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How SHOULD artists communicate with a gallery???

Answered by Irina Rusinovich, the CEO of HAZE.GALLERY, Berlin.

What is the best way of communicating with a gallery for the first time? What should an artist tell and offer?                                                                                       

When reaching out to a gallery, an artist should be professional and courteous, showing an understanding of the gallery’s mission and its previous exhibition history. It’s important to be clear and concise about the aim of the communication, be it expressing interest in being represented by the gallery or seeking information about the upcoming open calls. 

As for what they can offer, an artist may provide a brief description of their artwork in the initial communication with the gallery, highlighting any unique qualities, techniques, or concepts specific to his work. It’s usually packaged in a form of artist bio, CV, artist’s statement and an up-to-date portfolio. An artist can also offer to provide any additional information or answer any questions to help the gallery understand their work better.

How should a gallery definitely NOT be contacted? Can you give an example of unprofessional communication?                                                                                         

A gallery should never be contacted in an unprofessional manner, i.e. through a spam email or a cold call without prior research or an introduction. 

There are a lot of artists DMing us on Instagram, asking to look at their portfolio and give them a review or, at least, some sort of feedback. In our opinion, this is a classic example of unprofessional communication.

On what terms do you work with artists as a gallery?                                                      

We host a wide range of themed, curated Open Calls for in-person and online exhibitions. These opportunities are especially valued by emerging artists looking to gain experience, exposure, contacts, professional feedback, and even sales!

 We also have a roster of artists whom we represent and promote in the “usual” gallery manner, that is through exhibitions, art fairs, publications etc. 

How do you reach beyond your country’s art market? Is it important to you?      

During the past four years we have hosted 35 exhibitions and interacted with 167 artists from 44 countries, so I would say inclusion & diversity is our main manifesto. 

 All photos are made by Johannes Pol