If you have exhibiting your art on your list of goals (as you should), you’re probably overwhelmed.
First, there’s the research into potential venues. As soon as you begin the process (and it is a process), you will uncover venues you never knew existed if you live in a metropolitan area. One leads to another which leads to another…
Which brings up the second phase of overwhelm. Once you have this list of possible spaces, how do you determine which ones might be good choices for you?
What makes a venue attractive for an exhibition of your art? Let’s look at the pluses and minuses of potential venues using the checklists below.
It’s surely too much to ask that one venue might meet all the criteria for being a desirable location. You will have to weigh the positive and negative of each space. What can you live with?
On The Plus Side
The favorable aspects of a particular venue might be that it:
Yeah, I know you’d rather be in the studio.
Yeah, I know it’s super cheap and easy to show your art online.
Yeah, I know it’s a slog to find a good exhibition space.
And, yeah, I know that if you’re physically and geographically able to show your art in public and you’re not doing so, you’re just making excuses. Not only that, you’re also:
- Missing out on sales and networking opportunities.
- Taking the easy way out.
- Working your way to a less-than-stellar art career.
Exhibiting your art in live venues should be one of your primary goals. Book a show now!
Let’s Define “Exhibition”
For our purposes, an exhibition is simply your art on public view. It could be any of the following:
This article is excerpted and summarized from an interview with artist Leslie Neumann for my Art Biz Incubator. Leslie generously shared her experience working with art consultants. The key points here are provided by Leslie and with include my annotations.
If you have a solid studio practice and welcome the challenge of commissioned work, art consultants might be a good sales venue for you.
What Art Consultants Do and Who They Are
Art consultants are people who seek and buy art for a client, whether it’s a healthcare company, a private collector, or a hotel.
Leslie Neumann with her paintings Beauty Deep Within and Fateful, Faithful. Each 60 x 45 inches.
The difference between art consultants and designers is that, generally speaking, a designer is responsible for the whole job and not just the artwork. They’ll do everything from
One of the sessions at the Arts Festival Conference in Portland, sponsored by ZAPP, was “Public Portfolio Critique.”
A mock jury of 6 people sat at the front of four screens in a large room. One at a time, artists’ slide presentations were projected as they might be in a slide jurying situation. The jurors offered valuable feedback for each set that was projected, and I took loads of notes.
Here’s what I learned. Most of these notes are from the jurors, but I’ve thrown in some of my own observations.
Patty Hankins’ booth shot for Beautiful Flower Pictures.
You have 20 seconds to impress the jury with your slides.
The festival organizers in the room had anywhere from 500 to over 2000 applicants for their events. They can’t spend more than 20 seconds on each set of
When you ask to show your art at a venue, you need to be very clear about what you are offering. People don’t often say Yes to vague offers.
Think about what ties the work together. This is your curatorial thesis – your big idea. Writing it out, as you’ll see below, helps you find the clarity you need.
Before sitting down to write your exhibition proposal, ask the venue if they have a particular exhibition proposal format they prefer. If they do, follow their instructions. If they don’t have specific guidelines, you’ll have to compile an exhibition proposal for yourself.
The details of your proposal will vary depending on whether you’re proposing a show at a coffee shop, a pop-up space, or a nonprofit gallery. You will have to judge what is appropriate for your situation.
There are all kinds of places where you could show your work.
Coffee shops would love to have your art! Salons would fawn over it! Professional offices would think they’d died and gone to heaven!
This is great news for you, especially when you are just starting out. It’s a stamp of approval when public spaces want to show your work.
©2014 Ginny Herzog, Relic 12-514. Oil, cold wax, and collage, 30 by 40 inches. Used with permission.
Almost every artist does the “free” circuit. It’s where you get your toes wet.
These seemingly low-risk venues offer a place for you to learn how to install your art correctly, while introducing your art to new people.
You’ll test your conversational skills, your pricing, and your negotiating skills.
Because these non-art venues are considered “less serious” than galleries, many artists
This post is for you if you’re interested in having a museum exhibition, volunteering or working at a museum, or seeing your art in a museum collection. You need to know how a museum administration is structured. While I haven’t been part of the museum world since 2001, I am fairly confident that what I share below can still be helpful to you.
Poof! That’s the sound of the pressure vanishing like magic. That pressure of trying to hit a home run when you contact someone about your work. Maybe it’s an email to an interior designer, a meeting with an art consultant, or a letter to a gallerist. You want them to show your art, buy your work, or represent you.
Guest blogger Marcia Crumley shares her first solo exhibition last November in Boston was a spectacular success. She’s a bit of a control freak, so letting go of certain things was very challenging at first, particularly when those tasks involved the art itself. But as the opening date grew closer and the to-do list kept getting longer, Marcia realized that accepting help from others was the only way to get it all done.
The way we promote, sell, and buy art is rapidly changing, but there are still many good reasons to consider gallery representation. Here’s a list to remind you of the upside of working with a gallery. . . . A gallerist acts as your agent. A good gallery will be your advocate and business partner. They will work to manage your career and help you raise your status and prices.