Calendar listing faux pas

In glancing through my local small-town newspaper, I found three faux pas in the Visual Arts Calendar listings. Keep in mind that these are only 3-4 sentences each, so it’s important that they have impact. Here’s what I found:

1. In a listing for a new gallery, it says "Visitors are invited to view art, smell and taste international foods and listen to classical music, but touching the art works is discouraged." Oh brother! They were doing so well. I thought smell, taste, and view–all those senses in one place–great! Then they ruin it by telling me what I can’t do. Duh. How condescending.

2. An artist’s exhibit is listed as "a diverse mixture of art." I ask WIIFM (what’s in it for me)? "Diverse mixture" tells me nothing.

3. Another artist’s exhibit says "the artworks vary from oils to mixed media and from landscapes to abstracts." This artist seems all over the map and not at all focused.

Remember that in such a short space, you have to write copy that is memorable. And trying to be everything to everyone ends up saying nothing.

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5 comments to Calendar listing faux pas

  • so is there any template or rule?

  • What a good reminder to be careful in how we present ourselves! I keep tweaking my publicity and short intro – but sometimes I freeze when people ask me what kind of art I do. Print makes it so black and white – so to speak – makes our mistakes glaring. ~ Diane Clancy

  • Alyson, This article really hit home with me. I too suffer from wordiness and keep trying to downsize with just the right ones. It takes much practise, but hopefully I will get there. Thanks for your nudge, Margret Short

  • Number three is a particularly good reminder. It’s so easy to fall for the shotgun approach in the hopes of pleasing someone, if not a lot of someones, instead of focusing and confidently presenting our best self (or at least just one facet at a time).

  • I read the same listing for the new gallery and thought the same thing! I couldn’t believe they mentioned “not touching the art”!!