Anatomy of an Art Show

 

Cultural Community Center, Morgan Hill, CA
Cultural Community Center, Morgan Hill, CA

 

It's one bloody little achievement after the other. (Joseph P. Blodgett)

Well, you can't have a show without a body of work and for the last three years that has been my focus.  Although, I have sold quite a few pieces, I have continued to replace with more paintings.  I am currently showing my work at the Cultural Community Center, which is my fourth venue so far this year, with a fifth to follow in November at Fast Frame.  I am very pleased with the outcome.  

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Most of the places I showed this year were planned between a year and six months ahead of time. Some shows were very focused on selling work and others were to get exposure.  The Cultural Community Center has up to 4,000 people visitors a month. 

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I thought I would give you an idea how this show evolved from beginning to end, perhaps giving you some ideas for your future shows.  Not all venues are the same so you have to plan accordingly.  

 

First, I visit the venue prior to the show and take measurements as well as get a general idea of where I will put my art.  This gives me an idea of how big the pieces can be and the groupings that will create the most impact.  It's important to know exactly what you will need and the requirements that are set up by the venue coordinator; always important to contact them and confirm any last minute details, plus the specific time that they want you to set up. I was lucky enough they had hangers for the paintings, a ladder and a platform cart for loading and unloading.

 

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At home prior to the show, I pulled all the pieces that I thought would give me the most dramatic show.  By sorting the paintings by size, it not only helped me figure the amount of paintings to bring, but was much easier to load in the car.

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 Taking account of how many pieces that are needed for the show should be done way ahead of time, especially if you need to paint more paintings.  Luckily, I had a body of work.  

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I then make labels for all my paintings, including the details of each piece:  the title, the size, medium, my name, email and website address.

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 I also printed out a one page Biography to be put on display with my business cards.  

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I have a bag that I bring that is always on hand and ready, that include hangers, my business cards, a tape measure, calculator and blue tape.  The blue painters tape is great for adhering the labels below each painting, without taking any paint off the walls.  I also make a list of all my paintings that I bring.  Sometimes I don't use every painting brought to the venue.   After I complete the hanging, I use my list to account for each piece used.  The ones not used I just cross out.  I give a copy to the coordinator and keep one for myself, as well as keep a copy of any contract signed.

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I chose to use fairly large paintings at the Community Center because they had so many large walls.  Small paintings would have disappeared and showed little impact.  

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Also very important, bring some help.  Two hands are always better than one. 

 Lastly, notify your customers about the particulars of your show, by sending an invitation, an email, a personal phone call or a newsletter.   

Here are the details and location of the show.  I would love for you to contact me if you are in the area.  I can meet you there and also take you out to lunch.  

CCC Art Exhibit Date:
August 26, 2014-September 25, 2014
Time:
8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Time Details:
Art Exhibit Hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday - Friday
Location:
Community and Cultural Center
Address:
17000 Monterey Road
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Contact:
(408) 782-0008
Cost:
FREE

 

If you would like to contact me, either email me at jvander51@msn.com or call (408) 460-7237  Thank you!