Assiniboia Gallery - Artist Series Part I How do we find new artists?

March 01, 2011
Artist Series Part I How do we find new artists?

We frequently get asked how we find our artists. It's not a simple answer, but I thought I'd try to explain our process.

We receive portfolios from artists on an almost daily basis - either by mail or email. Over the past 11 years, we have received many...and, I will be brutally honest here - I've replied to maybe 5% of these. (So, if you are an artist out there who has contacted us and never heard a word please accept my sincere apologies.) I'd like to say I will get back to you, but the truth is I just won't. I could likely employ someone full time year round just to get back to people. The directory in my email titled "Artists - not contacted" is very. very. full.

From these hundreds (thousands...) of portfolios I don't think we've ever found an artist that we now represent. This is likely surprising to you. Instead as our business is mostly word of mouth and referrals so is our process of finding new talent. We have many wonderful colleagues - people in other cities who own galleries and have a similar aesthetic to ours - that we chat and email with on a regular basis. With most galleries having really good websites, we can look online to see what galleries in other places are showing.

This process of finding new artists makes it very important for an artist to have at least one gallery. Our job as art dealers is not only to represent the work to our clients, but also to other galleries. We can be wonderful ambassadors of the art and can use our contacts with other galleries to help our artists become established in other centres. It's a win-win situation.

An excellent example of this process is Saskatchewan born and raised artist, Sheila Kernan.

Sheila contacted us by phone and emailed her website, but this was after her Calgary dealer called us first to recommend Sheila's work.

"Starlight" 30 x 40" mixed media/canvas

We've represented Sheila's work for just over a year now and she has become one of our top ten artists. We are looking forward to our first solo show with Sheila opening June 4, 2011.

Why has this relationship been so successful in a relatively short period of time?

  • Sheila is an amazing artist. She paints her subject matter in a new and exciting way incorporating colour and texture.
  • Sheila's work is different.
  • Sheila has a wonderful personality.

  • Sheila gets the art gallery business.

  • We have a great rapport. Sheila is professional, flexible and loyal - and so are we!

  • And...Sheila is young, talented and from Saskatchewan!

In our first meeting with Sheila, she told us how she has always admired the work of Robert Genn and considers him her mentor. For years, we've been telling artists that Robert Genn is an incredible artist and he just gets it. I would recommend subscribing to Robert's weekly email "The Painter's Keys".

Robert Genn "October Pattern" 11 x 14" acrylic/canvas

So, in an nutshell, this is how we find new artists.


click here to read more from my blog "Living Up Downtown"

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News Archive
February 01, 2017
David Garneau - Edmonton commission
September 01, 2016
The Saskatchewan Fine Art and Craft Fair
March 01, 2016
Saskatchewan Art Gallery and Show in Scottsdale
January 01, 2016
Allen Sapp (1928-2015)
September 09, 2015
New paintings from Amy Dryer
May 13, 2015
Remembering Eltje Degenhart (1946-2015)
November 04, 2014
George Buytendorp
July 4, 1923 - July 13, 2014
September 24, 2014
Art Walk 2014
June 04, 2014
Robert Genn
May 15, 1936 - May 27, 2014
April 24, 2014
Our partnership with Art Lease Canada provides an easy way to purchase art within a budget.
April 12, 2014
An interview with Ken Gillespie
March 22, 2014
It is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of a Saskatchewan artist and friend Joan Rankin.
February 05, 2014
Amy Dryer featured in Verb publication.
November 06, 2013
Introducing Amy Dryer and Frances Werry
July 19, 2013
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July 11, 2013
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Congratulations to Sheila Kernan: Large scale reproduction unveiled in Banff
January 04, 2013
Ted Godwin 1933-2013
November 24, 2012
Arabella Magazine "Artists to Collect": Robert Genn & Rod Charlesworth
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Debbie Wozniak-Bonk donates painting to Ecole Connaught Community School
October 22, 2012
Assiniboia Gallery named Best Commercial Art Gallery: 3rd Year in a Row
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Kimberly Kiel: From Financial Expert to Professional Artist
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S3: Style|Shopping|Spirits
September 01, 2012
Painting Workshop with Robert Genn Presented by CMH Summer Adventures September 4-7, 2012
June 07, 2012
Arabella Magazine "Artists to Collect: Rick Bond and Nancy Lucas"
June 05, 2012
Arabella Canadian Art, Architecture & Design Magazine
February 11, 2012
Ever wondered what it would be like to be a fly on the wall in an artist's studio?

December 07, 2011
New paintings from Angela Morgan!
October 28, 2011
The paintings have arrived for Rick Bond & Nancy Lucas' "Traveller's Moments"!
September 24, 2011
The paintings have arrived for Gordon Lewis "Autumn Transitions"!
July 29, 2011
Sheila Kernan's career is on fire! Click here for an interesting interview with the artist.
July 29, 2011
Artist Series Part III David Dreher - The Story of a Successful Emerging Artist
July 20, 2011
Brent Laycock Receives Award
June 03, 2011
Sheila Kernan - The Secret to her Success
May 10, 2011
Q & A with Angela Morgan
April 27, 2011
Coming this spring...Angela Morgan & Sheila Kernan
April 05, 2011
Ken Dalgarno - The Crooked Trees of Alticane: A Saskatchewan Wonder
March 24, 2011
Feature Artist Series Carl Schlademan: 8 things you didn't know
March 16, 2011
Artist Series Part II Calling all Emerging Artists - A Five Step Plan to Gallery Representation
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