If you’re an emerging artist hosting your very first art exhibition might seem like a pretty daunting task there’s so much to consider… Where to host it? Have you done enough advertising for it? How many people are going to turn up?
So we thought to take the edge off we would contact three of RED’s Artist of the Month who already have a wealth of knowledge and experience of their own when it comes to hosting art exhibitions and asked them to share with us their top tips for hosting your first art exhibition.
Kamea Hadar: Make it Personal
One of the best pieces of advice I have (that I still use to this day) is to call as many people (that I know) as possible and talk to them one on one and ask them to come to the opening and/or check out the show. Facebook invites, online invitations and emails for many people are received daily and are easy to ignore. Even a personalized text or email is not enough.
I usually take a day a few weeks out to go through my phone and call and personally invite everyone that I think would be interested and that I would want there, and then again follow up a few days before the opening.
It is not a replacement for other methods of inviting/advertising but it’s a way to show your family, friends and other audience members how important they are to you and how important they are to the shared experience of the show. Especially in the earlier stages of any artist’s career – this group of people may be the only people who come to see the work, but help to build that ‘critical mass’ of people who can see the work and give feedback, pass it on by word of mouth, help to make the gallery feel more approachable for passers-by who would otherwise feel uncomfortable to walk into an empty gallery, and also help to motivate the artist to keep creating by making the effort to come out and showing their support.
Read more about Kamea on our Artist of the Month blog post here
Chris Hobé: Lay the Groundwork
My advice to any artist is to lay the groundwork before showing and by groundwork I mean networking with collectors and artists, selling at small group shows or festivals, creating pop up exhibits etc. anything to create a buzz or familiarity with the work you create. Last but not least make sure you have a good street team of people to promote for your art.
Martin Whatson: Be Creative
I like choosing a theme for the show which helps focus your work and tie the show together!
Think beyond just placing paintings on the walls, explore what can be done with the space or the venue to make it more interesting and break up the empty floor space with an installation or a 3d object.
Get your work out there in any way possible and look across borders – I showed in several different continents before I did a show in my country!
Read more about Martin on our Artist of the Month blog post here