How to Start Exhibiting in Art Galleries with your Current Portfolio – Lessons from our Webinar

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Every artist looks forward to having their works showcased either in a group or solo exhibition but particularly in solo shows. As your sure plug for scaling your art practice, we organized a webinar featuring two distinguished professionals in the art industry:

  • Ato Arinze, veteran artist with over 27 years art industry experience, founder of Artzero Group and the 2002 recipient of the Solidra Award for Sculpture and Pottery; and
  • David Oluwatoyin, Curator and Administrator at the prestigious Mydrim gallery. 

We also distilled three tips to hold dear from the webinar. Read them below:

1. Fine tune your craft

Regardless of your medium, be it acrylic, oil paint, plastic, etc., to get the attention of art galleries, you need to show that you are a master of your own technique. Your mastery ought to be visible throughout your bodies of work to improve visibility, recognition and commercial viability. To prove mastery, you should have a substantial body of work with a defined theme. These works should preferably be in a series or at least have a definite structure or pattern. As Jerzy Kosinski said, “the principle of true art is not to portray, but to evoke”. Thus, you must define what feelings you want your works to evoke. Ultimately, your progression must be clear, having a central theme and your work easily recognizable and attributable to you.

2. Be ready for opportunities

They say, “be ready when opportunity comes because luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet.” If you anticipate that your works will be showcased in galleries soon, then you must get ready for this. You can get prepared by researching deeply, reading widely, and keeping abreast of happenings in your environment, immediate and global. Be something close to a Renaissance woman or man: informed, efficient, adaptable, and resourceful. Be a personal development enthusiast because fine tuning your craft is not enough. Seeing as you remain the brand that sells your art, you must stay smart, as collectors could come from any field. It is recommended that every artist reads widely and has an artist bible which would ground them in the rudiments of arts practice. Ato Arinze recommends The Story of Art by E. H. Gombrich as a good book to start with.

3. Shoot your shot

Now that you’ve done all these, it is time to shoot your shot. You could be the greatest artist in the world and no gallery would know a thing about it. Thus, it behoves on you to let them know. Follow through with the processes for submitting your works to art galleries, that is, reaching out to galleries through emails, phone calls or simply walk in in person with a proposal. But be sure that your approach is strategic and that you’re reaching out to galleries which show a strong interest in showcasing the type of work you create. Again, do your research and move decisively. Join communities like our own to stay informed about upcoming exhibitions and get connected with people who would help you gain access to galleries and spaces across the world.

As always, we wish you the best in your endeavors and we hope you get a solo show soonest.