March 28, 2011

15 Steps to having your own art exhibit/art show.

What are some of the questions you have about exhibiting your own work? I promised a few readers I would post a list regarding exhibiting so below are some pointers to consider. There are lots of moving parts to exhibiting, but once you have the list of to do's, its something so exciting and rewarding that you will be exhibiting all over your local town and beyond in no time!

Getting Started
  1. Start to take note of places that already exhibit artwork and identify any other local locations that don’t, but could!
  2. Take a deep breath and ask the manager/owner of the bar, store, bakery, restaurant and various other “open” establishments how one goes about showing work: The requirements, any costs, timings, holding a reception party etc.
  3. Carry a small folder of photographed work with you so when you come across a suitable place, you can simply spark conversation with the manager/owner and show examples.
  4. Always carry a little card/postcard to exchange when you meet the person who manages artwork exhibits. AND you never know who else you will meet on your travels.
  5. Do a search on google for open artist calls. Submitting work in competitions, juried shows and other group opportunities is another great way to get your work out there.

Once you have a show scheduled
  1. Give yourself lots of time to create work if you need to and plan marketing & the opening reception party
  2. Decide on a theme or a name for your exhibit
  3. Schedule in an opening reception and create an invitation via email and social media
  4. Arrange when you can hang and take down the show
  5. Work with the venue on best way to hang your show – do you need extra help, do they have a special hanging system already in place? How will you get your work to the space?
     Preparing for the open reception
    1. Create a flyer, email blast, posters to put up in your local area/area of the show and send out, give plenty of notice and also send out reminders a few days beforehand.
    2. Will you provide alcohol/drinks/nibbles or can the establishment give you a special price. If you prefer for guests to pay for their drinks, think about buying a few bottles of something from the establishment as a sweetener for early arrivers.
    3. What marketing material do you need for the big night and for the duration of the show? These include a pricelist, card/postcards & contact details, can you create prints of the original work to sell on the night also? Also remember to name and price with labels under your work and have a guest book to capture emails for future marketing opportunities. Also have an artist bio/statement/resume so people can get to know who you are, what influenced this exhibition.
    4. Have your opening night, enjoy every moment and greet guests. (you can also ask friends to help you meet and greet and hand out your marketing materials on the night. Take note of what went really well and what you may change/include for next time.
    5. Send a thank you after the event.  And leave contact details at the venue for anyone interested in your work throughout the duration of the show. Most importantly celebrate!
    What other kinds of questions do you have? or additional tips you could add for our artist community here on the blog. Good Luck, cant wait to hear all about your future exhibitions.

    Until next time.....

    Louise Gale - Your Creative Career Consultant for The New New Blog
    "Dream-Inspire-Create"

    8 comments:

    Virginia Kraljevic said...

    Super post! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Simone said...

    These are great suggestions. They would also work for a trunk show.

    Jenny said...

    very encouraging!

    Metalicious said...

    Great article! I love this 'how-to' because I've never read anything like it before. So inspirational!

    KimmChi Silkscreened Apparel said...

    someone DO IT! I wanna go!

    NewNew said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Deborah Julian said...

    Thanks so much for posting this!

    Terence said...

    Thanks for posting these Louise! Hope to use this as a reference if/when I have a first show :)