How to Write a Proposal to Galleries

Updated July 20, 2017

Exhibiting in a gallery's art exhibition will advance your career as an artist and help you sell your artwork. Similar to applying for a job, you must first create a proposal packet for galleries to view; this allows galleries to familiarise themselves with your work. Proposal packets should include a cover letter, work samples, an artist statement and a resume. Use this guide to create a proposal packet that can help you develop a professional relationship with an art gallery.

Write a cover letter to the gallery. Begin with an introduction that briefly explains who you are, the purpose of the proposal packet, and how you are familiar with this gallery. Include a condensed artist statement and a few facts from your artist resume. Conclude the letter with your contact information. Personalise the cover letter for each gallery you are contacting.

Take high-quality photographs of each piece of your best artwork. Ensure the art is evenly lit and the photograph is cropped closely to the artwork. Hire a professional photographer if you cannot obtain the proper equipment or you are uncomfortable taking photographs. Create an inventory of your artwork that includes the title of each piece, the year it was completed, media used to create it, its dimensions, and -- if it was sold -- the collector's name. Include photographs of three to seven of your most recent pieces and their specific inventory information.

Write an artist statement that bolsters your current body of artwork. Include descriptions of what you create as an artist, why you are inspired to create it, and the processes you use to accomplish it. Write in the first person, be descriptive and ensure it is less than two paragraphs long.

Write a resume that shows your accomplishments as an artist. Begin with your name and contact information. Include categories like "Education," "Selected Exhibitions," "Solo Exhibitions," "Commissions, "Public Collections," "Biography," "Awards" and "Artist Residencies." Group categories together or do not include all the categories if you are an artist new to the field. Chronologically include your accomplishments by year under each category, listing your most recent accomplishments first.

Things You'll Need

  • Camera
  • High-quality printing paper
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About the Author

South Florida resident Angela Faustina Kramer has been a freelance writer and photographer since 2007. Her writing and artwork has appeared in local magazines like “Edible Sarasota Magazine.” Kramer is a recent graduate of New College of Florida where she earned her Bachelor of Arts with honors in fine art/history.