Recycle those blog posts into art exhibit labels

Today’s guest blogger is Val Littlewood, who used her blog text to (1) snag an exhibit and (2) enhance the visitors’ experience. I love seeing installations like these. As a former museum educator, I’m keen on stories that can provide viewers with a more intimate and meaningful experience. I discuss such labels in How to Curate & Install Your Art Exhibit Like a Pro.

Plant1
Image ©Val Littlewood, Pima Cotton

Blog Writings on the Gallery Wall by Val Littlewood

Just over a year now I arrived in Orlando from the UK with my partner. New to the USA I decided to keep a daily art blog which also links into a botanical illustration course I am following. To find some suitable models, I started visiting the nearby Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens and the blog accidentally became record of this one particular place and its leafy inhabitants.

Display1 Most of the plant discoveries were new to me, so researching and writing about their stories became an integral part of the blog. When I approached the Botanical garden to show the work in their gallery space, I suggested that we display the (condensed) text of the blog posts, to accompany the drawing. The director was keen because it sounded “different.”

A year on, I put the show up last week, with drawings/paintings and their accompanying texts, and the reception has been really excellent. The staff tell me there has never been an exhibition quite like it before. They, too, have been reading about the plants and telling me how fascinated the public have been.

I know it wouldn’t apply to many artists but, if your blog content is relevant and relates to your subject matter, giving that bit of added value to the viewer with some interesting text is a way of getting them through the door and getting your show accepted by the gallery in the first place.

Val Littlewood’s exhibit, My Thirty Five Dollar Garden, is on display through June 23 at the Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens. Read  more on Val’s blog.



More on This Topic:
Guidelines for art exhibit labels

Do you have something to share that will help other artists promote their work more effectively and sell more of it? Pitch it to me! I’ll consider guest blog posts that are well written, generous, demonstrate success, and (most of all) are easy for me to copy and paste without needing much editing.

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11 comments to Recycle those blog posts into art exhibit labels

  • oh! That is an excellent idea! Lovely work Val; that stands up on it’s own. The rest is the frosting.

  • This is a fabulous idea!

    If it’s appropriate to the venue, I usually include a little “educational” piece about my process when I hang a linocut exhibition, and it’s always well-received. I think it helps spark conversation by giving viewers a starting place for questions OR a launching point to share their own experience with either the process or the subject matter. It sounds as if Val’s text is prompting all sorts of interaction… brava!

    Funny, I just recently discovered that one can also slurp the contents of one’s blog into BookSmart for on-demand publishing at Blurb.com. Probably I am the last person to figure this out, but it would be one way to create an accompanying exhibition catalog.

  • It’s a good idea to put text along with the drawings/paintings; maybe this may not be new, but it certainly is exiciting for visitors to see and observe and learn.
    -Jonathan; http://www.p2w2.com

  • You gave me a great idea. A large portion of my work is western. As I attend rodeos and other similar events, there is so much to see and there may be an image or two I wish to capture. But, in addition there are so many tales to tell about the atmosphere and action that unfolds. Telling those stories on my blog and newsletter would be a great way to stimulate interest in the western art itself!

    Thank you thank you!

  • wow – what a great idea – so great I think I’ll shift how I write about my new work, take the time to write more on it as I make it and then use it for labels. Awesome! a truely unique concept for me! Thanks to both of you!

  • Sherrie: Will we be looking for a new book from you soon? I can’t imagine a Blurb book as I look at your beautiful handmade books! But I know it would be far more efficient.

    Esther: By all means! And if you can use real people with real names and photos (get permission), you will make fans of them and they’ll send people to your site.

    Tammy: With all the writing you do, you’re bound to have a treasure trove for labels.

  • Lovely to see these very interesting and supportive comments! I have been looking into producing a small book and Blurb looks great!I wish you all great success and would love to know how you would individually develop your own ¨blog¨show.

  • Love this idea, thanks so much Val for sharing it!

    –Dave
    (@Rings_Things on Twitter)

  • just so excited to have found you! thanks for all the info. WIsh I could hire you to redo my blog! Lorie Price Bischoff owner of Soulful Adornments Gallery

  • wissem MIDAI

    c’est tres interessant,comme blog,je vous felicite
    moi,meme,je prepare un memoire de master sur le recyclage artistique
    au moyen orient,si vous avez des articles ou des ecrits sur le sujet
    je serai,heureuse de les recevoir par mail.
    merci

  • wissem MIDAI

    l like what you tryng to do,l’m,my self preparing a memoire
    on this subject:recycling art,in the middle east.
    if you can,send me,writings about the subjet,it will be great
    thank you,and goodluck