How to Write a Gallery Report

By Bill Brown
A gallery report summarizes your visit.

A gallery report is a basic summary of your visit to a gallery and the artwork you viewed. The report discusses the content and media of the exhibit and includes biographical material about the artist. You may also include how the artwork is displayed or mounted in the gallery if relevant to your report. Remember, a gallery report is more a review than an exhaustive essay.

Take extensive notes. You think you will remember all the details, but taking notes is vital to gathering enough information to write a good report. Note the media the artist used, such as sculpture, video or painting. Describe the colors and materials of the artwork. For example, an artist's choice to use cement rather than plastic to create an object is an important element of the artwork. Take home a press release or summary sheet for reference if the gallery provides one.

Develop an outline. Work from your notes and write an outline based on your observations. Begin with a simple description of the artwork. Complete your outline by listing topics such as the imagery, materials, artist's biography, and any cultural information that is relevant.

Write your report. Using your outline as a guide, devote a paragraph to each major item in your outline. Start your paragraphs with a topic sentence and flesh out your thoughts on each topic in two to six additional sentences. Include concrete observations about the specific works you viewed whenever possible.

Evaluate your visit. Conclude your report with your overall evaluation of your gallery visit and the artwork you viewed. Give your opinion. Whether you like or dislike the art, be sure to substantiate your assessments with specific references.

About the Author

Bill Brown has been a freelance writer for more than 14 years. Focusing on trade journals covering construction and home topics, his work appears in online and print publications. Brown holds a Master of Arts in liberal arts from St. John's University and is currently based in Houston.