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Re:[teacherartexchange] preparing for an art show


From: Jerry Vilenski (jvilenski_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Jun 15 2008 - 08:06:23 PDT

I have done quite a few art shows over the years, including gallery exhibits, one person shows and outdoor art shows. I have also curated dozens of shows in my capacity as president of a local arts council. Here is some of what I learned along the way:

1. It is important to present your work in the most professional manner possible. You may not have the budget to frame everything, but how you display your work will inevitably impact how well your art is received.

2. That means at least matting work and protecting the paintings from others touching it by covering them in acetate. There is a company called Krystal Seal that makes polypropylene bags that work well for this purpose, which, for pastels, is extremely important. Find bags that are not prone to static, because pastels are susceptible.

3. Go out and about to some galleries and websites, and find out how to price your work by comparing the type of work you do to those who produce similar art. Art fairs generally attract many bargain hunters when it comes to artwork, so don't price things out of range for average collectors.

4. Prepare your ego for rejection-- art fairs are loaded with lots of oohs and ahhs and compliments, but your first time out could find you with a bad sunburn and few sales. However, the contacts you make could result in sales later from interested collectors. In my experience, many buyers take lots of time to decide on collecting art, especially in rough economic times, where art tends to be a luxury.

5. Make up some business cards. Gallery owners frequently prowl art fairs looking for talent, as well as arts organization members looking for new artists for their exhibits. I have taught many art workshops and have done gallery shows based on some of these types of shows, so I know first hand how these things can pay off.

6. Some artists I know love doing art fairs, some hate them. You will be the judge. If you are social, don't mind the considerable work involved, and can tolerate the weather, you will probably do more of these.


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