How Does an Artist Get a Gallery? 11 Practical Steps 

Issue no4
aug- sept 2020

Every year sees many thousands of newly credentialed artists, bearing degrees in the fine arts, looking to make their stamp in the art world. While there are numerous paths to success, many artists, young and not so young, are seeking the same goal: a gallery to show and sell their work to collectors and museums, to help them mount successful exhibitions, and maybe even to subsidize the production of their work.

Of course, gaining a gallery isn’t the next step for every artist. Some are perfectly content to work day jobs that grant enough security to continue to create work; some have a busy schedule of residencies; some are able to build a résumé by exhibiting at nonprofits; some who focus on a research-based practice might even benefit from a few years in a studio art PhD program.

But if you are looking for a relationship with a dealer who will support and represent you, you’ll need to know how to get there—and the art world is notoriously opaque when it comes to such matters. Are there any tips for speeding up this painful process? We asked both artists and dealers for advice on practical steps to gaining representation. Here’s what the experts had to say.

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