It is what artists and photographers dream of: to share their work with others who will appreciate and enjoy them, and hopefully, purchase them. An art exhibit is a great way to introduce yourself to the art world and potential patrons.
Now, how do you prepare your photos or paintings for an exhibition? Here are some tips:
- Decide whether you want to go solo or be part of the group. If you are a newbie, carefully consider whether you want to have the full focus on you and your work. If you would like that, then you should go solo. However, take note, that the entire exhibit will be your responsibility. This includes the costs incurred for the exhibit. Now, if you don’t think you are ready for this, you can share the responsibility and be part of a group who will have their works shown in the same exhibit.
- Decide on your location. A gallery would be a good bet, as they have the experience and the network to help you with the preparations and promotions. However, there are also other locations that may allow you to show your work for free or for a minimal fee. This can include libraries, schools, business establishments or schools.
- Check the contract. Before you sign on the dotted line, read the gallery contract carefully so that you understand well in advance what you are going in for. Take note of the promotions they will be making, as well as if they will also provide you with space for your posters so that you can promote the exhibit in advance.
- Check the space. Determine your assigned space and see whether it is an ideal space for an exhibit and whether you have enough inventory for the space. Doing an ocular visit to the gallery will also give you a feel of how you can set up your work to provide your gallery visitors with an experience and a “story.” Also, check the locations hanging systems, if any. This way, when you bring your framed work to the gallery, they will already be fitted with the necessary hanging hardware.
- Know your sources – locally and online. Since you will most likely buy your framing and art supplies by bulk, it is a good idea to get to know your possible sources. For instance, InLine Ovals can be your source for a vintage picture frame, convex glass and special display cases. We also accept custom orders for frames and display cases. You can also get to know mat cutters and art supply stores and try to negotiate a discounted price for your purchases.
- Show only your best work. You don’t have to cram all available wall space or hanging space with your work. Professionals say this only makes you look desperate and not confident about selling your work. Instead, choose only the body of work that fits your chosen them for the exhibit. Never show imperfect work, such as photos that have tears or smudges. Make sure that your work is framed to look like a million bucks – good framing can really do wonders in enhancing a particular piece.
- Prepare your artist’s profile, as well as short statements for each piece. You will want people to know about you and your work. Have a professional portrait taken and provide a short but interesting write-up about yourself. Each work should also be accompanied by a short artist’s statement, as well as a technical statement (especially for photo exhibits).
- Have your toolbox ready. It’s best to bring some tools you might need and keep them handy in one toolbox. This includes screwdrivers, a hammer, spare string and wire, nails, double sided-tape and other related things.
- Organize labels and records. Each piece should have a label that includes your name, the name of the piece, details of the piece (size, medium and price). Keep records of all purchases for your reference.