Recently, I was invited to have a solo art show at a business grand opening. Awesome! Then suddenly all the preparation and planning required for a successful show hits me in the gut! What have I gotten myself into? I have a lot to decide…what paintings do I have to show? What paintings do I have that fit the spirit of the business? Do I have enough art of any one subject to put together a “themed or series” show?
Then it occurs to me I have some butterflies! I have some very large and a few small butterfly paintings. The large colorful, abstract painting is hanging on my guest bedroom wall above the bed. Darn, I just bought two throw pillows that pick up the magenta in the painting. If the painting sells what will I do with two orphaned pillows?
Thank goodness I have saved images of my sold butterfly paintings that have flown off to good homes. Now, I need to get my local printer to produce a half dozen canvas giclees with butterflies within a tight deadline.
I still need more original paintings to display. I go searching around my house and under my bed looking for paintings. Where are butterflies when you need them?
In my studio I find two 30×40 canvases with unfinished abstract paintings. I didn’t know how to finish them so I was waiting for inspiration. Desperation can can create inspiration, I discovered. I will finish them with a few butterflies. After all, butterflies are a symbol of transition, change and infinite possibilities. The question is… can I change two large abstract paintings into two butterfly paintings in time for the show? Now, I have lots of butterflies… but they are all in my stomach!
ART SHOW TIPS
1. Get someone who will assist and support you! (If you are lucky your friend will be an artist with experience with art shows.)
2. Provide your business cards to art show guests.
3. Prepare a theme with paintings, i.e., butterflies, birds, tropical flowers.
5. Sign an agreement that spells out sales percentages and show terms.
6. Assist with publicity by providing photos of you and your work.
7. Prepare your artist statement and bio and display at the show.
8. If you have other merchandise to sell (greeting cards and/or prints) prepare them for display.
9. Prepare labels for each painting to mount on the wall near each painting; include your name, name of the painting, medium, size, and prices.
10. If you have postcards or any small token to give to each visitor it helps as an ice breaker.
11. Little red dots to indicate the painting is sold… hopefully you will need lots of them!
12. Invite your friends and family to attend you show.
13. Promote your show with postcard invitations and your social media .
14. Have a sign-in book to collect guest names and contact information.
15. Check with your sponsor about food and beverage—what’s being served and who is paying.
Left to Right: Sign in book w/ pen, price list, tape measure, level, information about the artist, poster tack, business cards, note cards,
labels for paintings, and camera.
Supplies I Used:
- Tape measure
- Hanging wall hooks w/ nails
- Poster putty to hold painting information labels on the wall
- Camera photos of paintings for recordkeeping and publicity
- Containers for matted prints and cards
- Cleaning cloth to remove fingerprints from paintings
- Painters tape – handy to have if it’s needed
Followup: I am happy to report I had a successful opening with the help of my “Bestie” Debbie and the sponsoring business, The Attunement Center.
Midge’s work is characterized by bright colors and fun tropical designs. Primarily a self-taught artist who is constantly experimenting with different brushes, tools and mediums to achieve a variety of effects. Midge is inspired by the beauty of Anna Maria Island, Florida, where she currently lives.