This month’s photography competition theme was ‘Emotion’. We had a number of great entries over the month ranging from a laughing baby to a chil…
How to Set Up and Organise Your First Exhibition
There’s no denying all of us want our work to be seen, whether it be painting, photography or sculptures, if its good and your proud of it then it deserves to be seen.
In this months how to guide we are going to give you a quick guide to setting up your very first gallery/exhibition and from initial set up to getting people through those doors and hopefully it will help you on your artistic journey.
Mindmap your ideas, what do you want to achieve, what kind of theme do you want to your gallery, are you looking to create a certain atmosphere, are you looking to hold a big or small event?
Reason behind your exhibition
What are you looking to gain from your exhibition? Exposure? Sales? Raising money for charity? You should consider this before going any further as this will impact the decisions from here on. Also are you looking to showcase your own work? Other peoples? or a combination?
Theres nothing wrong with starting small; a room at your local library, a stall in the marketplace. Not all art exhibitions have to be large and flamboyant, there are varying options for venues and scales of galleries. If you are looking for something a bit bigger consider empty shops.
Enquire about Funding – art grants, sponsorships
Its always worth while to check out grants that are available either in your local area or from national organisations. The artist community loves to invest in new up and coming artists and people trying to find their place in the art world so get your portfolio sent out to see if there’s anyone willing to work with you.
Picking a site
The venue doesn’t make the gallery work but its a good start. When picking the venue consider the amount of space you need for your work but also for people coming along to view. A good alternative if you are struggling to find space to exhibit is setting up a marquee.
Don’t forget to check out if there is a Open Studio project in your area. Open Studios events are where artists, photographers, designers etc open up their homes/studios to allow people to take a look at their work which can work out a lot cheaper. Open Studios generally advertise the events themselves as well which helps save on costs.
Take a look at:
Picking a date
Picking a date if the venue has loads to choose from is very important. Generally it’s best to go for a weekday evening or schedule your exhibition at the weekend as these are the times when people are most likely looking for something to do with friends and not working. When considering the time of your exhibition though, don’t forget to check out how your gallery set up looks in the evening as lighting can change the way your pieces looks.
Choosing what work to show
It’s not just about picking your favourite work to show, it’s picking out the pieces that work best together, would be interesting to it’s viewers and attracts attention. If your struggling to objectively pick out which work to show, get a friend involved as they can be both your best and worst critics and will have your best interests at heart, give them free reign to decide which pieces they believe you should exhibit and go from there.
If you can seek to tell a story or have a common theme through your work this always works to bring together a whole gallery.
Contact local framers and art supply stores
Particularly if your event is in benefit of others it’s worth getting in contact with local framers and supply stores as they may be prepared to donate or sell you things for a much lower price.
Who do you want to turn up?-invitations
Want people to turn up? Make a list of people who you want to turn up; family and friends are a great place to start. Encourage people you know to invite others and fingers-crossed you get a snowball effect of people wanting to attend.
Attracting people to come along
Attracting people to come along to your gallery/exhibition is always an important thing. There can’t be a show without an audience. Luckily nowadays we have social media. If you don’t already have your work on a social media page, get it set up ! It’s an easy way to attract new followers and invite people to your events. Another good idea is to print of flyers to place around the community.
Produce a catalogue
A great idea is to produce a catalogue for your show. This means you can give your viewers some information about each piece and it also gives them something to reflect back on later on e.g. if they saw a piece that caught their eye.
Setting up the Site
Try to mix it up a bit. Don’t simply hang up pictures and expect people to take notice if you make the display relatively dynamic people are more likely to pay attention. Consider using towers and display boards.
A buffet on a grand opening night is always a good plan. Stock up with snacks and drinks for your guests (perhaps get in some bubbly for a true celebration). And don’t forget some light background music !
Grand Openings normally involve a lot of mingling and loads of friends and family in attendance so get inviting your loved ones…
Are you running an exhibition or art event? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter and we may promote your event to our followers !!