Ask a Gallerist: What is the Best Way to Submit My Artwork to a Gallery?

Artwork Archive | February 15, 2017 (Updated April 12, 2021)

Photo courtesy of Haven Art Gallery

Galleries pride themselves in their curated selection of artwork — a lot depends on this. Collectors, patrons, press, and museums all trust the curatorship. This means your submissions are a reflection of the gallery. So it is in your favor to not be hasty in your submissions. Before submitting, take advantage of how easy it is to connect with other artists online. Seek out constructive criticism and opinions from one another and be ready to put your best foot forward when you are ready.

If a gallery is taking submissions, follow any instructions on their website with respect to how they wish for such presentations to be submitted. If no information is listed, do not hesitate to call the gallery of interest.

Think you are ready to submit? Run through this checklist to make sure you are giving yourself all the advantages in this game. 

  1. Make sure the gallery you are submitting to exhibits artists at your career point, similar aesthetics, and price points like that of your own. They are more likely to want to work with you and have the potential to sell your work.

  2. Do not submit very large files via email. If you insist on providing hi-resolution images, consider using a cloud-based service.

  3. Submit your current work or work reflective of the style in which you would be contributing to the gallery.

  4. Include an up to date C.V., price guide, and related artwork captions.

  5. Do not send blanket emails. These typically get deleted.

  6. Be open to constructive criticism from galleries.

  7. If you aren't accepted, don’t get angry. Work harder. We are not always ready for what we think we are.

  8. Be patient. Galleries tend to receive many submissions and may not always be able to respond to everyone right away. Do not be surprised if a gallery does not respond to you at all, especially if they are not accepting submissions.

If a gallery is not taking submissions, take a shot anyway if you truly think your work is a strong fit. Follow the aforementioned tips.

Want a simple and fast way to submit your work to galleries? Using Artwork Archive you can create beautiful reports of your current work with all the important details galleries need. Plus, it's a cloud-based service so you can send links of your hi-resolution images to galleries just like Erica suggests.

BONUS EVENT! Ask Erica about how she prefers work be submitted to her gallery on Saturday, February 18th on Facebook at part of our Ask a Gallerist series. Reserve your spot here!


Erica Berkowitz is a co-owner of Haven Gallery in Long Island, New York. She has her Master’s Degree in Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art and has worked locally on Long Island at the Nassau County Museum of Art and the Islip Art Museum. Most recently, she left her position as Director of Last Rites Gallery in NYC for nearly three years to open up her own gallery space. Prior to Directing at Last Rites, she was the Director of Press and Publications at Forum Gallery. She has been working in the art world for over eight years and is also a self-published author. Along with her husband, she has been collecting art for nearly a decade.

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