We frequently get asked how we find our artists. It's not a simple answer, but I thought I'd try to explain our process.
We receive portfolios from artists on an almost daily basis - either by mail or email. Over the past 11 years, we have received many...and, I will be brutally honest here - I've replied to maybe 5% of these. (So, if you are an artist out there who has contacted us and never heard a word please accept my sincere apologies.) I'd like to say I will get back to you, but the truth is I just won't. I could likely employ someone full time year round just to get back to people. The directory in my email titled "Artists - not contacted" is very. very. full.
From these hundreds (thousands...) of portfolios I don't think we've ever found an artist that we now represent. This is likely surprising to you. Instead as our business is mostly word of mouth and referrals so is our process of finding new talent. We have many wonderful colleagues - people in other cities who own galleries and have a similar aesthetic to ours - that we chat and email with on a regular basis. With most galleries having really good websites, we can look online to see what galleries in other places are showing.
This process of finding new artists makes it very important for an artist to have at least one gallery. Our job as art dealers is not only to represent the work to our clients, but also to other galleries. We can be wonderful ambassadors of the art and can use our contacts with other galleries to help our artists become established in other centres. It's a win-win situation.
An excellent example of this process is Saskatchewan born and raised artist, Sheila Kernan.
Sheila contacted us by phone and emailed her website, but this was after her Calgary dealer called us first to recommend Sheila's work.