Planning your own art exhibition can be a scary thing. Especially if you’re just starting off and not quite at the Banksy or Thorgerson end of the scale! Exhibitions and art shows are a great way of showing your art and gaining feedback but don’t feel quite ready for a full blown gallery viewing.
Here are the vital steps explained to setting up your own art exhibition…
Deciding on a venue is vital. Think outside the box. Forget galleries and think retail spaces. Cafes,
coffee shops, eateries and local stores are great. These places rely heavily on customer experience
and a showcase of your work can really enhance that experience. Perhaps encourage the venues by
offering free/discounted artwork for interior décor.
If you are unable or would prefer to leave your work exhibited for a specific period you can provide
feedback forms for the customers. It is essential that you agree terms for your artwork i.e. insurance,
commission, responsibility etc. Depending on whether you decide on a one off exhibition or to
leave your work exhibited for a period of time, you must set a date with Friday-Sunday being most
desirable. But don’t discount bigger corporations such as Pizza Express as they are always open to
supporting the arts!
This stage is crucial for the success or failure of your exhibition. Send out a press release with an
accompanying press kit outlining your biography including influences and areas of interest; your
resume including awards, achievements and qualifications. Also include past publicity i.e. press
coverage or articles that have been written on you or your work. Ensure to provide all of your details
from email, website and blog to social media i.e. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – it’s all about
networking and building contacts!
This type of comprehensive publicity will give you credibility as an artist and make it as easy as
possible for people to contact you and building up your mailing list. You need to make some noise
about yourself and ensure the art world knows about you and your exhibition! Contacting your local
paper to do a write up of your exhibition is also wise.
Make a plan according to the venue where your work will be situated. Layout of different pieces
will contribute to defining the tone of your exhibition. Prepare for your set-up as early as possible.
It’ll take you a fair bit longer to get sorted than you may think to reach that deadline. Framing your
pieces and all of those little bits i.e. display easels, hanging hooks and sold stickers are vital, as are
other supplementary materials your artwork requires. Ensure you have an area where you can deal
with sales or enquiries. If the venue is a small store perhaps offer some complimentary drinks or
nibbles as you would at a gallery show.
Finally, don’t forget to follow-up all of your contacts and feedback with a thank you and appreciation
for participating in you exhibition. They’ll appreciate this very much and it’ll serve to complement
your integrity as an up and coming artist. Good luck!
This article was written by CultureLabel, e-retailer for affordable art.