When an artist has completed a project or series of pieces it is natural and necessary to show them. It is natural to want to share the realization of any vision with the like-minded – or visual-others who can share that vision. It is necessary because the artist needs to know who they are reaching and what parts of their message or vision are being experienced by those visual-others. Establishing oneself in the arts community is dependent on this process. Gaining sales and or representation also begins with exhibition.
Exhibiting art works for the unknown or “unconnected” artist is difficult, to say the least. There are several reasons for this. First of all almost any venue for exhibition is inundated with requests for
shows. Exhibition venues like galleries and museums can usually choose from not only the very best artists available, they can chose from the wealthy and the “connected” artists.
An artist who is connected has relatives or friends who sit on arts organization boards or arts group councils or own galleries or write on the arts for prestigious publications. Connected artists may know this
or that head of an art institute or university art, or they have already been invested in by galleries and collectors who have real “pull.” This is a reality in almost every field. Donations from the wealthy tend to
come with expectations, grants with certain limitations, etc. It’s not a good to talk about this because exhibiting artists like to feel that they have been recognized for the strength of their work, and they want
the public to believe this too.
So where does that leave the new and unconnected artist who wants to exhibit? In the rear of a very slow line. This can be especially disheartening for the artist and most savvy viewers who see public and private wealth thrown at questionable or abjectly pathetic art – usually in the name of educating the public to what is a revolutionary art form or style.
So, Contemporary Art Gallery Magazine offers this list of The 10 Best Ways to Get Your Art Exhibited. The list is composed specifically for the new or unconnected artist – but is happily shared with the older and
more connected not afraid to be creative in getting exhibited.
1) Local Charity and Benefit Auctions – You must donate a work of art to do this, but you should do it in such a way that it let’s viewers know who you are, and what you do, and where they can see more of your
work. Be aware that even these charity auctions can be political – as to where your work appears, or gets hidden, or is written or spoken of.
2) Garden Shows and Home shows – You must contact the person setting up these shows to discuss if and how your work can be shown, protected, or sold.
3) Retail Businesses – You talk with the owner or manager about placing you work in their spaces with contact information to your studio.
4) Restaurants and Bistros – The owner or manager may have concerns about decor, so listen up, but many cafe’s and bars like a change of scenery for their clientele.
5) Boutiques and Salons – This venue can be similar to other retail businesses with concerns for decor, but the customers of these kinds of businesses tend to be interested in art and they usually have disposable income.
6) Empty Storefront or Mall Rental Space – If you clear it with the owner or manager you can put on an event that draws attention to a space that needs to be rented – just put in your exhibit for 3 hours or
3 months, depending on the situation.
7) Restaurant Meeting – Send your email and art postcard invitations to prospective buyers to meet at a casual restaurant to see your latest work, here your brief lecture, eat together, get their invitations
autographed, discuss your next project, buy . . .
8) School Exhibit – If you can’t get a college, then talk to a highschool about a short exhibition and talk with students interested in art. Ask the art teacher or art department.
9) Form an art club or association – You can split the costs of a rental space at a major hotel or resort at a time when it will be full of rich guests who can follow the signs to your exhibit and mingle with your invited viewers.
10) Art Fairs – Fill out the forms and submit images, then show up in your space or booth – just follow the rules of the fair. Look at art fairs and talk to art fair participant artists for tips on how, where, when.
Contemporary Art Gallery Magazine is well aware that not every good artist can get the best exhibition venues. We hope these will help you get started – and we offer more information at