You’ve been working hard on your collection of art for many months, maybe years and have the perfect venue in mind to bite the bullet and go public. What can you do to let all the relevant people know about your work in the hope of making a sale and publicising your name?
Draw up a plan
To make sure you cover all the bases and eventualities you need to have a plan. Think about the type of audience you are likely to have and separate them into constituent groups. There will be the artists themselves, fine art enthusiasts and the general public who just like a day out looking at nice artwork. You will need to advertise in different ways to reach each of these groups and target them effectively. For instance, to communicate with the enthusiasts and artists a formal ad in special interest art journals or national art titles like RA Magazine would do the trick. On the other hand, advertisements in local newspapers, posters displayed in the venue town and flyers distributed throughout the area are more likely to be noticed by the public.
What about the location of the exhibition? Is it easy to get to and is there ample parking? Is the venue well known? The date and time of the event is also important as you are likely to receive more visitors over a weekend or during midweek evenings.
How long do you plan to run the exhibition for in order to achieve maximum exposure to potential clients?
Will the exhibition have a theme? If your work comprises of rural landscapes, a theme and venue connected with the country would be appropriate. Or a collection of pieces based on Latin American dancers would need to be set out in a space accented with deep colours with authentic background music.
Consider what makes your art or venue stand out? Have you tried to create something different or is this your first exhibition?
Put together a promotional pack which you can use over and again throughout the campaign to advertise your exhibition on and offline.
What should you include in your promotional pack?
- Press releases
- Artist’s statement
- Information leaflets or sheets with your contact details
- Exhibition cards
- Forms to log interest
A Press release need only contain two or three paragraphs briefly describing the exhibition location and timings and a precis of the work on display. Send one to local newspapers and websites a month in advance and another the week before the event.
An Artist’s statement is a short, written description of an artist’s work, used in place of a verbal explanation. It is used to give the viewer understanding of what the artist was trying to achieve in creating the work.
The Artist’s Catalogue enables emerging visual artists to showcase their current collection of work and gain recognition. It’s also an effective way to communicate in advance with those who are interested in the work.
Flyers are a highly visual and inexpensive way to advertise your exhibition event to as many people as possible in a certain geographical area. They come in different sizes and quality of paper and contain only the most important details of your event. For more information on how useful these small slips of paper are in advertising your event read the blog ‘Unleash the power of the printed leaflet.’
Posterscan be displayed throughout the venue town and local to the artist’s home. Contact businesses, cafes, community centres, churches, schools, colleges and salons with your flyers and ask to display your posters. This is also a great opportunity to talk about your event and share your excitement, which is often infectious!
Information leaflets contain a bit of background information about you, the artist, as well as how you can be contacted by phone and online.
Exhibition Cards are placed near to each piece of work to inform your audience of the title and provide a little more detail on how you executed the work. You can also use the cards to pass on to those who have invested an interest in a particular artwork.
Invitations are sent personally to those who have already bought or shown an interest in your work, other artists, students and maybe art teachers.
Information forms are used to take the details of anyone interested in a particular piece so you can follow up after the exhibition. Even if a purchase does not result you still have their details to email them regarding future events or similar pieces of work.
Other ways to advertise your art exhibition
Social Media presents an ideal way to connect with like minded people and to keep in touch with the latest global trends in art. You can join forums online to get your name known and join in on art related discussions. You can also post details of your event on Face Book or Twitter and update followers regularly with the countdown to your exhibition and its progress. You never know whether this online contact will lead to a sale, but even if it doesn’t straight away, it’s a useful networking opportunity.
Your physical presence at local events and public meetings will make your name known in the community. Also, if you can set up an interview with the local radio station, the word will get about. Never underestimate ‘word of mouth’ and tell everyone – your friends, family, work colleagues, dentist, postman etc, etc, and let them do the rest for you!
Make use of the exhibition studio’s online announcement boards or community centre ‘What’s On’ page, to announce your event along with other upcoming events, to maximise the numbers hearing about your exhibition.
If you need any assistance in designing and producing your print paraphernalia call Roller Banners UK who will be happy to share their long-term experience to enhance your special exhibition event.