Next week, I will be celebrating the opening of “DANCE”  at the hobart gallery in Hoboken NJ. I love this show, not only am I exhibiting with 2 other talented artists,  I am also supporting my local artscene bringing community together to celebrate art.

A few pieces from “The Dance of Nature”

It was such a joy to create all the pieces in this series (watch out for the virtual exhibition on my blog tomorrow)

Even though this is an official gallery space, I have also had many solo shows in a wide range of venues, including bars, restaurants, cafes and the Hoboken historical museum (where all 9 of my pieces were sold and are now part of the museums permanent collection) and am exhibiting at the Hoboken library next month too!

When we think of exhibiting, our first thought is usually to exhibit in a gallery, which can sometimes feel a little scary, however there are so many opportunities to get your work out there into the world through very small steps to help you learn and grow through the process. {I am still learning after many many shows!}

What are some of the questions you have about exhibiting your own work?

I promised a few readers I would post a list of tips so below are some ideas to get you started. There are lots of moving parts to exhibiting, but once you have let the universe know you are ready for this “Big Dream”, your “Small Wonders” will unfold – I promise. It’s something so exciting and rewarding that you will be exhibiting all over your local town and beyond in no time!

It’s also important to bring your lovely self to this process, some things may work better for you than others. Remember you are a creative soul sharing your gift with the world. Wishing you all the best with sharing your beautiful work.

1) Getting Started

  1. Start to take note of places that already exhibit artwork and identify any other local locations that don’t, but could!
  2. Take a deep breath and ask the manager/owner of the bar, store, bakery, restaurant and various other “open” establishments how one goes about showing work: The requirements, any costs, timings, holding a reception party and anything else you might need to take into consideration.
  3. Carry a small folder of photographed work with you {or on your ipad/iphone}, so when you come across a suitable place, you can simply spark conversation with the manager/owner with examples of work then and there.
  4. Make a wishlist of the places you would love to exhibit in and pin them up on your wall. {You can even make a vision board to attract all the positive energy your way}
  5. Always carry a little card/postcard to exchange when you meet the person who manages artwork exhibits. AND you never know who else you will meet on your travels out and about.
  6. Do a search on google for open artist calls. Submitting work in competitions, juried shows and other group opportunities is another great way to get your work out there.
  7. Look to see if there are any local art groups who already exhibit around town, this is another great way to get your feet wet and you have a group of like-minded friends to support each other along the way. {this is exactly how I got started a few years ago}

2) Once you have a show scheduled

  1. Give yourself lots of time to create work if you need to and plan marketing dates & the opening reception party
  2. Decide on a theme or a name for your exhibit & what the “Story” is behind your work.
  3. Schedule in an opening reception and create an invitation via email and social media
  4. Get postcards printed or posters to distribute locally.
  5. Write a Press Release and distribute out to various media contacts.
  6. Have a go at creating a video or having your work photographed to add to your site.
  7. Arrange when you can hang and take down the show
  8. Work with the venue on best way to hang your show – do you need extra help, do they have a special hanging system already in place? How will you get your work to the space?
  9. How will you label your work

3) Preparing for the open reception

  1. Create a flyer, email blast, posters to put up in your local area/area of the show and send out, give plenty of notice and also send out reminders a few days beforehand.
  2. Will you provide alcohol/drinks/nibbles or can the establishment give you a special price. If you prefer for guests to pay for their drinks, think about buying a few bottles of something from the establishment as a sweetener for early arrivers.
  3. What marketing material do you need for the big night and for the duration of the show? These include a pricelist, card/postcards & contact details, can you create prints of the original work to sell on the night also?
  4. Remember to name and price with labels under your work and have a guest book to capture emails for future marketing opportunities. Also have an artist bio/statement/resume so people can get to know who you are, what influenced this exhibition and how they can stay updated on future work.
  5. How will you take payment for the work on the night? And will you allow patrons to take the work then and there or would you like to keep it in the exhibit until it finishes.
  6. Greet guests personally on the night and enjoy every moment. (you can also ask friends to help you meet and greet and hand out your marketing materials on the night.
  7. Take note of what went really well and what you may change/include for next time.
  8. Take lots of photos to use as part of your marketing and to record your success.
  9. Send a thank you after the event.  And leave contact details at the venue for anyone interested in your work throughout the duration of the show.
  10. Most importantly celebrate!

What other kinds of questions or additional tips do you have to add? Good Luck, cant wait to hear all about your future exhibitions.