Monday, March 02, 2009

Has your work been shown in a gallery or a fashion show? Or do you want it to be? The Ins and Outs of Gallery and Fashion Shows

In the past year, I have been thinking more and more about creating new art and fashion pieces. (Although I've also posted about making and selling kits and supplies so my range of interests are far reaching!) Part of my thought process always leads me back to the question of "What do I do with art pieces?" and "Where do I show them and sell them?"

Those two questions ultimately make me think about approaching galleries. Quite honestly the thought of me having to walk into a gallery and present my work for review is a bit terrifying - okay, a lot terrifying. First of all, I've always thought of myself as a very, very casual person - maybe even somewhat of a country bumpkin that has become a city dweller by happenstance. Yes, I do teach college level design courses for my part-time day job, but I wear jeans and t-shirts to class almost every day and could probably pass for one of my students at times in appearance - shhh, don't tell my boss though! The gallery world seems very formal and fancy to me. Those are two descriptive words that are somewhat foreign to my nature and very intimidating to me. Although I sincerely do think that my art work and wearable felts could fit well into a gallery setting or fashion show, I often feel that I, the artist, would not. (It is tempting to hire a polished, pretty, and distinguished actor to play me and present my work to galleries - just kidding, but it is tempting!)

I know that the first thing that I need to do is create a good body of work for presentation because it should ultimately be about the art. This will include taking some great photos and revamping my portfolio, resume, and artist's statement. I'd also like to update my personal portfolio website. Next, I'll need to get organized. It just seems logical to have everything ready to show and develop a game plan on how to do that. Then comes the actual communication with galleries which is the part that makes my stomach hurt and puts a lump in my throat. This is the part that I really need encouragement about and help with so I turn to reading articles on the web for advice and reaching out to my blog readers and fellow fiber artists. I know that I have a long way to go in the process before I feel ready for the final step of contacting galleries.

Etsy's blog, The Storque, had a great article not too long ago about approaching galleries that I found to be wonderfully informative. Click here to read it. It made the process of presenting art work to galleries much less intimidating. There were many things in the article that I could relate to. I really appreciate Aja Apa-Soura, sagittariusgallery on Etsy, for sharing her insight in the article. After reading this article, some of my terrible fears about approaching galleries has subsided - some of them! It actually made me think more in-depth and seriously about completing a body of work to present to local galleries and see how things go.

Honestly, just presenting my work to a gallery would be a big accomplishment for me. It is one of those things in life that I think I would regret if I did not eventually try to do - whatever the outcome might be. Now that I'm approaching my mid-thirties and on the way to having my first child, there's a lot of those little things that I'd like to accomplish which keep popping up in my mind. Life seems so much shorter to me now than it did a few years ago, and I do not want to be caught at the end of my journey with a lot of "what-ifs" along the way. I can't say that I've had too many of those so far.

For now, this is all that I have for you. I know that it is not a lot! This is a new thought for me to approach a gallery with my current work and eventual creations too. Hopefully, in the next several months to a year, I will be able to post about my own personal experiences with galleries and/or fashion shows, etc., but for now, it is on to you........

Have you ever shown your work in a gallery? Or in a fashion show? Or elsewhere at a public event other than an arts/crafts show? And, if not, do you want to? Does it also intimidate or scare you at least a little to approach galleries? What's your advice or experience about it all?

I'd love, love, love for you to share your personal experiences, advice, opinions, etc! Please leave a comment about it!


  1. Hey there,

    I actually really enjoy getting ready to go into a new place and present my products and myself.

    I find it really exhilarating, and love getting cutesied up! I often don't look my cutest while I craft!

    Good luck to you as you take on this task!

    Sylvia C.

  2. It's great to see you writing about this topic! I've also been thinking about showing my work to a galleries but I don't know where to begin. I know I need to make more work and also update/improve my photos, and make a portfolio site and...The list just goes on and on. Part of me thinks maybe I just need to get out and do it and see what happens, but it's totally intimidating!


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