After The Exhibit

Episode 263 · August 28th, 2023 · 31 mins 26 secs

About this Episode

It’s what so many artists work toward—a solo exhibit or small group show-- when a large body of work is shown at its best, to an appreciative audience. Preparation for an exhibit like that can take months, even years. Slowly you produce the work, experiencing everything from panic to satisfaction as the finished pieces for your exhibit accumulate. It can be both a draining and exhilarating experience as you head toward the finish line. Finally, your show opens, and then what? You have a few weeks or a month of receiving congratulations and feedback, hoping for sales, celebrating when they happen, and then rather suddenly, it’s all over. Today we’ll talk about the aftermath of an exhibit, a time to process what you’ve accomplished and consider what’s next.

Exhibits are milestones in your art career, and it's important to take some time to process your accomplishment, by observing how you feel about the work that was exhibited. Take some time to appreciate seeing the work as a body, hanging together, and to consider what might be next. What has changed in your vision and intentions?

Many artists also experience a lull or creative block following the big push of having an exhibit. Although this can be frustrating, this downtime can also be beneficial as a time to rest and find your way back into your work. You may need to step back to gather new ideas and energy. Keep your long-term goals in mind but allow yourself some time off.

The issues of sales also tends to occupy you in the post-exhibit period. Friends will inquire, and your own finances may cause you to feel anxious about having some income from the show. But try to remember that sales are not the measure of a good exhibit. There are too many factors influencing whether sales happen to use them as a gauge of success.

Nobody but the artist really understands everything that goes into producing an exhibit. Your own perspective is the most important and that needs to be focused on the big picture of your work, what you've learned and where your work may be heading. There can be a lot of distractions around a show—sales, publicity, contacts, exposure. A lot of that is exciting and can lead to new opportunities, but in the end, you go back to your studio and work. You are not the same artist you were before you went through this process, and it's time to move on.

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What's new at Cold Wax Academy? As Rebecca and Jerry enter the fourth year of live programming, they are bringing a special emphasis to reviewing and consolidating prior learning, as well as to increased member involvement on a variety of topics like professional development, mentoring issues, and other questions posed to the group. As always, Members are also encouraged to take part in the online sessions, where lively discussions take place as Rebecca and Jerry respond in real time, And don't forget that Cold Wax Academy Members have unlimited streaming access to over 100 previously recorded sessions covering a broad range of topics. You don't have to use cold wax medium to benefit from the content in these recordings. Artists who use other painting media will also find a wealth of valuable information there, from the effective use of the visual elements and composition, to personal voice and intentions, to personal issues like procrastination and work/life balance--and much, much more. For more info and to join CWA please visit

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