Public Galleries

< back

Public galleries are typically government funded spaces that exist for the purpose of art preservation and public art education. Exhibitions in a public gallery are curated affairs that often planned years in advance. For most emerging artists, an invitation to show your work in a public gallery exhibition will be the exception, not the rule. In general, focussing on gaining career experience by exhibiting your work in venues other than the public gallery is probably the wisest course of action. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to ignore the public gallery! One of the best ways to get your foot in the door is simply by being an active part of the art world. Public gallery curators and directors often sit on jury panels, they will visit art shows, they read art reviews, and will be connected to some of the people you will meet simply by networking at art events. Being given an opportunity is not only the result of looking for one though, being prepared if one should arise is just as important. Having a body of work from which to draw from, a strong artist’s resume, as well as an organized and professional presentation package will go a long way to being taken seriously as an artist by the institutions that seriously support art. If you have reached a point where you feel comfortable approaching a public institution with your work, you may want to start by sending a presentation package to the gallery that consists of a number of properly documented images of your work, a short CV, a well-written artists statement mentioning your artistic themes and concepts as well as historic influences on your work, and a self-addressed stamped envelope to return the package in if you would like it back. If you would like to show your work to the gallery curator, or invite them to your studio, it is best to phone ahead and set up an appointment rather than to assume you will be entertained if your show up unannounced. For most artists, it takes many years before their work will ever be considered for a public gallery setting. Don’t be discouraged if exhibiting at a public gallery doesn’t seem to be in the cards for you at the moment, use the time to build up your connections in the art world and get your work seen in other contexts.

%d bloggers like this: