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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Getting Into Galleries

How to catch the eye of a curator and get your work exhibited

Labels: How-To
...Unedited Work
Photographers get attached to images and want to show something for everyone. This may seem like a good idea—all types of clients will be able to look at your website and see that you can do it all. Typically, the response is, "Wow, this photographer is all over the place!" That isn't necessarily a good thing. When your work is all over the place, you're missing the most important thing: cohesion. A client and a curator both want to know what they can expect from you because photography is visual; the visual make-up of your presentation to them shows that. When the work is all over the place ,the client and curator don't know what to expect and, therefore, are much less likely to take a gamble on you.

...The G2 Gallery And Artists
We receive artists in three ways: 1) People are recommended to us, and we contact them, send them a jury application and add them to the review roster; 2) People find us and send us a jury application; and 3) We seek out artists who are working in the environmental field on specific projects that we want to illuminate.

We have two very distinct types of work we are looking for. Our main exhibits address a environmental issue (nature and/or wildlife specific) and are photojournalistic. Our "Nature LA" series highlights Los Angeles County professionals who have artistic work with nature or wildlife subject matter.
For example, Robert Glenn Ketchum was recommended to us due to his work in Alaska with the pebble mine when we were first starting the gallery (at which point we were looking for artists as we had not been established). Robert is one of our represented artists as his work is cohesive, yet diverse; he has participated in four exhibits at the gallery.

Ron LeValley is a represented artist who was recommended to us for the environmental exhibit "On the Wing" (May 2009), which was partnered with Audubon California and focused on pelagic birds. In working with him on the exhibit, we learned of his ocean work and asked for a few pieces to try out in our gift shop; they're one of our most popular sellers.

Jennifer MaHarry juried and was chosen to participate in our "Nature LA" exhibit series showing her work documenting the wild horses at the WIN Ranch in Ojai in May 2010. Her work was extremely well received and continues to be today. We just had her second exhibit in May 2012, as she has continued with this project and documented a BLM round-up in Utah. Her work is visually artistic, and she has a unique eye and sense of color when she prints. Jennifer has now, with the new work, begun limited editions, and she's growing as an artist.

These are examples of three very different types of artists, from pricing to the style and subject matter of their work. The one thing they have in common is their personal commitment to the environment and the creatures that inhabit it.

...Nature Photography As Art
Nature photography is a tough sell in the art world. It has, in my experience, been questioned as art. There are artists out there who have made it work because the work is something more than an image of nature, but an art piece, a statement, a new vision. This is why we, as curators, are looking for unique work.

This is also why you need to determine if your work fits in a specific venue. For example, we have great success selling ocean-related work. Why? Because we're just blocks from the ocean. When I ran a gallery in Vermont, we sold snow and fall leaves in the photography genre; it's what people relate to.

The G2 Gallery in Los Angeles is one of the premier galleries for nature photographers in the U.S. Go to www.theg2gallery.com to learn more about the gallery.

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