Even if you are a full time photographer photographing commercial work, portraits or weddings, you’ve probably dreamed of having your best work on display for the world to see. As photography is more prevalent in our lives than ever, there are more places to display your work than ever before. Yes, you might have more competition for the few spots out there. But imagine how you will feel when you’re work is accepted?
Whether for display, or to sell as a piece of fine art, consider these places in your community as opportunities waiting for you.
Probably the easiest galleries to find, and what people most commonly think of when you mention an art gallery, is the for profit commercial gallery. These galleries accept work that meets their clients’ expectations, and makes a profit when a piece is sold to a collector. A commercial gallery will offer you a contracted time period to represent you and show your work, and will split the sales price with you if a sale is made. Exhibitions are usually scheduled well in advance – sometimes 12 months or more – to prepare and market for the event.
Many galleries out there are associated with an artist and a group. In order to show your work, you have to have a membership into the group. Each membership has different requirements for acceptance, so shop around and find a group that meets your needs, as well as accepts your type of work. In some cases you will have to work at the gallery as well, so be sure its accessible to you and your schedule.
Communities always offer a variety of ways to enjoy and get involved in the arts. In order to find a non-profit in your community, look for “art centers” “art leagues” or “art guilds” in your local area. They should provide you with resources throughout your area. Many of them offer large group shows, competitions, or jury selections, and you can get involved in a variety of ways.
Want to hold your own gallery opening, and have the resources to do it? Head down to your local art area and look for rental galleries. These businesses rent out space to artists, expecting them to cover expenses, and potentially guarantee a certain percentage of sales. You will get the advantage of being placed in an artist community, and have space already shopped by local enthusiasts.
While its easy to start with the true commercial art galleries, don’t forget to head off the beaten path a bit. If your work could be considered specialty, look for galleries that cater to your type of art. Western, marine, nature – all have specialty galleries catering to people with a preference to that type of artwork. Don’t forget to look in small tourist towns to find unique shops.
Once your artwork has been recognized and you are an established artist, approach local museums. With genres wide and varied, there may a perfect museum to house your work. While its not the first place to start, keep in mind that a museum entry can be a big boost to your career. Follow up as you grow in popularity.
People love photography. You can find it just about anywhere. So spend some time in your local community shopping places to display your work. Libraries, coffee shops, commercial buildings, rec centers, stores, convention centers, bookstores, even parade of homes can all help you get your name out there.