Gallery Exhibitions – First Experience

Decked out in a thrift store suit.

Dressed to the nines.

This was it.

100’s of hours preparing came down to 30 Photo frames, 30 loose prints, 28 days, 2 hours for a reception, and my first success into the public (and local) spotlight.

In this moment, nothing mattered quite as much.

OK, let me step back to six months before this…

It was July and I happily submitted my first-ever application to an art gallery located about 10 minutes from my home.

Wanting to impress the gallery directors, I opted to submit the application via mail. I wanted to make a distinct impression in a world that was saturated with email and digital photo files. So I filled up a tiny self-addressed envelope with five 4×6’s of pictures I took of frames…printed pictures of pictures. Narrowing my now diverse collection of prints to just five to show was quite the task.

Within several weeks, I got an email from the gallery coordinator saying they’d be happy to exhibit my work. The earliest being February next year.

I was quite excited yet a little bummed I’d have to wait six months, however this would prove to be worth the time waiting.

Things in the art world seem to move rather slow. What I mean is you have to apply and schedule out events many months in advance.

My first ever (and absolutely terrible) booth shot. While this blog post isn’t about art fairs, I took this in May for a festival that was in September.

I spent the next 5-ish months preparing more and more for February.

Printing, matting, hanging, and displaying your work is the final piece of the puzzle. Digital screens will never compare!

Opening day was here at last…and of course that would be too easy. Several inches of snow fell and there was a water main break on the way there forcing a detour.

Opening Day: All loaded up and ready to go.

Not only that but one of the frames fell and broke..

Fortunately, I replaced the parts and worked it out before reception night.

Then comes reception day, nerves were running very high for the 24 hours before the reception. Besides one of the framed pieces falling six days before, there was nonstop rain all day, and did it pour hard with no signs of letting up…

The view looking outside my window. Heavy rain certainly dampens the mood of any event.

To be honest I wasn’t quite sure how many people would show up, and if the rain would change their minds. Basically all my friends and coworkers were aware of the event.

Safe to say, the reception night was a success, five personal friends came and five members from the Beaver Creek Wetlands Association to my surprise.

Overall it was fun and I happened to make a sale from a friend!

All tucked away and ready to give.

So, would I recommend you exhibit your artwork?

Absolutely! No matter what medium you choose, the self-satisfaction of seeing your creation(s) outside your house on a public wall is worth the expense and effort. Not only that but seeing others’ reactions makes me joyous as well.

Galleries really aren’t the best sources of stable income unless it’s an established and high-end gallery or you’re a big name in the industry. However, see this as an opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals and to network!

Find a gallery near you and apply! They are certainly everywhere and would be happy to share your work with the world!

Me trying to hide the smirk of success, this whole endeavor was so much fun that I will certainly be doing it again.

I’d say give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed.

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Published by Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor is a 25 year old photographer located in Beavercreek Ohio, United States. Specializing in wildlife and landscapes both big and small, Ryan has sought to capture many different natural locations throughout the Buckeye State and beyond.

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