As we continue our tour of how to approach a gallery for an exhibition, let’s talk about something that is sometimes more difficult than organizing an event — getting people to come!

Organizing an exhibition requires inviting both potential attendees and members of the public at large to attend, which can be tricky if you don’t know anyone in your community.

As curator, you will likely have to invite some people to contribute works to the show, take responsibility for finding spaces for the exhibit, and manage their expectations (more on that later).

But even outside of those responsibilities, it can be hard to get people to connect with each other. People are not necessarily friendly or sociable, and making friends takes work and effort on everyone’s part.

So when someone you want to join a group of people, you need to do everything you can to draw their attention so they feel motivated to try and meet you where you lie- either by offering them something you think they want, or asking them what they are looking for.

In this article I will tell you all the sneaky little tricks that professional curators use to gain entry into groups and networks of artists and art lovers. These tips will help you bring together people who may not know each other yet.

Call or email all of the galleries to see if they are open to shows

how to approach a gallery for an exhibition

Many art museums have a policy that allows anyone to show their work in their gallery. This is called exhibiting in a public space.

Most large cities have at least one museum where you can show your work and be considered artist material. These opportunities are always posted online, so do some research before investing time into traveling for this exposure.

In fact, many artists start out by submitting work to these exhibition spaces to gain attention as an artistic person.

By approaching multiple galleries, you increase your chances of being shown! Plus, it’s free advertising for you and the gallery. Win-win.

Research the gallery to determine if it is a good fit for your work

how to approach a gallery for an exhibition

Before you approach the artist, or the curator of the show, make sure the space is suitable for your artwork!

This seems like such a silly thing to say, but it can get overlooked when people are passionate about their art.

Most museums have staff that manage visitor services – including helping guests find galleries and exhibitions, answering questions, and setting up tour groups.

If you’re interested in exhibiting at a museum, then these will be helpful to know before attending an event.

In fact, many artists I talk to don’t really feel too comfortable showing their work due to negative past experiences with poor facilities or difficult audience members.

Write down your goals for the show

how to approach a gallery for an exhibition

It is very important to know what you want out of this showing, beyond just having fun! You will need to make sure that you have all of your materials ready before you visit the gallery or exhibition.

This includes buying any items needed such as decorations or props, finding familiar spaces to work from, and gathering anything you might need such as music or snacks.

Having these things prepared will help you stay focused and enjoy the event more easily. Also, knowing what you are looking for can prevent you from spending too much money or time searching which could cost you money in the long run.

Prepare your work

how to approach a gallery for an exhibition

Before you even approach the gallery, make sure your work is up to our standards! If it’s not, then it shouldn’t be in the exhibition!

We always start by looking at how the artist built upon their previous works. You can do this by either studying their style or reading interviews where they talk about their process.

It’s also important to know what kind of audience we have. If we are trying to reach more artistic people, then ensuring that our art looks professional will help us connect with them.

If we want to appeal to someone who doesn’t usually go to galleries, then making our artwork look interesting and appealing will set that stage.

Lastly, if there was one thing that helped artists gain followers, it was posting almost daily. So starting off on the right foot by putting out quality content is very important.

Plan out your display

how to approach a gallery for an exhibition

This is one of the most important things to do before heading into the gallery with your work! Before you even begin thinking about where you will place each piece, make a list of everything you want to include in the exhibition.

This could be due to the curator or the other artists who are involved, or just because it’s fun to see what you have been working towards!

By being aware of the event, you can more easily coordinate all of the pieces and play off of theirs. A lot of people start this process by creating a folder for every section, but that isn’t necessary unless you feel like it.

Whatever system works best for you to organize is good! Once you have these pre-planned sections, you can move onto the next step.…

How to approach the art with confidence

Artists tend to get nervous when they meet new people, so don’t worry about how everyone around you seems to know each other! Instead focus on your own artistic journey and admire those of others.

If someone talks about their career, ask some questions and try to connect over common themes or styles. If there is something they mentioned in particular, take notes! Many great artists were trained as children, so asking if they ever did anything with toys may lead to them sharing their secrets.

Choose a theme for the show

how to approach a gallery for an exhibition

Before you even approach the gallery, you should decide what kind of exhibition you want to have. This will help determine how you organize your visit and what types of pictures you look at.

You can choose from three different thematic exhibitions: still life, landscape or portrait. A still-life exhibition focuses on displaying and organizing natural objects such as fruits and vegetables, while a landscape exhibition features large expanses of nature and a portraiture exhibition is focused more on individual portraits.

By choosing one type of exhibition, you’ll know what to expect when you go into the gallery. The organizers of the event may also offer some tips and tricks about the exhibition if it differs from the genre that was chosen.

How to approach a gallery for an exhibition? Just be yourself!

While being in sync with the organizers of the event is important, do not feel obligated to participate in their planned activities. It is totally fine to take some other routes during your visit unless they are clearly stated as part of the tour.

People who work in art galleries get really personal very quickly so do not hesitate to ask lots of questions or try to connect with them on another level.

Choose your pieces for the show

how to approach a gallery for an exhibition

Once you have determined that your space is appropriate for an exhibition, it’s time to pick your next piece!

You will want to choose one or more artworks that are related to each other and convey a message or idea. They should be aesthetically pleasing and meaningful to you as artist.

Artists often use references and studies of past works while creating new ones. By looking at the work of others, they are able to learn from their strategies, materials, and methods.

By doing this, they expand on what they know about making art and themselves as artists. You don’t need to be a famous artist to contribute something valuable to the arts community.

Everyone has a talent in some area of the artistic spectrum; developing yours can only help you in the field. If you ever feel like there is nothing in your portfolio that seems interesting or powerful, try exploring outside your genre or style.

There are so many different media and techniques available to us now, we must look beyond what we already know to find our inspiration.

Contact the gallery to set up the show

how to approach a gallery for an exhibition

After you have all of your materials ready, it is time to approach the galleries with your work! Most museums will allow you to mail yourself or be picked up by someone else to give your exhibition a try.

Mostly this depends on how well known you are as artist and what kind of crowd they want to attract to their space.

By sending in a representative, the museum can feel more confident in the artist’s ability to promote the event.