Things To Consider Before Exhibiting Your Artwork!

Written by Nomsa Motale
One of the many challenges thats artists face, is the challenge of getting their artwork on the right platform. They require the correct exposure so that their artwork can be in-demand. With that said, it takes a procedure for most artists to exhibit their work in well known galleries. I spoke to Zakara Raitt from Stevenson gallery and she had some advice for all the artists who want to know the 411 when it comes to exhibiting
What is the biggest mistake that emerging visual artists make, when they submit their artwork to an art gallery?
“I think the biggest mistake would be not taking the time to make a professional  portfolio PDF. Majority of the time artists submit their work without giving any context about who they are and what their work is about. Artists do not do the research about the gallery before submitting their work.I think the biggest mistake would be not taking the time to make a professional portfolio PDF.”

What are the three essential things that every artist needs to have before they think about submitting their art work to a gallery?

“Artists should have a full CV (including links to websites/blogs/instagram), a comprehensive artist statement and lastly a selection of their strongest works with full titles and possibly a short write up about the works.

Do you think that it is better, when an emerging artist, books a space and has their own exhibition somewhere? or is it better when their work is exhibited at a well known gallery? what are the pro’s and con’s for both of these ideas/plans?
“It is important at the early stages of your career to host exhibitions/happenings at independent spaces (not necessarily being a gallery or ‘art’ space) as these kinds of events have the potential of exposure to curators who might be interested in working with you or who would be able to give you input about your work.  Exposure via independent shows might turn into opportunities where you will be invited to be in a group shows which can only help your career.”
For emerging artists who have excellent work but don’t have enough capital to showcase their work? what advice can you give to them?
“Generally there are prestigious art competitions (for example L’Atelier and Sasol new signatures competition) which are a great platform that artists can use not only to get exposure but to also to win money that would be able to fund their creative practice. Vist the VANSA website for more details on current competitions.”