Art Submission Etiquette

"Summer Blooms" by Shirley Shepherd

Artists often ask us what the steps are to having their art displayed at LONA Gallery.

Submissions should meet standards of originality, integrity, and professionalism. Here are some tips for submitting your work.

1. Don't expect a gallery to consider your work in person during gallery hours - Do Not stop by unannounced with samples. Please call ahead for an appointment. (Since LONA is now online only, email 3-5 images to

2. When contacting a gallery by mail or email, include a short bio and website address if appropriate. If you need materials returned, include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

3. Be patient: Galleries may not always be able to get back to you right away.

4. Don't get discouraged: Whether work is displayed in a gallery is at the sole discretion of the owners and dependent on the current needs of the gallery.

5. Once your work has been approved for submission to a gallery, make sure that all pieces submitted are ready to display. Gallery wrapped pieces should be neatly finished on all sides (continuation of image, or painted black or color of choice). Image should be signed by the artist. Art should be labeled on back with artist's name, media, size, date and price. All wall art should arrive wired for hanging. Not adhering to these guideline could cause your pieces to be rejected.

Advice for finding a brick and mortar gallery from Sarah Estes: 2015 article entitled "Burning Questions: Submitting to a Gallery". (

Don't charge in all “I am artist; hear me roar”. "It can seem gauche and aggressive when an artist shows up unannounced in a gallery looking for a show or representation or asking 'do you think my work is good?' You’ll likely be turned away, or worse."

Do "visit the gallery but don’t pitch yourself or your work right away. Next, send a brief email (by brief I mean a few sentences) asking if they are accepting submissions. If their site doesn’t include submission guidelines (always check before you ask!), you may want to inquire about the submission process, too. This email is an initial, unpressured first contact; also, it shows you as the smart and considerate person you are."

Don't "send a prolix bio or conceptual breakdown of your work: initially, all things should be brief. Allow the work to speak for you. If the gallery is curious and likes your images, they’ll ask you more."

Do include a short bio, and a link to other examples of your work if available, and maybe include a complimentary comment about the gallery. "Remember: there’s nothing you can say that will make them like your work more, but there might be plenty of things you could say to make them not like it."

Do (if you have a website) make sure it leaves a good impression: "Let it be simple. Think of your site as a gallery - white walls work best, they let the art shine." Use only high quality, hi-res images.

Final advice from Ms. Estes - "Something to keep in mind: galleries are often looking to fill holes in their stable of artists. If you are making work relatively similar to another artist showing there, that might be enough reason to pass on you." If it’s a no, don't take it personally. If a spot does open up in the future, perhaps you’ll be first on their minds. Move on, but don’t slack off. "Keep blogging; keep submitting to things; keep being involved in the art world. Persistence is everything. If you keep doing your absolute best work, the right gallery will find you."

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