never amount to anything good, not because they want to. What are your reasons? Is your work good enough, yet? Have you gotten enough feedback from your works to make you feel ready to showcase them? All these are questions you need to ask yourself.
Does your dream gallery feature your kind of work?
It’s great that you want to be the first person to feature your kind of work in your dream gallery or museum. Sweet, but how feasible is that, especially when you’re just starting? Instead of trying to be a ray of hope for others who create similar works to yours that want to feature in that gallery, pick galleries that feature what you do. It’s easier to get in there and it helps you build a name, preparing you for when you will get into your dream gallery.
No well-known gallery—here’s an assumption that your dream gallery is well-known—wants to feature a newbie that wouldn’t abide by their protocols. None. So think twice about what you hope to achieve, and understand that finding the right gallery would be a lifelong process. Because there’s this word called change, and it is a constant.