Choosing a Gallery to Suit Your Style
Getting your work shown in a gallery is one thing – but getting your work shown at the right gallery is the next step in gaining the recognition that you want for your work. Doing some research about galleries in your area (or in other cities, if you are prepared to ship your artwork) and what their specializations are when it comes to the work they show, can help you immensely in the long run.
Each gallery you go to has a different mission statement, and of course, each gallery owner will have their own opinions and tastes. On a more concrete level, however, some galleries will be committed to showing only film and media art, some art from international artists, some specifically sculpture, and so on ad infinitum. I live in the Vancouver, British Columbia area and there are several galleries in the city that have very specific missions regarding the type of art that they show and represent. VIVO gallery specializes in media-based artworks, (i.e. film, or digital media.) Centre A shows art by Asian artists. Grunt gallery looks particularly at up-and-coming artists and local aboriginal art. Finding a gallery that specializes in the type of work that you make can be a great opportunity to rise above a crowd and get your work noticed.
If you show at a commercial gallery, they will be focused on trying to sell your works - and, by that logic, will want to show your works only if the gallery owner believes he or she will be able to sell your work to clients. Alternatively, you can show at an artist-run centre, which are generally funded by grants and have less of a focus on sales and more on networking and exposure for young artists.
All of these are good things to take into account. Stop into a few galleries in your city and find out what their missions are!