A Twist on the Wine-and-Cheese Reception

Amantha Tsaros
©2011 Amantha Tsaros, Summer Party. Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 16 inches.

Artist Conspiracy member Amantha Tsaros asked recently in one of our Q&A calls:

The library where I'm showing my work will not allow food and drink in the gallery with the art. They will allow me a reception in a different gallery where there is someone else's work.

Should I even bother having a reception/opening in a gallery showing another artist's work?

Answer: Yes! And have fun with it.

Limitations like these help us to think out of the box. They help us expand.

Here are some ideas that we came up with to help Amantha plan a successful reception in spite of the “No Food and Drink” rule. Successful = getting people into your gallery.

  • Organize a scavenger hunt. Guests look for things (colors, shapes, objects) in your work and fill out a form. These are often promoted to children, but adults like them equally. Draw a winner from all of the correct answers and give away a print or box of note cards.
  • Put images of your art on table tents throughout the reception.
  • Make a trail on the floor that leads to  your gallery – using whatever the venue allows (tape, Post-It notes, flower petals).
  • Preview the exhibit at your studio before it even goes to the library. Invite your top supporters to a very special unveiling.
  • Start the opening in the reception room and announce (ahead of time) that you will be giving an artist talk at a certain time in your gallery.

What other ideas do you have for situations like this?

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10 thoughts on “A Twist on the Wine-and-Cheese Reception”

  1. Lisa Philipps Goldstein

    WOW. This is a fabulous post. My gut reaction was, “no way”, but I read your response and and though, “of course!”. These are wonderful, creative, and no fail solutions. Your “no excuses” philosphy put into play at it’s best.
    I am new at this marketing thing, and feel empowered by your book, newsletter, etc. I am looking forward to getting a website up and running.
    Thanks again for a great post.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Lisa: Glad you turned around on this. And very happy that you’re finding some good stuff around here.

  2. I have to agree with the others … my first reaction was NO, then having read your reaction I thought ‘of coarse’ have fun, make a game of it, ENJOY!’ When given lemons, make lemonade. No lemons here. Great response Alyson. I think I need to start thinking of the ways things can work to my advantage instead of the ‘poor me’ that is so easy for me think.

  3. Alyson, I can’t thank you enough for these great ideas. You saved me – from myself and my excuses! This is a great lesson. I am turning this challenge into a great opportunity. You should see the scavenger hunt I’m cookin’ up.

  4. Alyson, Yes…get out of the box! Artists are not necessarily enemies or competitors…they can collaborate! Maybe the artist in the food-serving gallery has a mailing list and friends to invite! Look for the win-win situation.
    (and a scavenger hunt does sound like fun, too….)

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