I attended the 2011 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts in Boston, from last Thursday through yesterday. Besides the many panel sessions that I attended, I also had "mentoring sessions" with two Boston galleries and one Massachusetts college gallery.
They were basically portfolio reviews. I researched the available reviewers before making my choices when I registered for the conference. Most of my friends also attending wanted to meet with people from other states or countries, but I wanted to meet with people from eastern Massachusetts.
I brought my ipad so I could show my portfolio to them, as well as three pieces of work that were small enough to carry with me, to show the texture of my artwork. Digital and printed images do not show texture, not matter how wonderful your images are.
It was good to get feedback on my work now that I'm working on boards or stiffened fabric. Two of the three sessions were very helpful and informative. The third was pleasant, and I did get some feedback, but much of the time was spent listening to how difficult it is to show abstract art in Boston, which I already knew.
As I always do, I'm sending thank you notes to all of my reviewers, and two will get my portfolio packet, which I hope they will keep for future reference. I'm also sending thank you notes to the jurors from a recent show I've participated in, and a portfolio to the gallery. I find that thank you's are very much worth the time.
In fact, to share how well thank you notes are received. A few weeks ago I got to meet someone who bought my work at a show a year ago. She told me that she buys work when ever she is able, and she has never received a thank you note for her purchase, until I sent one. It left a huge impression, and I was glad to hear how much she appreciated it.