I was recently in Portland, Oregon visiting my boyfriend, MBB's, family and decided that while I was there, I should try and network with some galleries. Before we left, we researched which areas had galleries that I thought I would like, and headed to the Pearl District.
While in the first gallery, the impressive Augen Gallery, all of my childhood shyness started to come out. Suddenly I felt too embarrassed to talk to the owner about my work and why I was there. My newly revised plan was to look around, see if the gallery would be a good fit, and then discretely take a postcard or business card, as I quietly snuck out, and send them a promo packet of my work once I got home. Unfortunately/ fortunately for me, MBB was a more social person and was on a mission.
He waited until one of the gallery personnel approached him and then proceeded to tell her that we were from San Francisco, looking at galleries to show my work. He asked the woman what were the submission policies there and were they looking for artists at the moment. The woman was very nice and answered his questions. She said that although they were not actively seeking artists at the moment, these galleries were, as she gave us the PADA, the Portland Art Dealers Association pamphlet. She then asked what kind of work I did and made some suggestions as to which galleries would be a good fit. She was very nice and helpful.
Armed with our PADA and the new information, we were off to the other galleries. Each gallery person was just as nice and filled with helpful information as Augen Gallery. I was really impressed with how nice people were. The stereotypical gallery owner that barely acknowledges the average person and is unapproachable did not exist in Portland. At least we did not meet any of these people. I still had a hard time approaching people, due to my shyness, but thankfully MBB was there and had no problems talking to anyone and asking questions. Overall, it was a good experience. Now I just need to send out my promo packet...