As a new Artist and one who doesn't feel comfortable with the Gallery scene, I am always looking for new opportunities to promote my work and get it in front of the public. While in Maine and searching the net I found a wonderful website for Artists, Galleries and Collectors alike that offers a terrific opportunity for Artists to promote themselves and best of all, it's Free! The website is called Fine Art America and by clicking this link you will be brought to my personal file on the site but can also navigate away from it to check it out. You will find that it is very user friendly and the only difficulty I have had with it was while adding photos of my work to the site. It offers a number of "artist specialties" to classify your work in, and gives the impression that you can choose more than one and although I did that, I can not really see that all of the pieces ended up in all categories. This may be user error on my part or I just am not familiar enough yet with the site to be able to find them all. Regardless of this little frustration the site seems very worthwhile.
Each Artist has a profile page, can download as many as 50 photos of their work, can list events they will participate in which will show up on the website calendar, can list Galleries that you are associated with, and of special interest to the business part of me, the site gathers information about the photos that web visitors have viewed and sends you emails regarding any comments visitors might make about your work. In addition you can create a blog connected with this site. Since I already have one, I have instead created a link to this one. For anyone who sells prints of their work, the site offers a paid membership for prints on demand where buyers can purchase direct from the site. They do not at this time offer the purchase of original artwork but you can list your artwork for sale with prices and photos in your gallery and buyers can then contact you directly if they are interested in your work.
After being a member for just a few days I was totally amazed at how many hits I have had of the different pieces I have downloaded. I realize it has been less than a week since I joined and that they feature new artists that join each day. Perhaps my hits will go down after the initial push, but I still got more hits than I would have elsewhere and look forward to seeing how it all progresses.
I recommend Fine Art America to any artists looking for more exposure. It will only cost a bit of time and you never know where it will lead....