Leveling Up

- by Always Art Staff

When you get the interest of a gallery, don’t immediately jump to any permanent agreements about your partnership. Before you commit, it’s smart to work together and test the waters to see if you are the right fit. When a gallery represents you, it has a massive impact on your career, audience, and trajectory, so you want to ensure that you are pairing up with the right partner so that you both benefit and have your needs met.

Working with a gallery long-term will require that you establish the following:

  • Consignment agreements
  • Pricing
  • Payment methods
  • Art handling & shipping
  • Networking opportunities
  • And more

Here’s how you can work with a gallery to test out whether it’s a good match:

Be part of a group show

Joining a group show will give you a sense of the gallery and its team in terms of their personalities, methods, and networks. You will meet the gallerists you would work with in the future and get a sense of whether you get along, trust each other, and share a similar vision. Plus, you will see who attends the show and the other artists the gallery represents to learn whether they have collectors and networks who would be interested in your work. Being part of a group show allows you to insert yourself into their flow and rhythm to see what it might be like to work together in the future.

Put on a solo show

If the group show goes well, you may choose to work together on a solo show to get a more intimate sense of how the process would work if you were in a partnership. Do you feel supported by their team? Do you see interest in your work from their collectors? Are they paying you fairly and on time? Take note of how the process goes, and don’t feel obligated to enter into a permanent agreement if it doesn’t feel like the right fit. Start by showing a few pieces of work and use it as a test case to assess your priorities and needs moving forward.


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