The Changing Relationship Between Gallery and artists

Gallery Elena Shchukina
Jun 22, 2017 1:56PM

In our ever-evolving world where the art industry is becoming increasingly competitive and the digital world overwhelming our daily lives, how is the relationship between galleries and artists changing?

This was the main question addressed during a panel discussion hosted by Gallery Elena Shchukina on 31st May 2017, as part of the Gallery's newest venture, PROJECT2017. The speakers included independent artist Hermione Carline, artist and art dealer Lisa Sharpe, and Artsy Gallery Relations Manager Gemma Rolls-Bentley, and Elena Shchukina as moderator.

The discussion kicked off addressing the best strategies artists need to adopt to promote their work. One of the most interesting points raised was the need for artists to be proactive. Given the art world has become so competitive, artists need to engage with all opportunities made available to them. Engaging with social media is key in that regard. The more active you are on social media the better it is, insisted Gemma Rolls-Bentley.

As Lisa Sharpe suggested, artists even need to create their own opportunities. Whether that be through reaching out locally to media outlets, restaurants, local organisations, many opportunities are worth seeking in order for an artist’s voice to be heard. Lisa Sharpe’s experience transitioning from being an art dealer to becoming an artist was particularly inspiring. Her advice was for artists to believe in themselves and be proactive.

Lisa Sharpe
Orange, Blue, White III, 2016
Gallery Elena Shchukina

All speakers agreed that although the art world is constantly evolving, the fundamentals of the relationship between a gallery and an artist remain the same. Galleries play and continue to play a crucial role in supporting artists and promoting their work.

Hermione Carline
City Garden, 2017
Gallery Elena Shchukina

In that regard, PROJECT2017’s aim was highlighted, with the panellists recognising the role PROJECT2017 has played in opening new opportunities for artists. PROJECT2017 was imagined specifically for that purpose: knowing how difficult it is for emerging artists to secure gallery opportunities, PROJECT2017 was created to offer a new platform for them to engage with the public and share their work.


Today, one of artists’ fundamental expectations is to present their work on a global platform. That is why a core idea behind PROJECT2017 was to take a global approach to promote international artists: applications were open to artists from all around the world and from diverse backgrounds. Featuring PROJECT2017 on Artsy and the launch of PROJECT2017 online competition also responded to Gallery Elena Shchukina's desire to make the artists’ works accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

With more than 1000 votes entered, the PROJECT2017 competition was a great success. London-based artists Lulu Manasseh received the most votes, winning a solo exhibition opportunity at Gallery Elena Shchukina.

Lulu Manasseh's work displayed at PROJECT2017

Perhaps, the most inspiring aspect of PROJECT2017 is the spirit of the event. We all know the art world is competitive. Yet, PROJECT2017 is not about competition. The preview event of PROJECT2017 perfectly illustrated this. Artists had invited their friends and relatives, who all shared their ideas on the works of art displayed and were inspired by each other’s experiences. This hints to one last interesting point Hermione Carline raised during the panel discussion, what galleries need to do today is work together and pull together as an industry to promote artists’ work.

PROJECT2017 Artists

The crowd at PROJECT2017 private view

Elena Shchukina with competition winner Lulu Manasseh

Gallery Elena Shchukina