Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Things A Gallery May Never Tell You

There are things a gallery may never tell you, but you need to know. They can make a big difference to your success.

1. Framing Your Own Work Isn't Always A Good Idea.

Some galleries take on the responsibility of framing, but many galleries ask the artist to provide the art framed. If they haven't given you specific guidelines as to what they want, you are on your own.

Many 2-D artists struggle with framing costs and turn to on-line sources for special order frames. But unless you have a background in framing, including the craftsmanship to do a professional job, you might be wasting not only your time, but your money as well. The fact is that poorly framed art does not sell.

2. Your Artist Bio Is Important

The purpose of your artist bio is to concisely demonstrate the professional level of your work and the consistency of your output using one paragraph and a listing by date of your accomplishments.

Write clearly, not extravagantly. Describe your style and influences in a single sentence. State how long you have been working professionally and explain your background and training. Explain what distinguishes your art and augment this with a brief description of your artistic philosophy. By adding a quote and/or mentioning where you live, your family, or when you were born, you add a personal impression to the facts.

Your consistency is demonstrated by the number and professional level of the juried and solo shows you've participated in, by your membership in professional organizations, and any awards and honors you've received, collections (sales) and gallery associations. This information is usually listed by date, most recent first, in a standard format. One page is usually enough, although if you feel the need, you can add the words "additional information upon request."

3. The Little Extras That Mark You As A Professional

Label the back of your artwork with the title and your name. Many artists include a document with an image of the artwork, the date of creation, materials and other technical information.

Prepare an artist statement that fits the work and include it on a separate piece of quality resume paper. Include a quote from yourself, usually one or two sentences in quotation marks within the body of the statement. Think about what you would like the gallery to say about you in any press release or publicity piece they might put out. If the gallery uses a blog to promote new work, get an idea of what they traditionally post.

Include a CD with your high resolution images of your work. The gallery can resize down for web applications or easily send an image to newspapers or magazines for print. Try to anticipate what a gallery might need. Don't expect them to contact you or hunt down the information on their own because they won't have the time and will move on to an artist who did provide the material.

Adam Brown

Osio-Brown Editions Website

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