8 Tips from a Gallery Owner on How to Pitch Your Art to a Gallery

8 Tips from a Gallery Owner on How to Pitch Your Art to a Gallery

Bertrand Gabioud, Unsplash

I’ll set up the scenario: you’ve diligently worked on your art, and you’ve gathered enough artwork to start a collection. Now, you’re ready to take that next big step of pitching to a gallery, but you’re unsure where to start. Well, let’s start with what not to do. Don’t show up to a gallery unannounced, or even worse, don’t bombard a gallery with emails of your artwork that no one has asked you for. Unsolicited emails to a gallery are usually promptly deleted. It’s important to strategize your next steps, so that you move forward with purpose and a plan.

Important questions to ask yourself:

1. Do you have your elevator pitch ready? (What is your unique story? You should have one specific well-thought-out story that conveys the key selling points in 30 seconds or less.)

2. Have you put together a mini bio about your story and your art?

3. Have you generated a list of galleries you want to pitch to? (Which galleries do you feel would best fit your style and genre of art?)

4. Does your work reflect an artistic perspective?

5. What value do you bring to the gallery? (When pitching to a gallery it shouldn’t be just about what you want. What added value do you bring to them?)

It’s difficult to break into the art world when you’re a novice in the business—an emerging artist with little sales and no exhibitions. How do you get your art noticed? The first crucial step is to create a relationship with a gallery. That means signing up for their mailing list, going to their events, building rapport with the individuals that work at the galleries and those that attend the events. Zero in on four different galleries and start attending events and building relationships. When you attend these events challenge yourself to have at least five conversations while there. Get to know the people in charge and address them by their names. Become a familiar face and build a bond, build your gallery tribe.

Ask the Experts:

Carla Cid de Diego and Jonathan Fakinos

Carla Cid de Diego and Jonathan Fakinos are the founders of Zenith Art & Fashion, a creative agency based in Miami that specializes in luxury, art and fashion. Zenith Art & Fashion curates exhibitions in different venues, including restaurants, boutiques, galleries, hotels and private homes. De Diego and Fakinos have participated in such VIP celebrations and art fairs as Red Dot Miami, Art Basel Miami Beach, ARCO Madrid, Super Bowl LIV in Miami, and Fashion Week. They assist in connecting collectors and sponsors with artists. Carla shares her eight tips on how to pitch to an art gallery:

Even though every artist is different and unique, these are some of the points we like to see from artists that approach us to be represented:

  • They should have an original collection of works that is different from everyone else. They should have their own voice, so we can help them push it into the international markets.
  • They should send us a professional introductory email presenting themselves.
  • Send us a portfolio or some kind of presentation that showcases their work [Instagram, Facebook, online portfolio, website, etc.].
  • [Provide an] artist statement telling us about their work.
  • [Provide a] CV or list of shows, exhibitions or awards, [we want to know what] they have participated in and galleries they work with.
  • When possible, [organize] studio visits. This is also key to bringing gallerists and collectors into your world.
  • Make sure the images you provide are of the best quality and high resolution.
  • The way you do one thing is the way you do everything: apply the same passion to selling yourself, as you do to creating your art.

Aztec Calendar “La Piedra del Sol” and sculpture corset by sculptor Fernando Cid de Diego for Zenith Art & Fashion. Image Pablo Barrera - @pablomiamiphotography

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