I did it! Got to work! I'd been putting off applying to several places, but tonight I finally took the time to get three done. It's a bit quicker to do more than one at a time since I can use some of the same materials - sometimes!
I applied to the Seraphin Gallery in Philly - it looks like a great gallery with great art, and they show figurative work. Could be a good one! I also applied for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship. Every year they offer $8000 grants to professional artists in Va. Every year I apply. I think this is my best chance yet because my work is cohesive and increasingly skilled. The third application I filled out is to REDUX, a funky contemporary gallery in Charleston, SC. It looks like they do a lot of installations and other art that won't necessarily sell but that people ought to see. If anyone would be OK with showing figurative work, I figure it should be they!
Later: I just finished a fourth application! This one is for the Schlesinger Center at Northern VA Community College. I'd love to show this work at a college where there can be a lot of discussion about the topic of Women's Body Image. That would be truly exciting. I decided to name the show "Authentic Flesh". Love it!
It is a very time-consuming process to send out applications. Dylan, my HS Senior son, and I have a lot in common right now - we're both working very hard to send out applications! The process is as follows:
* Find a gallery that might show my work - it has to have artists who are at my skill level, and they have to have a sensibility in line with the work I do. They also have to be close enough for me to hand-deliver my artwork since it's so large - it would be prohibitively expensive to ship it.
* Find out if they accept submissions.
* Find out what they require.
* Update resume and print out.
* Write Artist's Statement specific to the gallery/show/grant - this one takes the longest time usually, and I have to be very centered to write something I like.
* Take pictures of each painting as I finish it. Refine it in Adobe Photoshop so it looks as good on the computer as it does in real life: crop it, adjust levels, adjust contrast, brightness, color, etc. Organize images so I can find them for the application process.
* Choose which images to include on the CD. This takes a VERY long time because it's crucial.
* Format the images appropriately. Each and every gallery/show/grant has different requirements for the dpi, the pixel size, the format, the number of images, etc., so I have to re-format the work for each entry.
* Burn the CD. Make sure it works by trying it on another computer.
* Save all the documents in a folder so I know what I've sent to whom and when I should expect a reply.
* Enter the info on a hard copy calendar I have so I remember what I've done and when I should hear back.
* Address and stamp an envelope so they can send my materials back if it isn't the right place for me. My heart always leaps when I see my own handwriting on an envelope in the mailbox.
* Write a letter introducing myself and asking them to consider me for their gallery.
* Address the huge envelope to put all that in.
* Stamp it.
* Mail it.
* Wait up to 6 months for a response.
* Jump for joy when it comes and is positive!