Sally Shaw, Director, Firstsite
Be creative: You’re an artist. Make your approach as creative and captivating as possible. Everything you do is an expression of your work one way or another. Bear this in mind when trying to communicate to an institution.
Be accurate: Spell my name and the gallery name correctly. Check out what we do, why we do it and who for. If you aren’t a good fit, then maybe don’t make the approach. Check for typos in everything you send.
Be smart: What resources and attributes do you bring that might be an advantage to the gallery? I am looking for original ideas, new audiences and new sources of income (are you already funded? Do you have connections to funders?) Above all, I am always looking for things that will make Firstsite look really damn cool and will get people talking about us locally, nationally and internationally.
Be quick: Practice your elevator pitch – put your most important points first and make sure I’m really aware of why it’s significant. Bear in mind that spending time on something that isn’t one of our own ideas is a tall order.
None of the above needs to cost a heap of money. Also – never be afraid to be in touch. If you don’t ask, you don’t get (ever!).