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Friday, March 23, 2007

supporting the galleries

I've got several shows coming up all around Western WA - actually I'm looking at a minimum of one a month from April through October, which is the most rigorous schedule I've put on myself yet. Most of these shows are within reasonable proximity to at least one gallery who carries my paintings.

Much preparation to be done! It's been a very busy year, more so than I've seen yet, and as a result my inventory is not as high as I would like. That's ok, I'll get there - I have a month before the first of these shows.

Part of my preparation is getting with each gallery who represents me, and getting a stack of their business cards। When I set up the table in the center of the back wall in my booth, it contains my brochures, my business cards, a guestbook, a couple of WIP's, some unpainted feathers for kids to touch... and lots of gallery business cards.

I keep the business cards of all galleries in the region in a tidy little rack in a prominant place. I let local patrons know that they can also find my paintings in these galleries nearby। I make sure I have a list of what that gallery has, so in the event that a patron is looking for a specific animal that I do not have or no longer have in my booth, I can cheerfully tell them that so-and-so has a feather with that animal in their gallery, and I describe it to them, and describe the gallery and its location if they are unfamiliar. There have been a couple of cases where the patron exclaims, "Oh, I didn't know there was a gallery there!", which is good for the gallery because I've just pointed a new visitor in their direction. It's good for me because they'll be very likely on the lookout for painted feathers when they do visit that gallery. I've seen some gallery sales that way. It's good for the patron because now they know where to find my work, they don't have to wait for next year's show - they may also have a new venue on their list of galleries to explore.

And I always, ALWAYS keep the prices consistent: at the gallery, at the show, in the studio. One should NEVER undersell a representing gallery, it's just bad form all around.

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