What should someone wanting to show their work in art galleries expect?
If you’re hoping to sell your work through art galleries, the first thing to know is you are likely to be rejected a LOT. Don’t be discouraged. Luckily for artists, we don’t even need galleries anymore. So even if no one ever took your work, no big deal.
You need to remember that art galleries aren’t being snooty or rude for the sake of it (ok, some of them are). They are in the business to make a sale. If they’re good at what they do, they know exactly what their clients are looking for. If your work isn’t that, then it makes no sense for them to take up wall space with something they know won’t sell. I also find realism to be especially hard to get into galleries. Their buyers seem to be more interested in abstracts that work with their home decor, or modern and impressionism. For realism your work needs to be over the top to be considered in most cases.
Does that mean you shouldn’t try? No, it means you should research the gallery before you waste your time. Does that gallery even display realism (assuming that’s your style)? If not, don’t bother. Maybe they say no now but it’s just because you need to refine your skills more.
There are some galleries that cater to beginner artists. I’m not generally a fan of these because they tend not to take your work seriously. There was one here in Frisco, Tx that had a big show and guests were leaning against the artwork on the walls. The curator did NOTHING to stop this. She wasn’t paying any attention. It was insane.
Whatever style you paint, there will be a buyer for it. You just need to find the right person. A gallery isn’t your only option, so if those don’t seem a fit for you, don’t give up!