You want to show your work to others and maybe sell it. Consider in advance what you want to achieve with an exhibition. Your own studio might be good exhibition space or you need to look for another space, depending on the audience you want to reach.
Places to exhibit
There are many places where an exhibition can take place: galleries, artists’ initiatives, cafés, restaurants, other companies, municipal buildings, hospitals etc. Take a good look at your work and think about where it would fit best. It is also important to find galleries which fit your sort of work. You should establish a contact before you send anything to a potentional place to exhibit and inquire after their procedures.
Make contact by networking. Tell others what you’re doing and what you want. Approach interesting people and show some interest. Contact organisations where you might be able to exhibit. Using a good portfolio with pictorial material, a statement and a CV, you can show what you’ve done and what you’re working on. Many art organizations are looking for new work and young artists.
What does it cost
You can exhibit in order to sell, to present yourself and build a good résumé. So you need to decide what prices to charge. There are costs for insurances, publicity, travel expenses, opening and a commission to the price. Commission is paid to the intermediary that sells the art work for you. The percentage depends on tasks, costs and how professional the intermediary is. It can be anything between 10 tot 50% of the price. Don't forget your own expenses when the price is determined. Make a written contract to prevent a lot of misunderstandings about tasks and who will pay certain costs.
Keep looking critically at your work and how appropriate it is for the space. Consider the exhibition space when selecting your work. Usually the gallery owner or manager decides about the selection. Your opinion as an artists matters as well.
Preparing the exhibition
There is a lot involved in the preparation: preparing your work for the exhibition, transporting and framing your work, insuring it during transportation and exhibiting; you need an address list of relatives so you can send them invitations; and of course someone has to take care of publicizing your exhibition.
What do you need for the opening?
The opening is the most important part of the exhibition: there have to be drinks available, a guest book and a price list. An act or a speaker can add lustre to an opening, and then of course don’t forget the red and green stickers.
- cultural map
- doing business, marketing: press releases, making printed matter (pdf), writing a curriculum vitae (pdf), settling accounts with the gallery (pdf), selling on credit (pdf), exhibition contract (pdf), Pricing (pdf), Approaching galleries (pdf), Settling accounts with the gallery (pdf)
- doing business, project management: Exhibiting abroad (pdf)
- step by step: preparing an exhibition