How do you know if your art exhibit is successful?

I’m still focusing on exhibiting art. Last week’s Art Marketing Action newsletter was about assessing juried art exhibits (podcast version). This week, it’s about setting goals for your exhibit.

How do you know if your art exhibit is successful? What specific goals have you set for your exhibits? Or are there goals you’d like to commit to for an upcoming exhibit?

Consider the creation of your art, people you might meet or work with, publicity you might receive, sales you will make, and all the rest.

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6 comments to How do you know if your art exhibit is successful?

  • Alyson, you have a great blog here, and I hope to get back to read it more often! I have a solo show of my paintings coming up and the Opening Reception is in two weeks. So this post is pertinent to me right now. Of course I like to see my work well-spaced in a large, well-lit gallery, instead of too closely arranged on my crowded walls at home. And I hope for some publicity, new contacts, and some sales and “potential” customers, as well. But I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks: How do I reconcile the marketing/show aspect, which brings in the element of self-consciousness and possible (negative) criticism, with the freedom, spontaneity, and joy I feel when I am immersed in the creative act itself? My answer to myself: Just remember that the show is a temporary and passing event, while my ability to commit myself to and be deeply moved by the process, is permanent! And maybe in a holistic, whole-life sense, this is much more important!

  • Hi Alyson, you always find a way to tweak my perspective. I never used to think about whether an exhibition was “worth it” or not. To add the line to my resumé was the paramount reason for submitting. In the last several years however I have become much more selective. It takes a lot of thought, time and energy to put a good show together. And putting a bad show together is a very bad idea.

  • An artist pal and I are putting a show together – we started it ostensibly to try to get in at one space (where I expect they really won’t look at the proposal at all), and then our creative energies got all tangled up together (we’ve never worked together before) and all of a sudden this exhilerating new thing that started to really stretch my conceptions about myself and art and how it all works started to happen. So we’re putting an interactive show together to see where it will take us (personally and profesisonaly). If you’d asked about something like this a month ago, I would have given you a blank stare! Check out: http://bodypolitics.allzah.com/ – and although the original venue might not bite, in the short meantime I’ve found another venuw that is VERY interested. =]

  • Lynda: I hope you come back often, too! I love this: “Just remember that the show is a temporary and passing event, while my ability to commit myself to and be deeply moved by the process, is permanent!” Liza: Yep, make it worth your while or don’t do it at all. Your reputation is at stake. Tammy: That’s very exciting and your site looks fantastic. Congratulations!

  • Timely as usual — today I am working on a series plan for a solo show in August an art center in Rockport, a small but active coastal community. I am going to journal about what “success” would mean to me with this show. Its my first solo show since I was a student, and it was unsolicited, and that gives me a tiny foot up on the ladder of “success” to start!

  • As I haven’t had a solo show in some time (I’ve been focusing on continual representation with galleries year-round) this is something I really need to do and you’ve made me think about why it’s such a strong need to me! :) Thanks! My reasons are, I think, that I feel a need to get my work and exposure to the next level. That involves several of your points: building my mailing list further, getting my work in front of certain people, getting my work where it might be reviewed, and I do think I need to talk about my work more. Public speaking doesn’t phase me in the least but I haven’t ever actually spoken about my work in a structured event. Off to email someone about that now! :)