Des Rolph 's comment on Artist Experiences Art Gallery Rudeness

Des Rolph
via faso.com
In my early days seeking gallery representation, I once was able to make an appointment with a few galleries to show my portfolio. I had different reponses.
1. I arrived on time for my appointment, and the owner on the other side of the counter, flipped through like he didn't have the time and looked at my images upside down! Told me he didn't particularly like them. I was then in less than 2 minutes.
2. Another gallery spent 10 minutes with me, with my portfolio in front of him. He received a phone call and flipped through my images whilst talking on the phone. Told me he did like my watercolours but not my canvases, but saw some promise and wanted to see me again in 2 years.
3. Another gallery I approached differently for an appoinment. I said that I valued his gallery and wondered if he had time to critique my work and give me some advice. This man was wonderful, he agreed, and gave me 2 hours of his time, having a good look at my paintings, walking me through his stockroom, pulling out books on art history and used them as an example to tell me what he liked about some paintings and where something was lacking in others. It was a wonderful appointment. I did not ask to for him to consider me as part of his stable as he represented artists much more advanced than me. He told me to come back in a few months so he could see the progress in my work, and again gave me a lot of time and encouragement. His support was so generous and kind, and he continued to take an interest over the next year or so and then he retired. But what a valuable experience.
4. My first big break came when I approached a gallery for an appointment who was so excited to hear from me. She said she had recently had clients come into her gallery asking her if she knew where I could be found as a gallery I was previously in had closed and said how much they liked my work. So I was received with open arms and the relationship is still on-going now about 5 years, and I now sell well out of that gallery. So referrals are certainly the best, even though I didn't ask for this one!

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