Gallery Representation - Is It Right For You?

In my short tenure as a “semi-professional” photographer I have managed to find myself gallery representation by two different galleries. Now I use this term to describe myself solely because I haven’t jumped into the “Professional” world with both feet because I still have a full time job.

These places are very different from each other in many ways. One of the two deals artwork in very specific sizes, only three to be exact. They also have the work on display by all the artists at all times. This one is introducing a brand new gallery concept to Canada. The other place has no specific size requirements for work, they also don’t display every artists work at all times and there are shows that each artist participates in throughout the year. The work for those are chose by the staff deciding which shows are fitting for the artists. It is of note that both of these galleries sought me out as a result of viewing my work on a website promoting a show I was participating in.

For almost a year I have been with one gallery and it really hasn’t been beneficial to myself or the gallery in terms of profit or exposure so I have decided it’s time to move on from there. I feel a year is a good timeline to judge and re-evaluate the situation and decide whether to continue and stay with the gallery or not. It was a great experience for me and I have learned from it. Not a total loss since I can walk away from it saying I have learned from the experience. The other gallery still has my work on display there for the last six or seven months. At least with this one, I can say my work is on display at all times.

The bottom line when all is said and done, in my opinion, gallery representation can be a great and very beneficial thing for an artist.

Right now, for me this early on in my career it’s more about the exposure, getting my name out there. I am set to partake in a big show that is geared only at photography which takes over the city for the month of May, this will be great exposure. Of course the money that comes with the sale of my work doesn’t hurt either. I would highly recommend to any artist starting out, if the opportunity presents itself and you are bold enough to go out and chase an opportunity such as this by all means, take it, you never know who could see and like your work!

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