Any artist trying to move forward with their career knows that finding new opportunities where they can display and sell their work is crucial and, oftentimes, hard to find. Here are a couple of places that we recommend seeking out and looking into.
Saatchi Art is a free and terrific resource for artists in several disciplines. Charles Saatchi is a well-known art collector who created Saatchi Gallery in 1985 as a way to display his collection to the public. Unlike his gallery, Saatchi Art allows artists to upload their work for free, on to their website to be included within their enormous database of artists from around the world. And although there are thousands of artists on Saatchi Art, and it can feel a little overwhelming, it actually works similarly to other social media sites and allows its users to connect, interact and promote their work. Plus, they have resource pages that help teach artists how to photograph and price their work as well as packaging and shipping it. It takes a little time to upload your portfolio but once it's on the site, it's not going anywhere. The one important thing to do is to keep your site up-to-date and make sure that you mark pieces as "sold" if they sold elsewhere and not through Saatchi Art. The last thing you want is to have pieces on Saatchi that aren't actually available any longer. Another valuable thing that Saatchi Art provides is the opportunity for customers to purchase prints as well as canvas-prints of all of your work, as long as your upload images with high enough resolution. I've had success selling work to patrons in Europe, which is always a nice thing to add to a resume.
This is a tremendous resource for artists trying to get their work into public spaces and collections. You will have to apply to be accepted, which is easy and you should receive an answer within 24 hours. I first found out about Indie Walls through a random email that asked that I create a painting of musician Prince to be used for a hotel in Minneapolis. Turned out, they only wanted a print of the finished painting in order to allow them to print multiple copies of the painting for their many hotel rooms. This was great because it allowed me to keep and sell the original to someone else. Basically Indie Walls is a website that people or businesses who are looking for original art for their home or office, can search through the Indie Walls database for artists and artwork. These different patrons will post a description of what type of art they are seeking along with reference photos, color schemes and their budget and then artists can pitch their artwork to them with the hopes of being selected.
CaFÉ - Call for Entries
CaFÉ is a popular site for both artists and galleries alike. It allows galleries and art fairs to submit a particular call for entry for upcoming events while allowing artists to submit their work to be selected in these exhibitions and festivals. It also is a great database to find competitions, apply for grants and fellowships as well as discover residencies and exhibitions opportunities. There is usually a price to apply and it can sometimes feel like a waste of time/money. However, it is a terrific way to discover new places to show your art work or possibly get approved for a grant that will allow you to create that particular series that you don't have the money to create.
One last tip for finding new opportunities is to create some Google Alerts. I've created specific alerts that focus on "Artist Grants" to where Google will send me an email whenever those words are posted online. It doesn't usually lead to something but it doesn't hurt to know what's going on and what's available.