The first step in finding the right gallery
- Understanding your target audience will help you aim for the right gallery
- Research is really important – are they the right gallery for you? Do you fit within their price range? How far you are prepared to travel to deliver your work or spend to send your work.
- The type of gallery (questions to consider) – applied arts: craft;, fine art; sculpture; venue for hire; are they open to proposals; who do they represent; what is their set up
How should you approach a gallery?
- Contact gallery first – find out how to apply and who to apply to
- The personal touch – how can you make your application stand out from others? Is it clear, concise, memorable, informative and has all the right information?
- Do not just walk in with your work!
- Have a professional looking web presence to back up your application – if you present yourself in a professional manor; others will treat you as a professional. A website does not have to be complicated; just easy to navigate; easy to follow relevant gallery page; links; about and contact pages.
What to send:
- Covering letter
- Relevant CV with your contact details
- Statement about your practice
- Price list to show relevance to the gallery applying to
- Five Good images, jpeg, image captions, under 1MB each
- Link to your website to provide additional reference to your practice
What to expect when working with galleries
- Have a chat about contracts, commission rates, price lists, delivery, SOR (Sale of Return)/Wholesale, and who is responsible for logistics – do not assume
- What to avoid e.g. some galleries won’t use your branded packaging so don’t waste it when it won’t be used.
- Provide display/handling/packaging instructions – don’t assume gallery staff know how to handle your work in the way you want it handled.
- Make sure you know when your work will be displayed; for how long; when you can expect to be paid for a sale and whether this is a trial period or longer term representation of your work.
- Make sure you ask how your work will be promoted and what do you need to provide the gallery and by when. Is there any additional promotion you can do to help promote your work?
- Remember, this is a two way working relationship; try and see it from a gallery’s point of view and do not undercut pricing outside of the gallery
Preparing your pricing
- Galleries will take at least one of the following fees: commission/hanging fees/rental fees. If you are not sure about your pricing, it is worth asking. However, remember when creating your prices include your overheads, your direct costs, your time and your profit to work out the wholesale/artists price; then recommended retail price (RRP) will be the commission on top. This will then be the sale price of your work (RRP).