Preparing for a solo exhibit
Back Email Page


"Preparing for a solo show"
How to sell art

Congratulations! You’ve bravely bared your soul as an artist and now you’re ready for a solo gallery show. As ARTrepreneurs our goal as always is to produce great results from a limited budget. For $250 or less, you can plan an exciting two-day exhibit that will make you money, build a following and leave people wanting more. So how do you go about it?

Ideally you should plan three months in advance. Your first objectives will be booking a location and setting a date. The location cost will be your greatest expense, but don’t exceed $150 if possible. Search out an area that provides walk in traffic allowing you access to potential customers unreachable through your advertising. When setting your date, plan for the middle of the week and avoid the summer months. Unless you’re in an ideal tourist location you’ll miss a large portion of your potential audience to vacation. Once completed you’ll then develop a theme for your show. Always present your exhibit in a way that leaves visitors with something they’ll remember. For example, if much of your art is about beaches, oceans or waterscapes, plan your decorations with that in mind. Bring in buckets of sand, seashells and rocks. Add a beach chair with towels and an umbrella. Play ocean sounds in the background, and wear shorts and a t-shirt to top it off. If you’re having fun, others will notice and respond positively.

"Always present your exhibit in a way that leaves visitors with something they’ll remember."

After you’ve developed a theme, you’ll need to get the word out. ARTpreneurs love no budget marketing and you’ll be surprised how much free advertising is available. However, we’ll want to set our budget at $40 to allow for printing costs. Print 100 or more fliers announcing your show and distribute them to businesses and community bulletin boards throughout your area. Plan to have this completed a month before your show and take advantage of the free advertising provided by community cable, radio and newspapers. You can give your information online or through a phone number provided by these services.

"ARTpreneurs love no budget marketing and you’ll be surprised how much free advertising is available. "

Finally, contact your local newspaper(s) with a press release. Provide the who, what, when, where and why for your show but make it interesting. Editors want stories their readers will be interested in hearing, not sales pitch. Add your contact number and send it to the editor. You can research sample press releases on the net for proper formatting. Make sure you have this done a week in advance to allow the papers to fit you in. Hopefully you’ll be contacted to do an interview, but there is no guarantee. Feel free to independently contact journalists if you don’t hear back within a few days.

So now you’ve booked your location, set a date, developed a theme and advertised your show. Now is the time to tie up the loose ends in the final week. Plan to spend $30 for finger foods and beverages. Don’t go gourmet, but don’t be cheap. Show your customers you care about them, even if they don’t make a purchase. Make sure your art is completed and ready to hang and everything priced properly. Something I highly recommend is writing the history behind each piece of art, along with the name, price, size and medium, and posting it next to work. Again, people want to buy more then your art, they want to buy the experience of you as an artist.

Robb Scott
Greenfield, NS
Articles copyright 2008-2009 Robb Scott ©

| Back to Top |

Sign up to my newsletter and learn about new drawings, tutorials, advice and more.
Delivery Preference
Html Plain Text

Related Links