Following up with a gallery submission

I pulled a question out of the hat for today’s blog post. It reads:

I submitted work to a local gallery but never heard back from them. They were moving at the time, I think.

Should I submit again?

It feels a little awkward to say anything since a chunk of time has gone by.

What is appropriate here?

In these cases, you don't want to be a pest, but you also want to be thorough and persistent.

Marylouise Learned, African Water Spirit
Mary Louise Learned, African Water Spirit

Here's what I'd do. I'd shoot the gallery an email expressing congratulations on their move. I'd tell them that I've enjoyed the good press they're receiving and that I'm just following up to make sure they received my submission. Further, I'd say, “I know you have been very busy with your move and exhibitions. I'd be happy to resubmit my portfolio if it would be helpful.” Of course you include a link to your website. No pressure. I wouldn't ask them to respond in any other way.

I would also send a hard copy to the gallery–just in case they have stealth spam filters set up.

If I don't hear from them, I'd  let it go and keep them on my mailing list.


Special Reports: Approach Galleries without Fear and How to Follow Up and Say Thank You

Book: I'd Rather Be in the Studio! (Action on following up, pages 153-159)

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4 thoughts on “Following up with a gallery submission”

  1. I’m always nervous about coming off as a pest/annoying when I follow up with a gallery after submitting my work. This gives me a good framework for following up. Good good!

  2. Ant: Glad you found this helpful. I think annoying is calling the week after you sent something and asking “did you get it?” I hear this can bug gallerists. But if you have a legitimate reason to suspect your submission got lost, go for it. Besides, no one is going to keep you out of their gallery stable if 1) they like your work and 2) you’re persistent. So, what have you got to lose?

  3. How do we know it’s appropriate to put a gallery on our mailing list? Is it a common practice to have galleries on mailing lists? I’m assuming they have come to expect it since their business is art, but is it considered rude?

  4. Seems like common sense to me…following up with a gallery is no different than following up on a job application. If you are confident enough to submit your life’s work to a gallery, then you should be confident in following up with the gallery. Rejection comes in all professions and pursuits, it is those who know how to move beyond that find success. You cannot take things personally – be confident in your art, be confident in you!

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