Approaching Galleries & Proposal Writing for Artists


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how to approach commercial galleries and non-profit galleries
being represented at an international level
understanding open submissions
promotion of artistic career
insights into gallery/curatorial practice from the management side and from the artists point of view

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Approaching Galleries & Proposal Writing for Artists

  1. 1. Approaching public galleries Pippa Little, Curator
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ it would be terrific if, … a gallery owner saw one of your paintings and offered you a showing. In this fantasy, critics and collectors discover you. That’s it… You’re written about in Time magazine by Robert Hughes. You are invited to show at the Whitney Biennial.” </li></ul><ul><li>Molly Barnes </li></ul>
  3. 3. Approaching public galleries <ul><li>Select </li></ul><ul><li>Write a three year plan </li></ul><ul><li>Skills to develop </li></ul><ul><li>Research (what do they offer) </li></ul><ul><li>Network </li></ul><ul><li>Remember galleries programme in advance </li></ul>
  4. 4. Proposal writing <ul><li>Mission statement </li></ul><ul><li>Identify funding sources </li></ul><ul><li>Get proposal guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Budget </li></ul><ul><li>CV </li></ul><ul><li>Visual materials </li></ul><ul><li>Timeline </li></ul><ul><li>Covering letter </li></ul>
  5. 5. Select <ul><li>Limerick has the following publicly funded galleries </li></ul><ul><li>Limerick City Gallery of Art </li></ul><ul><li>Hunt Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Printmakers </li></ul><ul><li>Belltable Arts Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Bourne Vincent Gallery-UL </li></ul>
  6. 6. LCGA mission statement to provide artists with the opportunity to experiment, develop and above all display their work; Neva Elliott, 2005
  7. 7. Write a 3 year plan <ul><li>Short and long term goals </li></ul><ul><li>Example </li></ul><ul><li>Put together exhibition in local library </li></ul><ul><li>Apply for County Council artists bursary </li></ul><ul><li>Apply for Arts Council Travel Award </li></ul><ul><li>Have solo exhibition by 2010 </li></ul>
  8. 8. Break into goals, strategy, deadlines <ul><li>Goal exhibition in local library </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Approach librarian </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraise from local businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Get press coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Invite curator from arts centre to open the exhibition </li></ul><ul><li>Deadline </li></ul><ul><li>6 months </li></ul>
  9. 9. Skills to develop <ul><li>Proposal writing </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Computing, database management, word, Photoshop </li></ul><ul><li>Project management </li></ul><ul><li>Press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation </li></ul>
  10. 10. Tips <ul><li>Think of Ireland as a whole </li></ul><ul><li>Use open submissions strategically </li></ul><ul><li>Spend time preparing application forms and proposals </li></ul><ul><li>Rejection and success is all part of the process </li></ul><ul><li>Use Visual Artists Ireland </li></ul>
  11. 11. What do galleries offer <ul><li>Publicity </li></ul><ul><li>mail out database </li></ul><ul><li>postage </li></ul><ul><li>private view </li></ul><ul><li>invitations </li></ul><ul><li>preparing the press release </li></ul><ul><li>advertising </li></ul><ul><li>inclusion on web site </li></ul>
  12. 12. What do galleries offer <ul><li>Exhibiting </li></ul><ul><li>transport </li></ul><ul><li>Installation (technicians) </li></ul><ul><li>space </li></ul><ul><li>production costs </li></ul><ul><li>catalogue </li></ul><ul><li>Insurance </li></ul><ul><li>invigilation </li></ul>
  13. 13. Network <ul><li>Do not drop in on spec </li></ul><ul><li>Phone and find out about exhibition policy and open submissions </li></ul><ul><li>Sign up to the mailing list </li></ul><ul><li>Attend openings </li></ul><ul><li>Get to know staff and add them to your mailing list </li></ul><ul><li>Good quality post cards for minor correspondence </li></ul>
  14. 14. Alternative Networking <ul><li>Can you meet for another reason (research, transport advice, voluntary) </li></ul><ul><li>Can you invite the curator to open an exhibition of your work </li></ul><ul><li>Do any of your colleagues know the curator </li></ul><ul><li>Look out for staff changes </li></ul><ul><li>What about the education or lecture programme? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Proposal writing The screening process
  16. 16. Why write a proposal <ul><li>To plan your project </li></ul><ul><li>To manage your project </li></ul><ul><li>To fundraise for your project </li></ul>
  17. 17. Goals and objectives <ul><li>Define broad project goals, then identify objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Goal </li></ul><ul><li>To publish a one off art book </li></ul><ul><li>Objective </li></ul><ul><li>Select five artists to contribute </li></ul>
  18. 18. Mission statement <ul><li>Example </li></ul><ul><li>Cabinet 's hybrid sensibility merges the popular appeal of an arts periodical, the visually engaging style of a design magazine, and the in-depth exploration of a scholarly journal…. a valuable sourcebook…for a wide range of readers, from artists and designers to scientists and historians. </li></ul><ul><li>inIVA creates exhibitions, publications, multimedia, education and research projects, designed to bring the work of artists from culturally-diverse backgrounds to the attention of the widest possible public. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Identify funding sources <ul><li>  Arts Council- Bursaries Award, Projects New Work, Projects Once Off, Commissions, Travel and Training Awards, Small Festivals </li></ul><ul><li>Local Council </li></ul><ul><li>CREATE (Artist in the Community) </li></ul><ul><li>Culture Ireland </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage Council </li></ul><ul><li>Galleries </li></ul><ul><li>CAFE Publications / Clann Credo Irish Fundraising Handbook, 5th edition, 2003-2004 </li></ul>
  20. 20. Get Proposal Guidelines <ul><li>Read thoroughly </li></ul><ul><li>Constantly refer to guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Check the following </li></ul><ul><li>Deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Eligibility </li></ul><ul><li>Accompanying material </li></ul><ul><li>Funding goals and priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation process and criteria </li></ul>
  21. 21. Contents
  22. 22. Budget <ul><li>What do you need? </li></ul><ul><li>Matching funding </li></ul><ul><li>Quotes </li></ul><ul><li>In kind support </li></ul><ul><li>Timetable of payment schedules </li></ul>
  23. 23. CV <ul><li>Up to date </li></ul><ul><li>Include things that are relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Remove things if they are not </li></ul><ul><li>Skills based (if you are running a project) </li></ul><ul><li>Exhibition based (if you are applying for a bursary) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Visual materials <ul><li>Use a photographer </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t send slides unless specified </li></ul><ul><li>Do send CD with contact sheet </li></ul><ul><li>Name your images on CD </li></ul><ul><li>Give title, medium and date </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure they are in a compatible format </li></ul><ul><li>Label ALL accompanying material </li></ul>
  25. 25. Timetable
  26. 26. Press coverage
  27. 27. Covering letter <ul><li>Address to a real person (find out on internet or phone) </li></ul><ul><li>Explain why your work might be suitable for the venue/programme </li></ul><ul><li>Keep to one page </li></ul>
  28. 28. Submission checklist <ul><li>Requested number of copies </li></ul><ul><li>Copy to file </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure to include required documentation </li></ul>
  29. 29. Summary <ul><li>Approaching public galleries </li></ul><ul><li>Select </li></ul><ul><li>Write 3 year plan </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Network </li></ul><ul><li>Proposal writing </li></ul><ul><li>Mission statement </li></ul><ul><li>Funding sources </li></ul><ul><li>Budget </li></ul><ul><li>CV </li></ul><ul><li>Visual materials </li></ul><ul><li>Covering letter </li></ul>
  30. 30. Bibliography <ul><li>Barnes, M., How to get Hung: A Practical Guide for Emerging Artists , Journey Editions, 1994. </li></ul><ul><li>Denvir, B., & Gray, H., Making Art Pay , Phaidon, 1989. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> . </li></ul><ul><li>http:// /information/ </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>