how to approach a gallery

September opens the art season, and for me, this is the real beginning of the new year. I admit, I’m more of a winter person anyway, so I tend to be more energized at this time. I love Fall and the changing weather. There are less distractions to pull me away from my studio and this is a time I’m more preoccupied with my work.

I recently went to Chelsea to check out the new season of gallery openings. It’s hard to believe how this area has expanded despite a bad economy. There are more galleries in the area than ever before. The boundaries of Chelsea are ever expanding. In the past I could see most of the art in one visit, but it will probably take at least three days or more now. There is just so much to look at. Many of the major galleries of the world have a presence here, which makes New York truly an exciting place for artists and art appreciators. I feel lucky living so close to it.

In general, I find the people at the front desks of these galleries to be friendly and easy to talk to. Many of the young men and women who greet the public are interns and are eager to share information about their gallery. It’s a good opportunity to find out what the gallery is about and whether they’re looking for new artists. My experience is they all say they’re not looking, but in fact are always interested in finding new art. One intern told me an artist has to find a way to get the gallery dealer’s attention. This is where the internet may come in handy. I noticed in one of the galleries the intern was scrolling through art websites. A good reason for every artist to have a website and a Facebook page. Also, it helps to visit the gallery often and talk to the people at the front desk. It can’t hurt to show an ongoing interest in the art shown there.  

When contacting a gallery, you should send an email with resume and attached photos of the artist’s work. They contact only the artists whose work they're interested in. This is a lot more economical than the old way of sending slides. My advice is to make a list of galleries that suit your type of work and go for it.