Yeah, I know you’d rather be in the studio.
Yeah, I know it’s super cheap and easy to show your art online.
Yeah, I know it’s a slog to find a good exhibition space.
And, yeah, I know that if you’re physically and geographically able to show your art in public and you’re not doing so, you’re just making excuses. Not only that, you’re also:
- Missing out on sales and networking opportunities.
- Taking the easy way out.
- Working your way to a less-than-stellar art career.
Exhibiting your art in live venues should be one of your primary goals. Book a show now!
Let’s Define “Exhibition”
For our purposes, an exhibition is simply your art on public view. It could be any of the following:
- Open studio
- Hair salon, bank lobby, library, coffee shop
- Commercial or nonprofit gallery
- Retail store
- Art festival
- Pop-up space
Most artists seek progressively prestigious venues, but the point is always to get the work in front of people, however you have to do that.
Why It’s Important to Exhibit
With the exception of digital work, art can’t be fully appreciated in pixels. You shouldn’t be satisfied showing your art only online.
Art is a form of communication.
You might think it’s all about self-expression, but I don’t know of a single artist who feels fulfilled making work only for him- or herself.
You need other people to see, experience, and talk about the work. You need the interaction and feedback.
Your art is incomplete until others experience it.
As a former museum curator and educator, I’ve witnessed thousands of interactions between art viewers and original works of art. I believe that viewers complete the art. Yes, art exists without viewers, but its significance is greatly reduced.
Think of all the meaning that has been added to Leonardo’s Mona Lisa over the centuries. Or to Picasso’s Guernica or Kahlo’s self-portraits. Each viewer has brought his or her own experiences to the works.
These encounters with an artwork enrich the artist’s original intention.
It doesn’t mean you like every person’s reaction to your work, but you learn. You can’t help but get better as a result. Your work will improve along with your public interaction skills.
You will begin to speak more eloquently about your art while responding to questions and comments. This builds your confidence, which is a much-desired attribute for professional artists or any entrepreneur.
Every time you show your art in public, it takes you to a new level.
If I haven’t convinced you to book that next show, remember:
The more people who see your work, the more people there are to talk about it, love it, buy it, and collect it. < << Turn this into a mantra to amplify your enthusiasm for sharing your art.
So, where's your next show going to be?