30 x 30"For artists who want to begin exhibiting and selling their works, one of the best suggestions that I have is that they should join a reputable society.
I belong to: the Federation of Canadian Artists - a national, non-profit organization with over 2000 members and a great reputation; the Alberta Society of Artists - also a non-profit organization which is incredibly active in this province; and the Leighton Art Centre - a non-profit centre which has a gallery and provides art education, events, and workshops. Each of these groups has a gallery and plenty of opportunities to show work in the different, themed exhibitions that they hold throughout the year.
Beyond the chance to exhibit, associations like this are a great way to increase your exposure. The FCA and ASA have websites with individual artists' bios and works featured on them. These sites have brought several commissions my way since someone searching for an artist in Alberta or Canada will invariably come up with one of these organizations.
And the credibility of belonging to a juried groups is very reassuring to a potential buyer. In a world of degrees and credentials, these groups show that you are a serious professional who has achieved peer recognition.
This month I'll have work in a couple of member's shows in Calgary: the "8th Annual Juried Members' Show" at the Leighton Art Centre and the "New Members New Work" show of the Alberta Society of Artists in Lougheed House. The painting above is my entry for the ASA show. If you're in Calgary, I hope you'll check them out.