Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The Gallery Game
I have been represented by a local gallery since before I switched from sculpture to painting. Since then as we know the economy has tanked and I was just grateful the gallery I am in survives. And getting my studio built so I can have events here and sell from home is also nice.
But it occurred to me after doing new inventory for the summer fairs that new galleries to carry my work would be nice. About that time an invitation to show in the Old Pass Gallery in Raton came about. But I would like to find a gallery in Albuquerque an/or Santa Fe to represent me. There was a time when you just did a few of the big name shows and received invites from galleries. Obviously the economy has changed all that. Too many starving artists an too many galleries closing their doors. Some of my friends have even lost work they had in galleries that went belly up without warning.
For years I did freelance writing and before you submitted a piece you wrote off for writers' guidelines.With those in hand you could make judgments about which piece to submit to which periodical. I thought maybe galleries would have such things but no it seems. And each seems to want to be approached differently. And as an artist I am probably just as picky. Before I turn over thousands in inventory I want to know if it will survive and if I would feel comfortable having my work there. So yesterday I did a level one survey of Canyon Road in Santa Fe. Hey, why not begin at the top?
I had developed a short list based on ads in the Art Collectors Magazine and whether a gallery represented artists I liked or not. My work does not belong next to cattle drive images. You cannot walk in looking like an artist on the first pass. You need to look like a patron or possible patron to find out how your potential market would be treated. The list got shorter. I now totally understand why sidewalks were invented in Paris and used as an art market. Canyon Road does not even have sidewalks and the parking lots are few and far between.
Any tips out here from other artists looking for venues?