Tips to Improve Your Art Submissions to Galleries

Submitting artwork to the galleries is anything but easy. In fact, it can be downright scary with the possibility of being rejected lurking at the back of your mind. But if you don’t even try, nothing will happen and a lot of people might miss out on what could have been a fantastic opportunity or the break they were looking for. Of course, it’s natural to have doubts. To rid yourself of such apprehensions, you should work to improve your art submissions. How?

Research Galleries

Before submitting your work to a gallery look carefully at the work of the artists they currently represent and consider whether or not your own would fit comfortably alongside them.
Check the submission guidelines of your selected galleries and follow them if there are any.
Attend openings, exhibitions or events that the gallery puts on. You are more likely to meet and talk to staff, who will then regard your submission inquiry with more care.

Keep your Paperwork updated

Most galleries, on-and offline will ask you for an artist statement, an artist CV, and a short written biography. It is useful to always have them prepared and updated, ready to be sent out on short notice if requested by a gallery, collector, press or when applying for professional opportunities.

Artist CV
Keep in mind that an artist CV is usually different from a CV used for applying for jobs.
It should include the following:

  • Educational history
  • Your exhibitions. (Add if it was a solo or group exhibition, and don’t forget to include year of exhibition, exhibition name, gallery and location.)
  • Collections & awards
  • Publications
  • Residencies

Artist Bio
The aim of the artist bio is to provide the reader with a greater understanding of your work and motivation for creating it, basically a summary of yourself as an artist. A bio is not expected to be much longer than one paragraph, approximately 100-300 words.

Artist Statement
An artist statement explains the intentions of your body of work. It should inform others about your artistic practice and supplement the visual information in a portfolio or exhibition.

Importance of quality images

Understand the importance of a professional presentation and professional images. It is crucial that you showcase your work with professional images and display your artwork in the best possible way. The quality of the image and the information presented with it are key factors.

Limit the number of artworks to present

Taking this step will enable people to really scrutinise and appreciate every piece that you present, rather than overwhelm them. Remember to include information such as size, material and year produced.

Update your website

If you don’t have a website yet, you should have one built right away. In this day and age, you need to reach out to your target audience in various channels, including online. Having a website also gives you a venue to share your thoughts, works of art and scheduled events. For instance, you can advertise a gallery exhibit on your website, weeks leading up to the event, to ensure a good turnout.

Once you feel your artwork is good enough to submit to galleries, you should keep on working to improve your portfolio. It must be up to date and impressive if you want your artwork to stand out from the crowd.