Thursday, January 16, 2014

Getting Ready for a Show

No matter your medium, showing artwork in a gallery is scary, exciting, fun, and quite frankly... a lot of work!

The nitty gritty:
  • Take good photos that accurately represent the colors in your work to create a portfolio
  • Coordinate contract with gallery - how do they handle sales and taxes, what percentages do they take?
  • Make sure your insurance policy covers loss or damage to your pieces
  • Coordinate with the gallery on how they will handle your pieces:
    • Delivery location and timing
    • Storage (will your pieces be sitting on the floor or in the back waiting to be hung? How will they be protected?)
    • Hanging - do you need special hangers, will they provide?
    • Display - do you have a say in how your artwork is displayed?
    • Picking up your art after the show
  • Plan which pieces to bring:
    • What sizes will fit the space
    • Choose colors that work well together
    • What mix of pieces will demonstrate the breadth of your work 
  • Make sure website, Etsy shop, etc are up to date and attractive
  • Create business cards that direct folks to your website
  • Create pricing sheet so gallery can create info cards for each piece (or create your own cards)
  • Create inventory sheet with thumb prints, description, price in case of mix-up, loss or theft
  • Plan transportation - can everything fit in one car, one trip? How protect your art in transit?
  • Coordinate with gallery - Can you preview the display to make sure pieces that go together are displayed together (I once had a necklace, bracelet, earring set dispersed in a gallery because they were focused on like pieces being displayed together, rather than sets)
  • Get the word out there - use social media to let everyone know when and where to see your work!
  • Is there a 'Show Opening'? If not, create one by sending out the word when you will be there!
I find it uncomfortable to ask folks to come look at my art - like I am exposing my baby to censure. However, I'm blessed with some good friends who told me that their job is to form a circle around me at the Show Opening and to filter in only the good vibes!

Have you shown your artwork in a gallery, or are you preparing to?
What challenges have you faced?

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