I will be part of a panel for the Artists Professional Toolbox Program on March 25, 2010. The panel, with Griffin Museum Executive Director Paula Tognarelli, gallery owner Anthony Greaney, artist Patricia Burson, and myself, is titled “Approaching Museums and Galleries”. With that in mind, I wanted to create an outline of this information here. If you are not familiar with the Artist Professional Toolbox, it is an intensive eight-month long program designed for the self-employed artist. You can find out more information about applying for the 2010-2011 program at the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston and the VLA Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts.
There is a lot of information about approaching galleries out there, including a great column at Big Red Shiny. There are many, many books on how to promote your work as an artist. One book on this topic I have recently read is Starving to Successful: The Fine Artist's Guide to Getting into Galleries and Selling More Art by J. Jason Horejs (I became interested in this book after learning about Jason's Art Tracker software). It has some good ideas that will likely work for many, although it is important to remember to only use tips that fit well with your circumstance and personality.
It is also very important to remember that there is more than one ideal outcome in the goal of getting your work out in public – grants, public art projects, traditional for-profit commercial galleries, non-profit galleries, artist-run or cooperative galleries, university galleries, museums, web galleries, and other non-traditional exhibition spaces. For the first post, I will focus on for-profit commercial galleries, and continue the dialog in a series of future posts.