This article considers how a regional gallery finds and works with it’s artists.
Vane started life as project-based organisation. Between 1997-2004 it presented in temporary venues.
Vane has been operating as a gallery since 2005. It provides curatorial and development opportunities for emerging and mid-career artists.
The gallery promotes the work of a roster of around twenty artists. These are a mix of local, national and international artists. It also shows work of guest artists in collaboration with other organisations.
Vane funds its work through
- Public funding
- Grants from trusts and foundations
- Sponsorship and donations
- Income from sales
The directors of Vane are Paul Stone and Christopher Yeats.
How Vane works with artists
Vane represents artists but also works with artists on occasional guest projects.
They represent a mix of local and overseas artists with a range of work.
A broad geographical mix was important in establishing the gallery’s identity.
Vane rarely accepts unsolicited proposals. The curators knew the artists they wanted to represent before they set up the gallery. They wanted to feel confident about their artists’ practices as a whole.
In-depth knowledge of their artists practice is important to them. This means they like to get to know artists over time.
They prefer to support fewer artists, but do it well. This means they rarely take on new ones.
Vane suggest a good way to build a relationship with a space is to add them to your mailing list. Send them selective updates.
Invite them to your self-organised shows. These may lead to a word-of-mouth recommendation to them or another gallery.
When discovering a new artist, they might arrange a studio visit in the first instance.
The gallery can be more open with their one-off guest projects. These often bring something different or specialist to the gallery programme. They might have options for funding that Vane might not be able to apply for. In the past Vane have worked with festivals such as
- AV Festival
- International Print Biennale
- Wunderbar Festival
Suggestions if approaching a space
- Research whether your work fits with the gallery programme
- If it does send a simple email. Include an artist’s statement, a few select images and PDF of relevant reviews and texts.
- Find out who to address emails to
- Do not send large files or too much information
- Do not hassle the gallery for a response
Maintaining good relations with a gallery
- Meet promised responsibilities
- Respect that both gallery and artist are making an investment in the work
- Be consistent with your pricing
- Agree on a contract
- Be open in your communication