If you have exhibiting your art on your list of goals, as you should, you’re probably overwhelmed.
First, there’s the research into potential venues. As soon as you begin the process (and it is a process), you will uncover venues you never knew existed if you live in a metropolitan area. One leads to another which leads to another…
Which brings up the second phase of overwhelm. Once you have this list of possible spaces, how do you determine which ones might be good choices for you?
What makes a venue attractive for an exhibition of your art? Let’s look at the pluses and minuses of potential venues using the checklists below.
It’s surely too much to ask that one venue might meet all the criteria for being a desirable location. You will have to weigh the positive and negative of each space. What can you live with?
On The Plus Side
The favorable aspects of a particular venue might be that it:
- Doesn’t charge rental fees.
- Takes a reasonable percentage of sales, which is congruent to what they bring to the table.
- Installs the artwork using professional art preparators.
- Is a known place to look at or purchase art.
- Has a great location with decent parking and foot traffic.
- Is open during convenient hours.
- Has a professional, courteous staff that knows how to sell art.
- Offers a gorgeous gallery space with excellent lighting.
- Provides a good opportunity to connect with other artists and potential collectors.
- Buys advertising.
- Is known to have bustling openings and events.
- Is active on social media and has promoted its artists well in the past.
- Keeps its website updated.
- Cultivates a mailing list of people who buy art.
- Has a track record of first-rate exhibitions and artists.
- Has hosted exhibitions that have been reviewed in the paper or on art blogs.
- Will sponsor the opening reception.
On the Downside
On the other hand, it might be considered unfavorable if a venue:
- Asks for a rental fee.
- Is not insured for your art and has no security staff or system.
- Has poor lighting.
- Doesn’t have proper display mechanisms – such as pedestals or cases – for your work.
- Is off the beaten path and doesn’t see much traffic.
- Has a wall or floor color that clashes with your art.
- Is not climate-controlled.
- Is not known for showing art.
- Doesn’t advertise.
- Isn’t active on social media.
- Has an outdated website.
- Is, in a word, dirty! You don’t want to be embarrassed to point your guests to the bathroom.
- Is closed to the public on weekends or evenings, or is known to have unreliable hours.
- Provides little or no parking places.
- Has a reputation for not paying artists on time.
- Has personnel who are difficult to work with or who don’t respond to your inquiries.
- Asks for an unreasonably large percentage of sales.
- Won’t sign consignment forms or agreements.
- Insists that you pay for everything.
Help me improve the list. What have you found desirable and undesirable in a venue for your art? Leave a comment below.