I would really love to show my work in a gallery in New Mexico! I have submitted my work to a few galleries over the past couple of years, with no luck. When a gallery was actually kind enough to reply, they were over flowing with art already, and they gave preference to New Mexico artists. Weem’s gallery in Albuquerque actually has art on the floor!
I became disheartened. I wouldn’t say I gave up on the gallery hunt, but I did decide to quit wasting my time until I felt I was better.
Well, I think I’m better. Bolstered by the some recent sales and encouragement, I decided to try again.
At the end of August, my painting “Rio Grande, Agave, and a Mountain” (above) sold at an auction at the Taos Art Museum Gala. The price was 10% over my suggested retail!
Around the same time, I sold a painting “Manzano Living”in Mountainair, NM at the Manzano Mountain Art Council exhibit. Rebecca from the MMAC encouraged me to try selling in Albuquerque and Santa Fe galleries.
I’ve read articles from established artists saying gallery hunting is a numbers game. You have to send out many submissions before you’re accepted.
The commonly accepted strategy is to start out small, then work your way up to bigger and better galleries. One artist said he started at the top, then worked his way down. I like that idea! So I started at the top of my wish list: the legendary Canyon Road in Santa Fe.
If you don’t know this, Santa Fe is usually among the top three art markets in the country. The heart and soul of the Santa Fe art scene is Canyon Road, with over 100 galleries on five or six city blocks. This seemed like a crazy but perfect place to start the hunt anew.
I went to Google Maps and searched for galleries in Santa Fe, then in Albuquerque. I put a list together on my Trello . If you don’t know what Trello.com is, check it out! I researched galleries, picking good ones that I thought I would fit with. Once I got a good list together, I put a submission package together, complete with a biography, a cover letter, 6 or 7 images, and a price list.
I sent this package out to a dozen or so galleries, and sat back and waited for the “no thank you” emails.
These galleries are busy. Many of them don’t reply at all. Many of them take a little follow up before they reply. Those that do reply are often short. One gallery simply replied “John, No thank you.”
The kindest no-thank-you was from Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art. Deborah wrote “Thank you so much for considering my galleries for possible representation of your work. We have suspended adding additional artists to our program for now, but thanks for letting me become acquainted with your work.
Best of luck I am confident you will find the perfect home to represent your paintings.”
I got a few nibbles. Purple Sage Gallery in Albuquerque was interested, but they prefer plein air. I could have lied and said they were plein air, but that’s horrible business! They told me when I got the chance to paint a New Mexico scene en plein air, to contact them again. So that’s on my list for my next visit to New Mexico!
Sorrel Sky gallery in Santa Fe reviews portfolios twice a year, the next review being in January. They encouraged me to send new work then.
The most promising lead was from Waxlander Gallery on Canyon Road. They want me to send new work in March. I’ll have to write about that in a future post. I don’t want this post to get too long.
Let me just tell you that I haven’t found a New Mexico gallery yet, but I have a nice long list to keep pecking at. I also have three galleries that want me to try again very soon.