Having your first gallery exhibit can be an intimidating process, but do not let this stop you, since it can also be one of your most fulfilling experiences you have as an artist. So you have been working on your pieces for a while now, and have amounted a good enough amount to have even discarded some older pieces, and now you have a collection of only your favorites and what you consider to be your best. After all this work you feel like you are ready to take it to a gallery, but how do you go about getting your first art show? Many times this is not as simple as it sounds, as when you approach a gallery, you are also entering a business arrangement, and artists tend to forget that aspect of the whole thing in their approach.
First of all, you need to find the right market for your art. The gallery owner must like the particular style or art, so going around and doing some research is a good idea. Some simple web searches can give you an idea of what kind of work the gallery is looking for. Once you have done some of the initial research, perhaps a visit down to the gallery to make a formal introduction may be a good idea. Going and paying a visit to whoever runs the gallery can help foster a future relationship and put you ahead of your competition. After you have done your initial legwork, it is time for you to submit your portfolio.
A good portfolio should not be too extensive. Yes, you want to show the range of your art, but concise is usually better. Ten to fifteen of your best pieces is a good range to shoot from. You should be able to show your artistic prowess in these pieces. Many times, artists make an art series. If that is the case, pick your series and again, only the ten to fifteen pieces to submit. This is often the trickiest part of an artists process in getting their pieces into a gallery. Remember, this is a business arrangement at this point, and you have to check some of your pride. Sometimes having a peer artist or trusted friend help you select the best ones can make it a bit easier.
Submitting your portfolio can also be a bit scary, after all, you have put your heart and soul into this work and you are asking for it to be judged. Do not let this make you shy away. Find out if they want a physical submission or will accept a digital portfolio first. Once you have submitted it, now you have to wait, which can be the hardest part, but let us move past that and say that you have been accepted. Now you have your work in a gallery, what next? Well, having an opening first show is the answer. Invite your friends and colleagues, social media is also a great option to use in the modern world to get your event out there, and do not forget to enjoy it.