So you want to have an art show. What artist doesn’t! Unless you are lucky enough to have a gallery represent you, finding our own venue is how we, as self-representing artists, get our work in front of an audience. I am a self-representing artist. It’s up to me to find a venue and then execute every aspect of the show from beginning to end. For me, here in Austin, Texas, I am lucky to have some wonderful venues that love helping aspiring artists. Over the past year I have participated in both solo and group shows throughout the city. The advantage to finding my own venue is that many charge a minimal commission or sometimes none at all. This is a big deal since I am just starting out and trying to balance creativity and finances. I think many emerging artists can relate to this. That being said, here are a few things I have learned over the course of planning a show.
- Focus: Present a cohesive body of work limited to a single theme or genre. This allows your audience to understand what your art represents and to view you as a serious focused artist.
- Plan: Scope out the venue, take pictures and measure wall space. Then do a mock up and know where the paintings will go ahead of time. This will save lots of time on the day of the install. Be sure to inventory all your work and photograph it after the install is complete.
- Brand: Have plenty of information available before, during and after the show. This includes business cards, event postcards, an artist statement and tags for each piece of work hanging. Use social media to promote your show and your art. Include all the necessary information to make it easy for potential customers to reach you and purchase your work.
- Party: If the venue allows, plan a “meet the artist” reception. Be prepared to answer questions about your art, why you paint, and what inspires you. Being able to connect and convey the feeling and emotion that goes into a work of art is vital.
With the wealth of information available to artist today through social media and networking, there is no reason every show can’t be a successful one!