Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Approaching Galleries - Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my new series of blog posts looking at the nerve-wracking topic of 'approaching new galleries and stockists' I say nerve-wracking, that's what I thought a couple of years ago when I had never done it before and I knew this was something I needed to do to expand my list of stockists. But really, if you do it the right way, there's nothing to be scared of at all. All of the gallery owners I have had the pleasure to work with have been really friendly and helpful. Hopefully this interview with Jane Needham, Gallery Manager at the Craft Centre and Design Gallery in Leeds will help you out.

Do you prefer to find new artists/designers yourself or do you like them to contact you?

It’s nice to do abit of both although we don’t always have the time to research designers ourselves and we have a lot of designers approaching us anyway so that keeps us nice and busy. We also attend important trade shows like BCTF in Harrogate (one of our favourites) and New Designers in London.

How do you prefer to be approached by new designers?

Because we’re such a small team and a busy gallery we always prefer designers to submit their work to us via email or through the post. That way when we get the time we can discuss the work properly with other members of the Craft Centre team and consider the best time to invite the designer in for; taking into consideration if the work would be suited for general display or for a main exhibition. Our website has a helpful process for designers to follow should they wish to submit their work here for consideration. And this is found in the About section – Information for designers.

What kind of information would you hope to gain when considering stocking new work?

We need to see good quality images of the range of work available, a wholesale pricelist and also a CV and artists statement from the designer.

What kind of factors would influence your decision about whether to stock new work?

We know our target audience well and are always aiming to encourage and develop new customers and visitors through an exciting and varied exhibition programme. We have built up a strong following of loyal customers and we know what they like. Bearing this in mind we have to consider prices, quality and craftsmanship and whether the work is suited to a main exhibition (running along a specific theme) or if it should be taken for general display (supporting the work in the main exhibitions). Seasons also come into play whereby we know what our busier time of year are (Christmas especially) and therefore we can judge when the work may be best appreciated.

The current exhibition is themed Made with Love which is on until 16th March 2013

What is the most novel kind of way someone has got you to notice them or their work?

I can’t think of anything specific and alot of submissions are now made digitally but we used to receive some lovely packs of information i.e. cd of images and CV/Artists statement through the post with a real visually creative content. These always stood out in my mind, even if the work wasn’t chosen for display the effort taken to approach us was appreciated.

Thanks Jane for taking part in the blog. If you want to find out more about the Craft Centre and Design Gallery you can visit the website here to find out what's going on and you can also 'like' their Facebook Page here.

If you missed it you can read Part 1 of the series by clicking here where Tracey Benton from Atelier in Dervon gives us her take on what you should be doing to impress your new galleries....

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