Your Art in A Gallery - A Step by Step Guide | Cynthia Wolf | Skillshare

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Your Art in A Gallery - A Step by Step Guide

teacher avatar Cynthia Wolf, Photographer/Gallery Owner,Curator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Introduction - Your Art in a Galery

    • 2. Organizing a Body of Work

    • 3. Finding A Gallery that is a Good Fit for You!

    • 4. Best Practices for Contacting a Gallery

    • 5. How to Follow up with the Galleries

    • 6. Final Project

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About This Class

 Learn how to organize a body of work and best practices when approaching Galleries for Representation.

Hi There, fellow Artists! I'm a long time photographer and owner of Adelante! Gallery. Art is my passion!

After 16 years of owning the gallery, curating art and working with fabulous Artists I put together a step by step guide for artists who are ready to seek gallery representation.

Suited for artists who have a body of work or are headed in that direction.

We will cover organizing a cohesive body of work, your style or styles of art, researching galleries that are a good fit for your artwork and the best practices for approaching gallery owners and gallery managers.

There will be a short project at the end where you can post examples and receive feedback! 

By the end of the class you will have the confidence you need to approach your first gallery!



Organizing a Body of Work

   *Assessing your style / do you have multiple styles and how to organize

How to Find the Gallery that is the Best Fit for Your Art

     *Guide to researching galleries

     *Starting local, if possible/looking through their roster of Artists

     *Choosing the gallery that best suites your style of artwork

Best Practices for Contacting Galleries

    *Your email requesting their submission guidelines.

    *Asking if they have group shows and if that is a different set of guidelines

    *Two sentences that describe your artwork focus and medium

    *Following their guidelines, due dates, size of jpgs.

Following Up with the Galleries

     *Best Practices when Following up with galleries

     *What to do if you haven't heard back from the gallery

     *How to craft a follow up email to the galleries

     *Requesting their recommendations for names of other galleries that may be a good fit for your 

          artwork, if the gallery doesn't add you to their roster of artists.

Now you are ready to take Action and approach your first Gallery for representation!

Actionable steps

       *Posting 5 images of your body of work for feedback on cohesiveness

       *Drafting your first email to a gallery

Now you have the confidence you need to submit your work to your first gallery!

Visit my websites:  and


FB: Adelante Gallery Oregon

Twitter: @adelantegallery

Instagram: Wolf Frosini

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Meet Your Teacher

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Cynthia Wolf

Photographer/Gallery Owner,Curator


Hi there! Thanks for checking out my classes. I'm Cynthia Wolf, photographer and owner/curator of Adelante! Gallery. Owning a Fine Art gallery since 2000 has been a great honor because I love art, all of my gallery artists, I love talking about art and helping patrons find just the right piece that will add a little Joy.

All the classes I create on Skillshare are for emerging, as well as established artists that are seeking a few tips and guidelines for things like getting gallery representation, streamlining the process for offering custom work to their clients and how to create short, strategic videos to add to their website and social media platforms.

The classes are based on my personal experiences as an artist who also offers a lot of custom/commissioned work, my expe... See full profile

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1. Introduction - Your Art in a Galery: Hi there. And welcome. This is a step by step guide for artists seeking gallery representation. I'm Cynthia Wolf, professional photographer and owner of Avalon Take Gallery. And over the last 16 years I've had the great honor and privilege of representing local and national award winning artist, as well as curating art and meeting numerous new and emerging artists that oftentimes walked through the door of the gallery looking for a place to exhibit their work. Or they want some suggestions on where they might present their work or how to approach a gallery. So in this class they'll be short 2 to 3 minute segments, and the whole entire class will be 45 minutes to an hour. And we will cover organizing a body of work looking at your style, your focus in your art. Do you have one very distinct style, or do you have two or three different styles and how to deal with putting together your portfolio with that? And then how approach a gallery to find out what their submission guidelines are? And then following the guidelines, we'll talk also about how to research the galleries that are the best fit for your style of work and how to follow up with galleries. And then they'll be also a project at the end of the class. So I look forward Teoh sharing, um, this guideline with you and let's get started. 2. Organizing a Body of Work: in this lesson, we're going to discuss organizing a body of work. So in the body of work, you want to pull together 8 to 10 of your strongest pieces. They will emphasize your strengths as an artist. So if you have a pretty singular focus, like you are focused on impressionistic work, you love painting very loose, broad strokes, maybe a lot of texture. And your themes are landscapes, so that is fairly easy, because then you're pulled together your 8 to 10 really awesome landscapes. But on the other hand, if you and this isn't very hard, either have a cohesive body of work. If you are still in that impressionistic style and you do landscapes and still lives and figurative work, you can have all those themes in that 8 to 10 grouping, because what ties it all together, what makes it cohesive is the fact that you're using impressionistic style using that broad brush or the bright colors or the texture. So it's a very cohesive body of work. If, on the other hand, you're an artist that has more than one style, for example, you love and create abstract paintings, and they're very they're maybe not so detailed, but it's about color and shape, and you do some amazing abstract work that small and large. But you also love doing very detailed oil paintings. And maybe those oil paintings are figurative in nature. So those air two very distinct styles and my recommendation all Navis to pull together 8 to 10 of your very strong abstract pieces in 8 to 10 of your very strong, detailed oil figurative pieces. And now you have to separate kind of portfolios, if you will, and to pain. What what gallery you're approaching. You will have a body of work to be able to show them They're very modern contemporary gallery. They may only be focused on very contemporary work in your abstract work with look fabulous in there. So you're going to show them that portfolio. You could also mention that you do this other work, and you could maybe send an image of that. They're interested. They will let you know. So now you have a way to pull together your strongest work 8 to 10 and you will have images of all of that work, and we'll talk a little bit about how you're on the submission guidelines. The resolution of the image and how large it is is going to depend on what the calorie tells you. They want to be able to look at your work in the best way there. You might also think about group shows if you some galleries do group shows, and so you can pull together a few pieces before five that you think my work for a group show. This will probably be after you've done some research to find out exactly what the gallery offers in the way of events throughout the season. So now you are ready for the next lesson. 3. Finding A Gallery that is a Good Fit for You!: Now you're ready to do some research to find the galleries, so they're the best fit for your work, and this is gonna sound a little simplistic. But when you have gone to art walks, when you've gone into galleries when you traveled and gone to galleries that you have an affinity for and you really love the artists that they have and you like their whole set up , you like the manager and the owner. So you you've probably done some of that already, which is also a good thing to do. Now you know the name of the gallery, their card. You have their website, you go to their website and you look at their roster of artists and you will know quite quickly if the type of work that you do is gonna be a good fit for that gallery, and I recommend starting local if you can within a 50 mile radius, choose 3 to 5 galleries that you want to submit your work. Teoh. A lot of galleries will have a requirement that they don't want you to show your work and other gallery center within 50 to 60 miles of their calorie. But that just depends on the city. You live in the population and how many galleries there are in your area, so so you can start local. But then also just branch out. If you know a couple of galleries that you've visited before and you want to try for that, just try for that. But you'll know right away if that gallery is a good fit by looking at their roster of artists, and that's not the only criteria, but it is one of the big ones. So now that you've done a little research, your next step is to maybe go to some art walks, actually go physically into galleries like again if you're traveling or in your local area , and it's really important to have, um, now that you've put together a body of work, um, to have something that kind of resonates with that gallery, so because you want them to do the best job for you in terms of promoting you and promoting your work, so you want to be a good fit for them and you also you need that to. So now the next phase will be asking what the procedure is for submitting your work, and that is our next lesson. 4. Best Practices for Contacting a Gallery: best practice for contacting a gallery once you've when you've gone into visit a gallery is there's nothing wrong with leaving your business cards so they can check out your website. But I don't recommend just dropping in unannounced with no appointment with your work in hand and trying Teoh, get them to look at your work right then and to get you signed on somebody they're gonna represent. First of all, they're usually busy or they're working with a client and you don't really know their schedules. So they actually really prefer that you call and schedule an appointment and find out if they're looking for new artists and new work, or to find out what their submission guidelines are. And so that is. Actually, my best recommendation is that when you're on their website, get their contact info and the person to contact and ask for cinema letter by email announcing who you are and that you want to know what their submission guidelines are. And then you can include one or two short sentences about your work. For example, I'll use myself. I'm a professional photographer who focused says on classic car in classic bike photography . That's vibrant and infused on metal. So I might say something similar to that might make it even shorter. But you want to include a couple of Senate's a short about your work. You want to ask what their submission guidelines are, and there might be two things that you're asking there. You want to know what their submission guidelines are to present your work for gallery representation, but also, if you discovered that they have group shows like some galleries will have one or two group shows with a theme each season and so you can find out what if they have separate guidelines for submitting for Group show, and so then they will send you the guidelines. Or they may have been posted on the website, and then you'll fill all those guidelines out. Give them what they're asking for. They just want a one page bio. Make sure that you're including your awards, your exhibitions, your background in art and then the J picks. They want a certain summits J. Peg, and you want to follow their guidelines. If they just want a one or two Senate's artist statement, make sure that you're following what they're asking for And then guess what? The next step is your waiting You're waiting to hear back from them. So lovely. If you selected 3 to 5 galleries, you'll you know you're not just waiting for one and you're waiting to see what they have said about the work that you've sent them and then you're ready for the next lesson. 5. How to Follow up with the Galleries: So now you've waited and you've waited for some to get back with you for the gallery to get back and say yea or nay to your work in their gallery or in their group show. So at this is how to follow up with the galleries. So if you haven't heard from them, I'd suggest waiting two weeks. And if you haven't heard anything by then, you've already submitted your work. You follow their guidelines and, you know, let him know in a couple of senate says who you are. And I'm hoping that when you did, submit your guidelines that you also have all your contact info, including your website, because you want tohave your best work on your website too. So they can sometimes just click on that and kind of see who you are, What, your about what you're artists about. So now is the follow up time. So you've waited two weeks and you haven't heard anything, so you can send a short email letter and just say, I'm just checking in. I you know, I sent my work on the state and hopefully I gave you everything you needed. And if there's anything else you need or any questions? Feel free to contact me and then thank them for their time. You look forward to hearing from them, okay? And so then they would go. Oh, yeah, I forgot to get to that. And they will probably shoot off a little email to you, and then you're kind of waiting to see what they say, right? So a couple of different things can happen. They contact you and say, Oh, we just love your work. You would fit perfect for this group show we're gonna have in a summer or we love your work . We'd like to bring you on board. It's part of our roster and then that is great. And then that's a whole other lesson on the expectations for you as an artist of the gallery and the expectations the gallery has of the artist and all of the contract information. So another class, But right now, that would be awesome. But the other thing that can happen is they would email you and say we're not accepting new artists at this time or if you're in emerging artists, they might say, you know, we only have established artist in our gallery. Or they could say your work isn't a good fit for us. And even though that stings a little bit and you might feel rejected, don't take it personally. It's actually good to know from the gallery if they don't feel the work is a good fit, because that is good information, because you want the gallery that represents your work. I just love your work because they were gonna do the best job to promote you and promote your art and to sell your art. So look at us a really good idea that on your next venture out when you're looking for galleries, don't let it dissuade you from approaching other galleries because you're just gonna move forward. Okay, So that that's kind of the best thing. So if if they have congratulated you, you're on board. Be sure cinnamon, Thank you email. And even if they send you a rejection email, you want to send them a thank you email. You want to be gracious and say thank you so much for taking the time to look at my work. You can even ask for a suggestion or recommendation for another gallery or another venue that they think might be a good fit for your work. And if they have time, they will respond and let you know if they have some information. And if they don't respond, then don't feel bad. And don't take it personally. And now we're ready for the last segment of the class. 6. Final Project: we've reached the end of our class and you've learned how to organize a body of work putting together 8 to 10 of your best in images toe showcase your artwork. How to research the galleries. They're the best fit for your style of work. How to ask for submission guidelines on what to include in that, how to wait two weeks and then respond if you haven't heard back and how follow up, if they congratulate you or if they say not at this time, is so. You have all of this information now, and you are ready to go forth into the world and find gallery representation or to get into a group show at a gallery. Now this segment is about the class project and so two things since you are putting together your body of work organizing a body aboard, select five of your 8 to 10 and post those here and get a little bit of feedback on. If everyone feels that they are cohesive body of work because that's what you're looking for, you want it to be cohesive. And the other thing that you composed is right. Your first introduction letter, email letter that you would send to the gallery requesting for representation but requesting their submission guidelines. And I have really enjoyed giving you these guidelines on getting into a gallery for representation. And I hope you found this step by step process helpful. And so leaves, um, be sure to leave some comments, ask any questions and I will get to as many as I can. And thanks again. And you can find me at on a long take gallery dot com, where I have all of the artists ever present and Soviet daniel wolf dot com, which is my photography website. Thank you so much for participating in this class.