How to Promote Your Art Exhibition on Your Website

If you have an important exhibition coming up, give it the (virtual) space it deserves. Create a special page on your website just for your show.

You probably already have a page for all of your exhibitions, but I’m talking about a single page that features only your special show.

Donna Iona Drozda mixed media of nature

©Donna Iona Drozda, Clear Cut 1. Mixed media on board, 12 x 12 inches. Used with permission.

This will be the premier place you send people for details about your special show.

Why would you only share this info on Facebook or in an email when you can create a storefront for your art? You’re paying for the virtual real estate already. Might as well use it!

Everything will be in one spot rather than scattered around online or in someone’s inbox.

The URL (website address) should be one that’s easy to share and to remember rather than a string of slashes and numbers. This isn’t always as easy if you have a template site, but make it happen if possible.

Here’s what your exhibition page should include, and I suggest listing everything in this order.

Title of Exhibition

All of your exhibitions should have titles to distinguish them from one another. If they are solo shows, your name should be in the title.

Dates

When are the first and last days people can see the work?

Too often, we advertise only the opening, but some of your fans might not be able to attend on that date. Be clear about the exhibition duration.

Contemporary stone and metal pendant by Nancy Lee

©Nancy Lee, True North Pendant. Mixed media. Used with permission.

Location Name

At this point on the page, you only need to put the name of the venue. Below, as you’ll see, you will give more details.

Short Blurb

Include a couple of sentences that describe for people what they will see when they show up. If, for any reason, your name isn’t fully visible on the page (i.e. if people have to scroll or it isn’t in the title), make sure to include it within the blurb.

Images of Your Art

This is not the time to hold back. Share images of the work that will be on view. You don’t have to show all of it, but show enough to entice people.

Size the images large enough to make an impact. The trend online is to have BIG pictures. Anything too small looks old-fashioned.

TIP: Link to your blog posts that describe the artwork or process.

Include your prices if you’re in control of sales rather than the venue. Plenty of artists are selling their work before it ever goes on public view. Wouldn’t this be nice?

Location Specifics

Repeat the name of the venue, and then add:

  • Open hours
  • A link to their website
  • Phone number
  • Street address, city, and state/province

Don’t leave off the city and state/province! Your website is available to people in all corners of the world. If people land on this page, you don’t want them to have to guess what city you’re in.

Include a photo of the location if it might be helpful for visitors to recognize or (especially) if it’s impressive.

As a courtesy, it’s nice to tell people the best options for parking.

Events

What’s happening around your exhibition? People want to know they’re invited! Issue a heartfelt invitation around any of the following events.

  • Opening reception
  • Gallery talk
  • Demonstrations
  • Tours or times you’ll be at the space
  • Anything else you’re planning to activate the space during the show

Note dates and times for each event, remembering to include an ending time as well as the time it begins. You don’t want guests embarrassed by showing up after most people have gone home.

Don’t forget to mention:

  • If any fees are involved
  • If it’s by invitation only or open to all (Bring a friend!)

Here you could add another image, perhaps of you giving a talk or demonstration.

BJ Lantz painting representing gratitude

©BJ Lantz, The Patina of Gratitude. Oil and mixed media on cradled birch panel, 20 x 15 x 1.5 inches. Used with permission.

As Long As You’re Here

Going to a gallery is part of a night on the town for many people. Can you suggest nearby attractions?

Other galleries? Restaurants? Museums? Include links to those sites.

Contact Me

Always provide a way for people to get in touch and ask you questions, even if it’s a link to the Contact page on your site.

If it’s your show, the invitees are your guests. Be a friendly and accommodating host or hostess.

A photo of you with your art would be a nice touch.

Putting all of this together on one page will make it easier to promote and show off your work. It’s well worth the effort for an important show.

Your Turn

Do you have a page for a specific exhibition on your site? Feel free to share a link in a comment below.

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37 comments to How to Promote Your Art Exhibition on Your Website

  • Very nice post, Alyson. Thank you!

  • Hi Alyson,
    I have an “Events” page on my website. Are you suggesting that the “Exhibition” page be in addition? Or perhaps I not use the Events page and create a separate “Exhibition” page.

    As an example, I will be showing with 9 other artists to open a new gallery this June (Lake City, CO). Is there a strategy you would recommend. Thanks!

    • I qualified it for “important shows.” I would just do it for a big solo show. Like Laurie says below, doesn’t have to be in the menu. It’s probably a link from your Events page.

      Most importantly, there’s nothing else on it but THAT exhibition.

  • Helen Flack

    At last! Thank you for stressing the importance of adding the city to promotions! So often I’ve run across an event that sounds interesting but cannot find the city where the event takes place listed anywhere. It’s as if we are supposed to know where every venue is located. This is a very, very common problem that I see over and over on the Internet.

  • I think that was a “trick” question about the next month on the calendar. Anyway, I very much enjoyed today’s blog post. I enjoy all your blog posts. Just like I enjoy your book. Thank you for being so generous with your time and talent and knowledge.

    Question: If you have time, I wonder if you can give your thoughts on an artist website vs. a blog? I have a blog that is now being revamped for promoting my photography instead of just any old thing I might or might not want to post (which has never motivated me to post on a regular basis anyway). Thanks.

    • Marrianna: Next month?

      I wrote this a long time ago, but I think it explains blog vs. website:

      http://www.artbizblog.com/2010/10/blog-vs-website.html

      • Jay

        I believe Marrianna is referring to the I-am-a-human verification thingy in the reply form.

        As one who sees hundreds of websites every week, your advice is spot-on and (in the email that led to this post), your comment of how important the artist’s statement and website are for the exhibition vetting process is one of those simple but critical gems that every artist needs to know.

        I’m thinking the artist’s story is often the clincher.

  • Yes probably over thinking this. I don’t have an exhibition page on my site, so this is timely. I will be exhibiting in 6-9 (ish) group shows this year depending on if I am selected. So a page for each? Under a heading exhibitions? Not sure any one is more special than the other. Then leave the info up on my site for a year or so? A show resume if you will.

    • Alicia: NO! Only do this for a solo show (read: important). The other shows aren’t unimportant, but it’s not necessary that you give them a single page. Unless they are important and there’s a lot going on with them.

      I realize I’m contradicting myself. But I think you know what I mean.

  • I have a solo exhibition coming up at Davis Gallery in Austin, Texas, The Market. There is an opening reception on March 5, 2016, with the show up until April 16. I have an event page on my website but always showcase a new exhibit on my home page, so actually the info is in two places. I also promote on Instagram, Facebook, and an email blast to my clients and art students. They all also receive a postcard from the gallery. Thank you Alyson for all the great tips. I refer you to my painting students all the time! Kindly, Jan Heaton.

  • Well darn! My exhibition ends Saturday and I didn’t think about creating a special page on my website!
    I created a pinterest page and sent people there. A website page would have been a great idea.

  • Alyson, you are spot on here. Artists always need to make it easy as pie for people to find the information they need. Creating a separate custom page on your site that you can refer from social media, print, or in an interview is a great way to serve your fans well.

    The pages don’t even have to be added to navigation – they can be ‘hidden,’ and only accessible via the link. Or in the case of an important exhibition – why not let it take over the home page for a while. Home pages don’t need to be minimal or static.

    When you think about how you can use custom pages, the sky is the limit – create a hidden page to share progress on a commission with one client. Or to show a curated selection of artwork to a potential buyer. But that’s a topic for a different article!

  • VERY TIMELY!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • What a great idea. I can’t tell you how many times I see information about an exhibit but I can’t figure out WHERE it is. I only hope I haven’t been guilty of this.

    • Donna: It really helps to have a checklist.

      I realized not too long ago that we didn’t have an address or phone # on our Contact page for months. That doesn’t look very professional.

  • Alyson,
    Perfect timing on this post. I have an exhibit (what do you call it when you are doing an exhibit in collaboration with one other person?) coming up in April 2016. I will certainly put together a special page on my website.
    Thanks again for all of the information you so generously share.
    Blessings,
    Mary

  • Thank you Alyson! This post was so helpful. I actually followed the post closely and added an additional event page to my website. Laurie’s suggestion was well received too. I gave my next show prime real estate on the home page.

    It felt so good to get it all down – and now all I have to do is send folks the link:

    http://toniruppert.com/page/8172

    I will do this for big shows ongoing. Thank you so very much! Hugs from Chicago!

  • Would you suggest buying a url for the show vs. a page on your website? E.g. ww.daveatmetroart.com vs. http://www.williamswatercolors.com/metroart.

  • Alyson, what a helpful post, as usual. I’m in the planning stages of a show exhibiting in October so that gives me plenty of time to implement these great ideas.

    Would you have any thoughts regarding how to handle my online activity as I prepare for this show? My problem is that I don’t want to share all the paintings, all the info and stories behind each piece since it’s a long ways off however I won’t be working on much else until then. I’m unsure how to keep putting out good content when I don’t feel like I can share much of what I’m working on, yet for the next 6 months until the big reveal.

    Thank you

  • Thanks for featuring one of my painting, Alyson :-) Timely post as I have my first show March 5 and intend to get busy on this reminder business this coming week.

  • Update – did this today for my upcoming show! Thanks for the guide, Alyson!
    http://www.bjlantz.com/a-walk-in-the-woods

  • I’m part of an upcoming group exhibition based on an idea I had five years ago that only reached fruition when an artist friend/colleague said she knew of a great venue, which she successfully pitched. So “Wildlife Art: Field to Studio” will open at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut on March 24 (I live in northern California, but I’ll be there, along with all the artists but one). There are seven of us in the show, all wildlife artists who do fieldwork in various parts of the world as part of creating our art.

    I saw this post by Alison about creating a web page for the exhibition, which I thought was a great idea and today I set that up. It’s easy to set up a slide show in WordPress, which they call a “gallery”. You can see it here: http://foxstudio.biz/wildlife-art-field-to-studio-an-important-group-exhibition-coming-in-march/.

    I finished the last painting today and it’s the subject of this week’s blog post: http://foxstudio.biz/2016/02/19/new-painting-debut-want-to-play-siberian-ibex/

    I’ve used the press release I sent out to some national art magazines and a freelance art writer I know (got him and two national magazines to bite) for the copy on both pages. I’d be interested in what Alison and some of you think of that choice.

  • Hi Alyson, thanks for being such a great resource. I am just starting to plan my first small solo exhibition for just over a month’s time and I needed this and your art exhibition checklist to help get me organised.

  • *Such* good information, Alyson! Thank you for all the detail.
    So glad to hear I’m on the right track with my page for my September 2016 solo exhibition in Goolwa, South Australia:
    tangerinemeg.com/happy-to-be-here-exhibition/
    You’ve given so many pertinent, rich ideas to make it even better! Maybe by the time you read this, I will have implemented them ?! 😀
    Cheers,
    Meg :)