Get Your Art Out Of The Studio

Waiting to be discovered? Holding out for the perfect gallery? Refusing to “sell out” (whatever that means)?

Snap out of it! Your art is begging you to get it out of the studio and show it to the world.

Mark Scheffer, from the Vapor series. Photograph. ©The Artist

I’m writing today’s post from the coffee shop at Barnes & Noble. Across from where I’m sitting are 9 competent paintings next to the open fridge filled with FIJI Water and Jones Soda bottles. The works are mostly hung on long, dark, horizontal lines (hanging mechanisms) that are distracting. The paintings are of various sizes and are hung haphazardly. On each frame is a yellow Post-It note with a number. A single sheet of paper with a red border announces the artist’s name and work and

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Double check your publicity text

An artist recently sent me a link to her exhibit listing on the venue’s website, but there was no location mentioned anywhere on the page! Details about the exhibit were sketchy, and the artist was too close to the event to see that important information was missing.

Don’t rely on your venues to get the publicity right. Take charge!

Whether it’s your responsibility or the venue’s, every event listing and invitation should consider the 5 Ws and 1 H of P.R.: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? For an artist’s event, this might mean including the following information.

Myra Knapp, Stillness. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches. ©The Artist.

WHO are the artists? Who is the sponsor? Who is invited? Who has more details?

WHAT will people see? What

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Podcast: Ask for sponsorship

Interested in having a sponsor for your art opening or event? Listen to learn about specific steps to take when presenting sponsorship opportunities to people and businesses that want to be in front of your audience.


Newsletter (a written version of this podcast)

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The last episode of the Art Marketing Action podcast was November 22, 2010. You can listen to or download any episode on iTunes.

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Promote an out-of-town event

Marietta, Georgia sculptor Steve Miller has a benefit sale in Chicago later this spring. How it came to be in Chicago is a story in itself, and Steve admits that he doesn’t have many connections in the Windy City. Still, he’d like to help the organization hosting the sale promote it.

While you can’t always be in the same town where your art is being exhibited, you can help promote the event from a distance. Here are ten suggestions.

Annie Salness, Crosswalk. Acrylic on masonite, 12 x 12 inches. ©The Artist

1. Be clear on your responsibilities and those of the venue or other parties involved. Who takes care of press releases and invitations? Who pays for which expenses? Where is there overlap? These responsibilities should be outlined in writing.

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Draft a Winning Exhibition Proposal

==> Click here for an updated article on this topic <==

All good art exhibitions begin with a curatorial thesis. This thesis is the idea–the theme–that ties all of the artwork together.

When you consider submitting an exhibition proposal, keep in mind that you will be judged on the strength of your curatorial thesis. Make sure it is sound. Get very clear on what the exhibition is about before you sit down to draft your proposal.

Now, I’m not talking about asking to hang your work at a coffee shop or other lower-tier venue. I’m talking about those times when you want to approach a gallery or nonprofit space and are asked to submit an official proposal.

The first thing to do in these situations is to ask the venue if they have a particular exhibition proposal

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