How to Pursue Your Dream of a Real Gallery Show

To be successful in contacting a gallery let’s look at some simple tasks

Choose artwork

Take good pictures

Create special files

Know your galleries

Create a CV

Write an Artist statement 

You never know when an opportunity will show up so be ready!

Choose artwork: Take some time and choose 10 unframed works that you believe represent a cohesive art style of what you do. Don’t make yourself crazy with trying to work out if they are your true voice. My experience has shown that an artistic voice will change and grow over time.

Take Good Pictures: With the improvements to cell phones allow you to get some great low resolution shots that work with a variety of social media sites. But honestly, you’ll need good images of at least 300 DPI. This is a common request from many galleries. Check out this episode of the podcast hosted by Antrese Wood; Fine Art Prints Q&A, with Jake Hawley from Picture Salon. There is lots of great information about taking pictures.

Create Special Files: Establish what I call a Contact folder. On your computer create a sub folder in File Explorer. Create names that look like this;


You can get as specific as you need to with the name. Now that the end of the year approaches, I add a date; 2019Contact_Floral. It also puts the file at the top of my computer list. Numbers come before letters in the file lists. Once these files are created you can fill them with jpegs of your chosen work

Know Your Galleries: When I was the art editor for The Woven Tale Press I would pour over art sites and art magazines looking for inspirational and interesting subjects for a large diverse audience. What it also allowed me to do was research galleries that I thought I would like to contact for exhibits or representation. Over the years I developed a strategy that has been very helpful.
If you see an artist that is similar in style to your art, click on their website. Find the gallery websites they are in and click the link.  Providing the art you see is within a familiar concept, go to the contact page and see if they have a submission link. There are thousands of galleries so don’t be disappointed if they do not accept new work.

Create a CV: This is a basic listing of your background in art and where you have exhibited or been written about. While this is an older post from it does a good job of addressing new artists with little to no art references
Write an Artist Statement: This is your opportunity to tell the gallery about your excitement in painting. What inspired the work. Was it influenced by some other artist’s style. Is it part of a series. What medium did you use. An Artist statement is an overview of your interpretation of your painting. If you are having trouble with this click here for a site that could help

By putting this all together, you’ll be ready to contact galleries anywhere

Watch for future posts where I will go into more detail of each of these subjects

Feel free to contact me with questions and comments at
Imagination is never still. The marks we make are Verbs!

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Donald Kolberg graduated with a Fine Arts Degree from California State University, Los Angeles. He taught at the Los Angeles School of Art and co-founded Art Core, an organization dedicated to the open dialogue and display of the work of emerging artists. He continued his Master studies at Otis Art Institute. While at Otis Art Institute his teacher and main influence was internationally recognized painter Arnold Mesches. In Artcore he worked under the guidance of Lydia Takashita. With their teaching Donald learned the value of depth, texture and form in images and surface. He incorporated this into his concept of Life Forms, the portrayal of the human figure as a landscape of life and a celebration of form through Sculpture and Painting.

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