Foundations for a better exhibition experience

The classic white box known as the gallery has held high esteem for many years as a place for the public to meet art and design. Now the gallery notion is fading as new opportunities arise for artists to be visible. Artists and designers are now navigating towards pop-up galleries, open studios, online platforms that come with new standards and expectations. How can artists, designers, or makers be proactive with the ever changing options to present work and make sales?

exhibiting artist

At our roundtable discussion at Art Intersects with Staten Island Arts Council, we brought the notion of the changing landscape of exhibiting work to a host of curators, artists, and gallerists. Now that the nuggets of wisdom have simmered. We selected our top questions from our roundtable to consider for yourself when approaching an exhibition, showcase or market.

As artists are often driven by the message behind their work, we’ll start with a purpose based questions. To know why you produce your work is not an easy task for any artist. It often can be instinctual, an itch, a passion yet analyzing your goals can allow for a clearer strategy and a greater sense of accomplishment as you see your growth.

Purpose driven strategies:
What are the core values that drive you to be an artist?
How will you define your success for the event?
When people see your work what do you want them to take away?

Adopting a business plan or perspective on exhibiting work can make the event financially successful. The relationship between art and money continues it’s ebb and flows at one end of the spectrum you’re a sellout and on the other end you’re a “starving artist.” That doesn’t mean artists can or should be able to leave all business on the wayside. We know many artists who have successfully adapted business and marketing strategies for their playbook.

Business driven strategies:
What promotional materials do you have in place that can relate back to your artist brand?
What are the terms of the agreement with a gallery or boutique?
How do you create and keep within your budget?
How are you determining the price of your work?

We recommend researching a budget and learning to adjust it in order to keep it on track. Thoroughly reading all contract materials can help you know when money from the sale is expected. If something doesn’t work for you, speak up and work to renegotiate the terms.

So as you can see these are simple to the core questions that can navigate that space between artistic vision and business. We’d love to hear from the creatives in the Live With Design community on your approach?
Leave your comments for us.