7 Tips To Get Representation By An Art Gallery

If you’re a talented artist who’s been making some stunning paintings for a long time, it is time that you take the leap. It would help if you made efforts towards doing business out of your artwork. After all, there’s nothing better than being paid for something you love doing. One of the best ways to sell your piece of work and become famous at the same time is to present your work at an art gallery. 

The representation does wonders as it gives you the required exposure, connects you to buyers, and establishes you as an artist across different cities. You can choose different locations to represent your art. However, before you pick an art gallery, you must understand the fundamentals of how an art gallery selects the artist whose work would be represented. Here are a few tips that will help you get your desired representation by an art gallery. 

Submit a powerful portfolio

First and foremost, you must prepare and submit a compelling portfolio. Whenever you send the collection to your chosen gallery, be sure that you are not too over smart with the presentation. You must keep your portfolio extraordinarily professional and must fill it with the best of work. A professional portfolio should be a minimum of ten slides or photos, consisting of your very recent work.

Find and approach the ‘target gallery’

Once you’ve prepared your portfolio, the next crucial step is to find the apt gallery and then approach it. The ‘target gallery’ should be the one that best fits and represents your work according to the location and budget. Before you finalize a website, make sure that you study all the protocols if you wish to have a successful experience and get representation. Therefore, you must do your homework concerning what the artist must submit and the guidelines you must follow. There are various specific submission requirements which must be carefully studied.

Present a unique vision

One of the critical things which art galleries look for in an artist is a unique vision. While multiple artists are looking for representation at art galleries, what makes you different is what you have on the table to offer to the gallery, in terms of your art and its theme. Many art galleries look for artists with a distinct approach, subject, palette, and composition. Therefore, if you are someone who’s been looking to introduce texture or lighting into your artwork, then you’d have higher chances of getting representation. 

It would help if you focused on the subject, which inspires you the most and will hence engage the viewers. It is best if you draw expertise in one particular genre. This will make your body of work excessively intriguing and attractive at the art gallery.

Referrals are a big plus

Referrals are what make a difference. Apart from your talent and uniqueness, of course, it is a referral that makes you stand out and increases your chances of representation at the art gallery of your choice. A reference makes the owner familiar with how professional and trustworthy you are. Who wouldn’t want to have a document full of praises or a letter of recommendation from a renowned artist? 

Gallery owners do not open doors to the artists they know nothing about, but when they get an endorsement of your work from others, your chances of representation increase manifolds. To get referrals on your name, you must be actively involved in local arts communities or join a renowned studio as an artist or intern. 

Critique your own work

Even before you present your work to an art gallery owner, it is best to ask yourself the following questions: How do I describe my work? Am I sending a message via my work? Would my work inspire people? If you doubt any of these answers, then it is time you critique your work before the art owner else does. After all, you want to present your best foot forward to him/ her. One of the aptest ways to do so is by comparing your work with various successful artists.

This will help you understand which of the dozens of pieces is your best work. You must also ask all your friends and family for honest feedback on each of your paintings. Once you’ve assessed a piece as your best, then without any further ado, you must place all your bets on that one and present that to the art gallery owner. 

Evaluate and edit

Before you apply for representation, it is essential to note that your work communicates your inspiration. If it doesn’t, you must find some time to edit your work. Submitting an edited and re-done piece of art is way better than providing a painting that seems incomplete. Therefore, whenever you send your portfolio to the art gallery, make sure it sends a message, and your work shines through among all the remaining submissions.

Stay positive and motivated

The most important thing which you must keep in mind is staying positive. It is imperative not to lose hope even if your submission doesn’t get accepted by the art gallery. Your aim should be to learn and do better the next time. The competition for gallery spots is incredibly fierce, and therefore, rejection, if it comes your way, should not discourage you from trying harder next. Use all kinds of rejection to evolve and grow as a brand.


Once shortlisted by an art gallery for representation, you must make the most of the opportunity. Communicate, build contacts, and develop a friendly relationship with your buyers. Connect with them so that they connect with your art.