I received an artist call the other day. It was forwarded to me by a friend of mine, who received it from a friend of a gallery owner. The theme fit one of my paintings perfectly and I was very excited to submit a piece to a gallery I had never worked with before. Word of mouth is a great way to find out about shows, don't get me wrong, but I just spent an hour trying to track down information on the gallery. By the time I finally found a useful link, I was almost past caring. Almost.
So, here are a few tips to folks helping to promote shows. Whether you represent a group or gallery or, in this case, are a friend trying to spread the word to help out, you must include as much of the following information as you can gather. If you don't, you're doing your gallery/friends/artists a real disservice because the best and busiest will give up.
Name of the gallery - Use the full name (i.e., Joe's Gallery or Joe's Art Palace or whatever - not just "Joe's"). When you provide the name, please make sure it is spelled correctly. One of the reasons I couldn't find this gallery was that I only received the first name and it was misspelled.
Location - It's nice to know where the gallery is, generally speaking. If you are forwarding information from a small group where everyone knew the location, add that little tidbit of info on when you forward. It helps (especially when other information is missing and one can't simply Google for a quick answer).
Theme - It's no fun to submit a painting and find out after you spent time on the application that there was a theme.
E-mail addresses and links - please make sure they are correct. Links are always better than e-mails since an artist, if they're worth their salt, will find out what they need to know about a show before they bother the curator. The link I followed today went nowhere.
Basically, if you're going to help your friends by promoting their gallery or shows, you need to provide the above information or provide information that will lead people quickly and easily to that information.
You know what else we need to talk about? How an artist should approach a gallery/show. Yep. That's on my list for the next tidbit.
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