Saturday, August 9, 2008

Online research

Yesterday I sat down with Art In America’s gallery guide, highlighted the venues that might have potential for my work (i.e. ones that show “contemporary” painting and aren’t co-ops, museums or art centers), and looked them all up on the Web. (My search also, obviously, eliminated any galleries without a website; I figure any business that doesn’t have a website in 2008 just isn’t being realistic.)

For reasons of time, I skipped listings from California, New York and Texas, and I’ll get to those on my next go-round.

I decided not to be snobby about galleries that aren’t in big cities, something I have done in the past. I learned my lesson from a (Boston-area) friend of mine who has had strong sales with her galleries in Wyoming and Utah. Besides, with the rise of art fairs and web sales, location is no longer the issue it once was. And I found some wonderful-looking galleries in, for example, Idaho.

So I narrowed it down to four galleries that seemed to be very good “fits” for my style of work and are open to submissions. Now to check into CA, NY and TX listings and see what turns up. I might wait to crank my packet-making and CD-burning into high gear, since I have a busy fall season work-wise. But by next spring, the work is getting out into the world. (And knowing myself, I get so enthusiastic about these things that I’ll manage to get the mailings done sooner than I expect. Yes, I am one of those rare weirdos who loves applying for jobs, going on interviews, etc., so marketing my work is fun to me.)

I have learned a lot from this initial foray into the national gallery scene, most importantly that I need to start taking my career more seriously. I have been putting way too much effort into juried shows, local group memberships and other “small-time” opportunities like that. It’s time to cut them out and use the time to focus on building a national career. Yesterday I was looking over the list of annual events I used to apply to every year, and my hand spontaneously scrawled “Skip these and aim higher” across the page. So this is what I intend to do.

Shown at the top of this blog entry is "Scribbled Strips 10"; acrylic, paper and fabric on board; 10 inches square; about to be added to my updated website.

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