How Good is Gallery Good?

by Tracy L. Carothers.
(Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

A Broken Path – Jewels2LiveBy

My question is this – how good and /or unique does artisan jewelry have to be, to be considered for Galleries?

I am a jewelry designer from Vancouver, BC and have been told by some that my pieces are good and spectacular by others, so I am trying to determine if my work is of the caliber for the galleries who sell local artisan work.

Cool Breeze

Moon Shot


There are some really wonderful artisans here so I’m asking – Is my work Good Enough?

Would love some thoughts and advise from the artisans here.

Thank you.

Tracy L. Carothers

Jewels2LiveBy Etsy Shop

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  • Hi Tracy!

    Ever since I first saw your jewelry a few years ago when you sent it in to my old Making Jewelry Now gallery, I have always thought your work is stunning. Your pieces are bold and striking, and you use a lot of fascinating, unusual beads and focals.

    Yet it always looks comfortably wearable – not awkward or uncomfortable (which art jewelry can sometimes be).

    I would say your work is definitely gallery worthy. And I think your best strategy would be to find one or more galleries where the rest of the art is compatible with your jewelry – where the type of person who adores your jewels would also love the other things in the gallery.

    I think most galleries would jump at the chance to carry your jewelry, Tracy!

    And if a gallery says “no” – don’t take it personally. But do ask them if they know of another gallery that would be a good match for your jewelry – I’ve gotten some of my best leads and opportunities that way!

    I encourage you to go for it – and please keep us posted on what happens! 🙂

    Good luck!

  • Pam says:

    Your pieces are amazing! I wish I could create things as beautiful. The depth and dimension of each piece is unique and wonderfully thought out and constructed.

  • Millie says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

  • Kate says:

    It’s not really a question of whether your jewelry’s “good enough” to be in a serious art gallery. (I think it is, by the way, judging from these photos. I love the top two.) It’s a question of whether your art makes sense as part of THAT gallery’s collection, and whether it’s commercially viable. Too many artists assume rejection by a gallery means they must be bad at what they do, instead of understanding that they’ve simply approached the wrong venue.

    Gallery owners like to see artisans who already have a strong following and proven sales record. They want to know what your art is going to do for them, so if your jewelry consistently sells or you have a facebook page full of jewelry lovers or a blog or a devoted local fan base that watches for your every show, those are pluses for you.

    Take some time to explore the galleries you’re considering and peruse their existing collections. If a shop appears to be overloaded on jewelry, the owner might not want to take more, but then again, jewelry might be the most profitable side of that business. Of more importance is the overall style of the gallery. What are the price points? Who is the target customer base? Only after you’ve done some research on the local market and chosen a “short list” of places to approach should you contact the owner for an appointment.

  • Tracy says:

    Just wanted to take a moment to thank Rena and those who commented on my question. I appreciate all the insight and advice. Best wishes to all…

    Tracy Carothers

  • Vicky says:

    Not sure how old this post is, so I might be too late, but I agree with Kate above. It’s all to do with whether the Gallery owner LIKES your work and believes it fits with the existing collection (and perhaps a little bit whether they like you, too). Really, the gallery owner is like the critic – exasperating but essential! It’s all so subjective. It’s just a case of finding someone who gels with you and your work. It definitely is not about Good Enough. I’ve seen some complete tat (in my opinion) at outrageous prices in some galleries, and some utterly fabulous stuff (in my opinion) on here from people who can’t seem to sell it. *sigh* remind me why we do this again? Reminds me of the song; “I get knocked down, but I get up again”…..

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