Home Is Where The Art Is

If you are an artist, a lover of art then I hope that I can inspire you to do what you love.

Friday, 27 June 2014

If You Ever Plan To Exhibit Anywhere...Read This! Or Don't You Choose!

It's been a while since I wrote a top tips blog as the last few were less than well received, largely due to stating the obvious apparently. If it is so obvious, one can only speculate about why people are still unable to do it.

Moving swiftly on!

I have written many a blog about planning an exhibition and publicising an exhibition. Today I am going to add a few more hopefully helpful hints and pointers.

1. Social Media IS FREE! New School, Hi Tech

I know it's hard to believe but it is. Why not not take advantage of it? I do all the time and I don't just mean Faceache as I like to call it.

Linked In
Google +

These should all be weapons in your publicity armoury. I would happily post a guest written blog about their work. Especially if it helped to promote a current exhibition here or somewhere else.
Linked In a professional networking site, a great way to promote exhibitions to a target audience especially if you join the art forums.

I can now post my blog on Pinterest it takes me about two seconds. I have to add that I have also uploaded images of my own work and have a few followers too.

I haven't quite sussed Google + but I do post my blog on it on there every time I write one.

2. Old School - Low Tech

Put up locally, in libraries, other art galleries, cafes, craft shops, art shops.

Listings are often free in local publications and Evolver will list your show if you are lucky and the
wind is blowing in the right direction.

3. Before the show is up how can you get people interested?

Some of the most popular pages that I see have studio shots, and regular updates of works in progress. This can be done via a blog, Facebook, Twitter. People are really interested in seeing the place the work is made. Smart phones make this super easy to do. Guess what it is FREE!

Invite EVERYONE to your exhibition, don't worry they won't all come. Do not put the distance barrier in the equation of who to invite. Let people decide for themselves whether they want to come or not. Not inviting them is a big mistake.
If you were really clever about it you could add a link to your website, or the gallery website, or Facebook Page etc and say there will be an opportunity to see photographs of the show for those of you who can't make it. Makes everyone feel included.
I get invites to exhibitions from all over the country I am happy to be invited.

3. What can you do when your show is up and running?

This is often a tricky one, I am very familiar with the dump and run approach. Once the show is up there's a big sigh of relief and a swift disappearance into the sunset.
The truth is that you can nurture interest in your show by being interested yourself. If you aren't talking about it why should anyone else? That isn't to say that there should be wall to wall bragging about your fantastic new exhibition.
You can do this.

A gentle reminder to your mailing list that didn't make the PV that it is still on and you'd really appreciate their feedback as they have bought work from you in the past.
Share updates from the gallery with your friends via social media.
If you know an artist friend is going to visit ask them if they would mind doing a ten line review of the exhibition.
How about an Artist Talk or a demo of your particular skill? People love to hear what drives the work. It's a really simple way to get people to engage with the work. They also like to see how things are done.

4. Interactivity

How can you include a visitor to your exhibition with your process?

Sketchbooks are by far the most straightforward way to do this. There is a real feeling that sketchbooks on display are relegated to degree shows. Why? I have no idea, I regularly show mine and people love to look at them. Being able to touch elevates the whole experience for people.
I know artists are fiercely protective of their inner most thoughts and drawings but.....

I also have the means to show video/photographs on a screen, most galleries do these days. A show reel of past work could contextualise your current work?

You could also include an inspirational object/photograph, poem, story. There usually is something.

Have great weekend!


  1. All really good advice and something we should all be doing. As you say it is Free ! I think as artists a lot of us need to take time out of the studio and promote ourselves. Its no good making the work and then not getting people to come and see it. I need to learn how to blog, how to update my website and so on and so on. Nobody else is going to do it for me. I find it really hard but I HAVE to learn. A lot of my recent achievements are nowhere to be seen ! My fault.

  2. It's true, it is really difficult to direct your energies at the promotional side of things. Particularly when you have put your all into the work. This is why I have tried to run workshops aimed at getting people using all the free social media that's out there. Believe it or not I was told that I wasn't charging enough but that still didn't mean people came.
    Happy to help you out whenever, but I fear our distant locations won't make that very easy.