Real Live Art

I write a lot about promoting your art online because it’s cost effective and easy. But you shouldn’t be satisfied with showing your work only on the Internet.
Nothing can replace a live audience interacting with your art.

Tatiana Garmendia, “Epic Ink Drawings” installation view.
Tatiana Garmendia, “Epic Ink Drawings” installation at Monarch Contemporary in Seattle, WA. Dimensions vary. ©The Artist

Every time you show your art to someone, you add new layers of meaning to the work because viewers bring their experiences to an appreciation of it.
That's why every exhibit enriches your art career.
My challenge to you is to book a new LIVE venue for exhibiting your art by January 15. Are you up for that? Share your commitment in a comment.

This post is an excerpt from today’s Art Biz Insider newsletter, which offers a list of benefits for exhibiting your art and further explanation. If you don’t receive the newsletter already, click here to subscribe and build your business week-by-week.

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33 thoughts on “Real Live Art”

  1. I agree – I have put some of my arty clocks into 2 exhibitions in past few weeks – I sold a few, but the feedback from several people about some new designs I have fair outweighed the sales and it helps me focus my attention more and refine these new designs, both design and price wise.

  2. OOh! Nice challenge! I love it!
    January will be cutting it extra close, but I’ll see what I can cook up.
    Would an Open Studio or “Salon Private Preview” count?

  3. I applied for and was accepted into The Joffrey Ballet’s Pointe of Departure Exhibit which will be January 26 in Chicago. It is a juried fundraiser for the ballet with 40% of sales going to the artists. I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity and am excited to be included. I will be creating an abstract pastel based on the music of one of their contemporary ballets.

  4. You wouldn’t believe the amazing timing of your challenge because just today, having rented a vacant shop for two weeks as a pop-up gallery due to finish on Dec 18th, I have enjoyed the experience so much that I said to the owner that I want to stay! So as of today I have a little gallery attached to a cafe and nursery, and look forward to continuing to air and sell my own work, but also strong and quirky and interesting work from other artists (once I figure out the logistics). Each day I’m there I’m learning (I hope to jot things down once I draw breath) , and I only had the gumption to grab it because of having done art shows in the past which taught me so much. I opened the pop-up gallery on Dec 2nd and already hits to my website have jumped. Yay also chatting face to face with people! And I’m painting in the gallery. Exciting!

  5. Great challenge! There is no substitute for seeing work in person, no matter how well photographed it is. As a (mainly) painter, I do have a presence online (website, Flickr, blog, Facebook, etc.), but I also exhibit on a regular basis. I already have several shows lined up for 2012, but I’m always on the lookout for more. Currently my work is being shown in a new market for me — I live in western New York and have a two-person show at a small gallery near Asheville, NC. It’s always a fun experience!

  6. A great challenge and very timely. It is easy to get so caught up in all the online promoting of art that we forget there are other live venues. I recently completed a two week stay in Breckenridge, CO as their Guest Artist and it was wonderful to interact with people as they viewed my work. I also taught a workshop there to many people with little or no art experience and it was so fun to be able to share the joy of art with them. Thanks for the push into the real world!

  7. victoria pendragon

    Funny! I had decided a very similar thing on Monday and started the energy moving that way. I’ll report back.

  8. A timely challenge!
    I’ve already booked a hall for May next year. I’m a couple of artists short of my ideal number but I think I’ve just achieved the minimum needed to make it happen – today! The venue is much too large for me to cover on my own but has a good location.
    My deadline is 18th December to fit in with Advertising deadlines for Oxford Artweeks. Otherwise we abort – don’t want to do that! Very nervous and very, very excited about the whole venture. Wish me luck!

  9. talk about timing. I was just discussing this with my inner circle and I’ve decided now is the time to get out there. I already submitted a piece to the annual Visual Aids Postcards From the Edge charity show but I really want to do my very own pop up show. I’m putting the finishing touches on my portfolio and have already picked out a place that I’d love to show and am gearing up for my pitches. Thanks for posting!

  10. Last weekend I had my FIRST live art showing…and when i posted on my blog about the experience, i echoed everything you are saying here….i even used the some of the same words! It gave my art credence and it gave me a tremendous amount of validation…creations came alive and gave forth their energy in a live venue…and the live display makes for gorgeous pictures, far better than anything i could take at home in my own humble environment. Click here if you want to see….

  11. Great challenge! I woke up this morning with a new display idea I’m excited to try, now I’ll find a place to use it! Thanks for lighting my fire.

  12. Merry Christmas Alyson !
    How ironic that you would place this challenge to artists. I just finished a Holiday Solo Art Show at a renovated railroad depot in the small nearby town of Jefferson, Iowa . I had invested about $ 600 in advertising, rent, refreshments, etc. I certainly was hoping and praying for a return on my investment . Based on sales of previous art venues– it was a shot in the dark to even get even with the expenditures . The show opened on Friday the 2nd and ended on Sunday the 4th at 9 pm . On Saturday we had one of those wonderful (not) snow storms etc which limited traffic substantially. Other Marketing efforts were placed with news releases, customer mailing list, and email mailing list .
    The great news is that it was my best show of the year . God is good ! I did try something I have never done before . Most artists have paintings which for whatever reason do not sell as fast as we would like . So, I decided that I would have several of these paintings in a separate cubicle and put up a poster declaring that these paintings were available by a offer . I left the original asking price on the paintings . Anyone that was interested was guaranteed to get the painting at a lower price than stated . I sold two of those paintings as well . Seems like the viewers like to think they have the upper hand . I still had control of the final price but they like the feeling of the power to negotiate. I do not do that for my other paintings .
    I wish everyone a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year ! Take on Alyson’s challenge –I hope it works for you . Blessings,
    Joseph Murray
    Wayuga Art Studio

  13. Thank you for featuring my work in your newsletter! You’ve been so influential in my career, Alyson, it’s a real treat. What a great challenge not just in terms of career development, but also in terms of the creative process itself. Our creative act isn’t complete until it engages in dialog, with an audience, with curators, with other art. Thank you!

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Tatiana: Thank you for sharing your work with me. It was entirely my pleasure to feature it here.

  14. okay! Did it! Just booked a six month gig at the Lynnwood Convention Center for my Non-Ordinary Reality paintings, over-sized oil paintings from the perspective of being under water looking out. The curator’s coming to my studio tomorrow (Thurs) to pick the pieces. ;o)

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Holy cats, Kate! Really? You just called up a contact in the evening and got a show? Do tell more.
      BTW . . . Congratulations!

    2. LOL! No, just a coincidence. ;o) Just working on my growing stack of rejections, this one landed in the right pile, literally. Timing – was all it was. 5 pieces. Curator was kind and generous today in studio, picking art. Starts in Jan, runs through June, reception in Mar. Glad to get them out of storage! And, thanks!

  15. Exciting times..I am involved as of this week with a Pop-UP Gallery that will be open for this month and if enough artists want it, maybe a CO-OP. Also have some work in a little gallery in E. Dundee for a few weeks.
    I agree with you that exposure however you can make it happen is a good idea.

    1. Janet: Actually, you just need to book the show. It doesn’t have to happen by then. BUT . . .if it does, that would be awesome!

  16. Great Challenge, Alyson. I do have work up at two galleries through the New Year and have spoke with one of them about doing a Visual Thinking Workshop during the exhibition. VT is a great way to create a create a dialogue about artwork- yours or anyone else’s. I have led these workshops with artists and non artists alike- of all ages. Wonderful insight and conversations always, ensue. Your challenge will motivate me to 1. Commit to a date. 2. Do a blog post about this to help other artists be able to do the same with their work.
    Thank yoU!

    1. Alyson B. Stanfield

      You got it, Shari. If you do a web search for pop-up gallery, you’ll find them about. They really kicked off when the recession started and more retail spaces emptied out.

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