Did you know that in 2019, 230 million people visited different art museums around the globe? Soon, more people will visit museums, and who knows? If you’re an aspiring artist who wishes to launch your first-ever exhibit, yours could be one of the future shows people will look forward to.
Being an artist is hard enough. It’s even harder when you want to expand your horizons and decide to show your art to the rest of the world. Even though a million things are going through your head at once, and your emotions may be at an all-time high, you must calmly gather yourself.
Launching your first art exhibition is easier than you think. Below are some tips and tricks that can help you successfully get through this challenging endeavor:
Decide on a venue
Where you choose to hold your exhibit can make or break its success. The size and feel of the space affect not only how many guests can attend but also what notion the venue serves to reinforce. Is hosting on a large platform worthwhile to give off a glitzier vibe? Or is a less lavish setting more fitting?
As it’s your first time, you might be better off searching for art venues for hire in Toronto that fit the theme or concept you want for your show. Most of all, choosing your own venue means having better control of your budget.
You can look for known galleries that hold regular exhibits in your area. Remember, though, that those galleries tend to be picky with the pieces they showcase. Feel free to get creative and look for other non-traditional options, such as community centers, cafes, and restaurants that offer a more casual vibe.
Come up with a concept
When you already have a venue, developing a concept or theme that matches your art style is easier. A strong theme should unify your various artworks and give the impression that they’re a cohesive whole in a good art exhibition. Consider carefully what you want your show to say.
Go for themes or concepts that are more specific instead of choosing generalized ones. For instance, a “black and white” theme is too common, so find a more fitting theme that can help convey the message you want to send to your audience. You can also give your exhibit a catchy title that offers a glimpse of what people can expect upon immersing themselves in your show.
Pick your most impressive or most recent artwork
An art exhibit is meant to highlight your work and present it to the audience who you hope would appreciate and buy them. Hence, it’s a given that you pick the pieces that you think will impress the people the most.
This part can be tricky, and you can’t help but be biased when judging your work. If it helps, ask for suggestions from friends and family to decide. If you know other artists or critics, you can ask for their professional insights and help you choose which pieces to include in your first art exhibit.
Invest in marketing your event
You already have the right venue. You’ve picked the perfect date, and your theme is the coolest you’ve come up with. You already have a lineup of artwork you want to include in the show. You may think the work is done, but think again. Allocating a good amount of your budget to marketing strategies can go a long way in ensuring the success of your event.
Now’s the time to focus on how you’ll get the word out so that your event will get the exposure and audience reach it deserves. Print flyers, brochures, one-page informational ads, and posters that briefly describe your exhibition’s purpose and the types of artworks that’ll be on display. Include important information like the time and date, location, dress code, and entrance fee, if there’s any.
You may even consider sending out a press release or getting an interview with your local news network if your exhibition is a high-profile affair. Are you going to concentrate on Facebook marketing for your artwork, or is making cold calls to potential customers a better idea? You can also ask your family and friends to help you promote your upcoming exhibit.
Consider your approach to handling sales and shipping
It’s essential to plan ahead when planning and launching an art exhibit. That said, here’s a question to ponder: Can you handle all of your sales on your own? Sure, that’s doable. But if you go through with it alone, you’ll probably find that processing sales takes up more time than talking to potential customers.
Hence, it’s worth considering hiring an assistant who can help you with secondary tasks such as handling sales and logistics. All it takes is a trusted staff who you can walk through the process to ensure everything works as planned, despite being an independent artist with no organizer or handler to help you out. Label all your artworks with the title, price, size, medium, a brief description, and other vital information so that they’re more manageable to identify and ship when sold.
Bring a device to process credit card payments if you can. Not only will this make your payment process smooth, but it could also be a deciding factor when people are contemplating whether to purchase or not. Once they know they can use their credit cards to buy, people frequently make that decision without much thought.
Don’t forget other essential details
It helps to have a checklist where all the essentials are listed. That way, you’ll remember everything and be worry-free of what needs to be taken care of. Some essential details you need to remember are furniture and accessories for the venue, especially if you’re renting a space that doesn’t typically hold art exhibits.
Prepare packaging materials for your artwork, such as packaging tapes, bubble wrap, and scissors. Prepare plenty of business cards, too, so that you can easily hand them out to people as you entertain guests and introduce yourself to your attendees.
When the show is done, send thank-you emails and notes to everyone who participated, regardless of whether they bought a piece or not.
Perhaps any artist would agree—the first art exhibit is often the most nerve-wracking. It’s normal to feel a lot of emotions while planning and going through everything. However, don’t let it get in the way of ensuring your show will be an absolute success. So, first things first—decide on a venue, pick a concept, decide which artwork to include, invest in an effective marketing campaign or strategy, and be mindful of other essential details that contribute to your show’s success.