I am not much for New Year’s resolutions. Usually they fall by the wayside before spring ever appears. However, last year I set for myself a goal to establish a relationship and start showing in two new galleries. I could have set a goal for more, but I wanted to ensure a moderate progression so that I can create and show my best work without stretching my limits.
I did reach my goal fairly early in the year, in somewhat unexpected ways. I don’t want to discourage gallery seeking artists, but it seems when I approach a new gallery with the usual portfolio, slides, materials, etc. it rarely works.
My first gallery encounter was a close call. At the beginning of the year, I usually send out refrigerator calendar magnets with one of my paintings on it. Last year I sent out magnets with a painting I did of Mt Hood, shown below.
I decided to send a few to some galleries in Portland Oregon (close to Mt Hood) I found just by surfing the internet, just to see what might happen. One gallery in Portland Oregon, probably one of the better of the lot, received one of my calendar magnets & loved my work. They wanted to see some small originals. Usually when I get to this point, it is a shoe-in. Alas, when they got the originals, they liked them, but said they were ‘too close’ to what another artist in the gallery did, so no go. There is a case that several similar artists can create a synergy and boost sales, but I didn’t argue the point.
The first gallery I actually got in called me! It was a new gallery at South Shore Lake Tahoe, and they had seen my work at James Harold Galleries in North Shore Lake Tahoe. Since the galleries were fairly close, I checked with Hal at James Harold Galleries, and he said he had no problem with the proximity, and in fact might increase sales. At any rate, my work can now be seen at Tahoe Village Art Gallery. Below is a painting currently showing there.
The second gallery came along unexpectedly, also. Carmel by the Sea is a little over an hours drive from my home and is one of the art meccas in the United States. There are upwards of 90 galleries in that small town. I never made a real effort to approach galleries there, but had been trying to develop some friendly relationships with some gallery owners over the past several years.
I made a visit to Carmel in early May as a precursor to the Carmel Art Festival I would be participating in. The town was fairly quiet as it was mid-week. I walked into one gallery, started talking with the owner, and before I knew it, he asked if I wanted to show there, pending his artist wife’s approval. Things worked out, and I brought a number of works down the following week. The gallery is Sandy-by-the-Sea, and according to them, I am probably their top seller. Below is a painting currently showing there.
Well, after all this, I am setting a goal of at least one more gallery for 2008. I doubt they will ‘plop in my lap’ like the last two, but you never know.