Preparing For An Exhibit

Episode 57 · February 2nd, 2019 · 49 mins 59 secs

About this Episode

Rebecca is preparing for an upcoming exhibit in Atlanta, Georgia. She talks with Ross about her process and shares tips for artists preparing for a first show.

Podcast notes—exhibit prep

Focus for the podcast on a show where you have 8+ pieces; a small group,
two person, or solo show

Getting a show:
Are you ready??
Request from your gallery if not asked
Proposal to non-commercial space = find out requirements, write
Consider how much time you need to produce the work

Exhibit categories:
Group show with colleagues at non-commercial space
Group/2 person at a gallery --they will probably choose who you show with
More and more common to NOT have solo shows
Be open minded about who they pair you with

STEPS to a show:
How much lead up time are you given, varies from over a year to a few months
Maybe a theme or just a selection of your work

Early on:
Find out the expectations for the size and number of pieces; this is usually
flexible; if you want to include something you are already working on
Ask for a timetable of when the gallery will want certain things: these include list
of pieces, prices, artist statement, publicity photos (work and you) put these into
your own calendar
Ask if you have any $ obligations for the reception/costs/announcements
Will there be an artist talk
Date of opening reception--Think about whether/if you can attend. Lay some
groundwork for travel, clear the dates, etc.
Publicity: Usually they will want some advance publicity materials even if you are
still working on the paintings—send image you think will be included (anecdote)
Always good to have some bio pics on hand/you in studio etc.
Send Updated resume and bio—check to see if they are using something out of
date; sometimes they don’t ask just take from the web

Closer to the show, or according to the timeline:
Self-promotion on social media; don’t rely on the venue to do it all
Artist statement specific to the work; is there a theme, something that ties it
together? Listen to our podcast on the topic,
Choose the work or the venue to do that—if you do it, you want cohesive but
with some variety; try not to include anything you don’t consider as good as the
rest just for the numbers.
Price list—consistent with prices elsewhere and within the list itself
Double check for accuracy
Mention to gallery if you are raising prices from what is in their current
Most galleries can adjust numbers/sizes to what you want to send, don’t be afraid
to ask

Prep the work:
Framing works on paper/unless frame is part of the overall aesthetic, keep it
Preparing panels and stretched canvas—framing not usually necessary for
anything but small work; small work maybe/maybe not, consult with gallery
Wood panels—sand and clean up, wood treatment up to you
Canvas—touch up stains and splatters, somewhat optional depending on
the aesthetic of the work, clean vs. expressionistic, opinions of gallery
Wire the back, use good wire and d-rings, no clip type hangers or cup hooks
Sign work somewhere, back/front options
Copyright symbol and date/optional
Wrap for transport of shipping/nonstick paper or foam over the front; encase in
bubble wrap ---allow plenty of time
Can just use blankets if transporting in car but best to wrap in plastic at least.
Consider how you would deal with the work if your car broke down or was in an
accident. Will you need to bring it into a hotel overnight if travelling in extreme
heat or cold?
Decide what to wear to the opening!

At the reception: do your best to be friendly, chatty
Be on time
Look nice
Don’t be discouraged by lack of sales at opening
Ask gallery person to introduce you to people/ they don’t always think of this
It’s tempting due to social anxiety, but do not just ang out with your friends or
drink too much
Do not pass out your own business card

After the show is underway:
Check in with the gallery once in a while but don’t bug them; sales take time
Continue some self-promotion