How to Have a Successful Exhibition of Your Art

Artists everywhere are hiding their work in closets, stacked in their garage and even collecting dust in the attic. How can anyone appreciate them? Your talent is God given and if you have a desire to paint, sculpt or even create fiber art, you must find your audience. There are many who wish to support local artists.

Begin by choosing a venue that appreciates your work. It does not have to be an expensive rented hall or museum. Hold your exhibition in a shelter in a lovely park. You can rent a booth in a craft or antique store for an afternoon or evening. Arrange with your school or library to set up in a visible area. Arrange ahead of time the fees or commission that will be paid to the venue from any sales of your work. Just make sure your surroundings enhance your art. Even a back alley can sometimes be the very place for an exhibition. Keep it out in public to attract interested bystanders. Follow all local laws for sales.

Send out invitation to absolutely everyone you know. Encourage your guests to include their friends and family. Send an article about your work to your local newspaper and ask them to publish it as close as possible prior to your date. Place an ad on Craigslist. Leave colorful flyers at the venue for a month ahead of time advertising the event or nearby venues.

Plan a buffet for your guests. You can make this as elaborate or simple as your wish. Serve chilled wine, some cheeses and tiny cookies, or make it a large spread with an olive bar, wings, desserts and an array of savory items. Remember napkins, forks, simple paper cups and always have lots of small bottles of chilled water for everyone. A simple centerpiece for the entire table is enough. If you expect a large crowd, hire or choose someone to pour the wine for your guests and make sure all partakers are of legal age.

Arrange your art work with as much space as possible around it. Each item should have room for several to view it comfortably. Crowding your pieces demeans it. Art needs space so others may admire it. Have framed and unframed paintings available with a large price range. You want to have items for sale that everyone can afford. A price list for each item can be printed up for each person or just have one master list that can be seen by all and a helper can mark SOLD as each item is carried away or left awaiting a pick up at a later time. A short history on each piece is nice but not necessary. Your art should speak for itself and allow others to interpret it for themselves.

Choose a nice piece for your favorite charity or to support the venue where you are exhibiting. Have a silent auction for that piece. Place a paper and pen for your guests to write their name and their offer for the painting. The highest offer on the paper at the appointed time wins the piece. This encourages buying and also benefits your host venue or featured charity.

Dress up or maybe dress in a very interesting way that features you as the celebrated artist. You need to be available at all times to greet your patrons and buyers. Do not spend too much time with anyone, people want to meet you and ask questions.

The owner of the venue or a trusted friend should handle all sales during the show. Remember to price your work fairly. It’s better to have your work loved and appreciated rather than forgotten in the attic.

This is your night to sparkle. It’s like any party you throw being the guest of honor. Be prepared for well wishes, praise for your work and a lovely time. Your prep work should bring out the folks who enjoy supporting local artists. Knowing the steps of how to put on a show is the key to success.

Source: Life experience and observation

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