It’s a rocky road, trying to get your art out there. Personally, I’ve submitted hundreds of packets to several types of galleries over the years. A few I’ve found success with, and the rest said “no” or “not at this time”.
One must be persistent in their practice. Persistent and focused… while recognising there are certain bounds that define professionalism and politeness.
I know that many people have a romantic fantasy about artists and “genius”. They feel that a genius should be allowed a certain amount of insanity in their daily behaviour. OK, there are genius artists (and other types of geniuses) out there who are eccentric, who behave differently than many people, and who walk their own path. However, in general, most professionals in the arts are just that… professional. They work. They work hard. They maintain their contacts, their networks, and make sure to not harass nor neglect galleries, writers, curators, other artists, suppliers… they are on time, they follow through with promises, they are polite yet say what they mean (and mean what they say!)
I am not claiming to be perfect. No, I have some work to do, but life is always like that: a work in progress.
I am pushing myself forward to increase my own professionalism, especially as I will soon be curating the art for a new gallery space. Yes, the artist will become curator. I have many artist friends, and I know that I cannot show everyone’s work. I am crafting the artistic vision for the space, and to express a clear vision, one must be able to edit. I will show my own work there from time to time, but I really want to put on fantastic shows of other’s work. The work shown will fit into themes (any artists reading this right now, I’ll announce themes and calls to entry all over the place, you won’t miss out!) and sometimes there will be solo exhibits too.
It’s an exciting venture; and I want to get off on the right foot with this. I am stretching my boundaries, building new comfort-zones, and will soon be meeting new people and responding promptly and professionally to them. I know that I won’t always be met with a similar response… but I’ll be prepared.
Natasha Henderson, Montreal
- Getting To Know Galleries (a supportive guide for artists) (fleurbain.com)