= Dear fine art galleries, what do you look out for in an artist for your art residencies? =

I'm trying to get my first art residency as a self employed freelance artist, and I've been trying to get myself prepared to be attractive to my local galleries. Since I did not have any formal education nor previous experience, I find it difficult to craft my CV for application, and would prefer to focus on portfolio and more practical advantages instead. What would you look for in an artist that would make them attractive to you?
Is it a fine art education?
Is it existing audience ?
Is it in the technicality of the piece ? Does medium matter ?
Do you prefer to view physical copies during interviews or a CV will do?

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A CV for a residency needs to show that you're serious enough to make good use of the resources allocated to you during a residency, but not so serious that the residency wouldn't be useful to you. If you're applying to a residency (a thing I have sat on a jury for before) the golden ticket is going to be hitting the exact right moment between being experienced and being able toand learn and take advantage of what's being offered. It's going to be nearly impossible for you to figure that out and weigh it against the other people applying, so just make sure you sound like someone with experience (some shows under your belt, some grants or scholarships or awards or fellowships OF ANY KIND, a little press of any kind, what relevant art education or workshops you have done (I know you say no formal training but if you've attended small classes or workshops of studied under a serious established artist you would list it), but also sound like someone who is keen toand has projects you want to work on but lack the space or resources to explore. That's what people want to see on a residency CV and application. These will always matter less than your artwork in your portfolio. Every residency should weigh your artwork as 50-60% minimum of the application and all the writing combined makes up the rest

Good commercial galleries want to see the work in person before they agree to have an exhibition. Anyone offering to work with you before seeing the work in person should be approached with at least some suspicion. With galleries, the work speaks for itself, though where you went to school and where you have previously exhibited are definitely factors. These things are used to compare you to who else is working and to place you in the context of artists around your level. If a gallery is already working with someone who works in the same medium as you making the same kind of work at the same scale about the same subjects they're not likely to need another artist like that to exhibit

Have you exhibited a dozen times in the same city already without much commercial or critical success or are you new and fresh?
Have you exhibited in places that have a similar ethos and aesthetic and audience to the gallery in question?
Is the work something that the existing clients of the gallery would find interesting, either to come and see or to come and buy?
If you want to work with a gallery you have to have a studio visit. Your studio can be anything, but ideally private and with space to set up work and lighting that flatters it a little. If the work is good it won't matter if it's in your parent's living room

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