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Preparing For An Exhibition

Permanent Linkby RichardDevine on Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:07 am

It appears I’m about to have my first solo exhibition. I’m excited about it and hopeful that the exposure it will give me will possibly lead to the right individual seeing my paintings. It’s not at an art gallery but a bank. The actual preparation started innocuously enough a year ago.
I had been showing a few of my paintings in a local gallery, an eclectic small gallery in the historic district of Dunnellon without much happening. I stopped in one day and the owner told me he was going out of town for a few weeks and the gallery would be closed. Even less would be going on then. He suggested I ask at a local bank if they wanted to hang some of my pieces. The owner said he knew of other artists who displayed their work there and that I should give it a try.
So, I grabbed my paintings and drove over to the bank. Once inside I was directed to the office of the Vice President. I asked if he would be interested in exhibiting a few of my paintings. He told me that the Bank would be happy to do so, that they had been periodically showing paintings of local artists and wanted to help promote the arts in the area. I was, needless to say, pleased to hear that and promptly dashed out to my car and dashed back in with two paintings. The bank officer seemed genuinely impressed with my work and promptly hung the paintings.
So, by seizing the opportunity, I had managed to get a little better stage in which to show my paintings. Over the next year I continued to have a presence in the bank, changing out the paintings periodically to keep it fresh. I did get one bite a couple of months ago, when I was on vacation. A couple had stopped in to transact some business and noticed one of my paintings in the lobby, one of a historic home in Ocala. It was a print, a giclee, a copy of the original commissioned piece I had done for the owners of the House. Apparently the couple in the bank had owned the House some time in the past and wanted to buy the painting – but wanted the original. Since they didn’t want a copy I lost the sale. But I was pleased that the painting had generated interest.
Recently I stopped in to see the Vice President and he asked if I was willing to exhibit a larger selection of paintings. I was, once again, thrilled and said yes. We set a tentative date for the exhibit and I left to plan out the showing.
It’s not a complicated event. No personal appearances, just my paintings hanging up near the entrance. But I want to get the most exposure I can. In addition to printing up title, description and price labels to place on the backs of the paintings I checked to see if I had enough business cards to set out with them. I also decided to issue a press release. It’s a good, inexpensive way to let everyone in the community know I’m having a showing. I contacted the local newspapers and asked what their requirements were for a press release. Then, I sat down to write one. I first needed a title, one that would get attention. Since my specialty is painting historic buildings and Home Portraits, and I also love to paint scenes of natural beauty, I combined the two with the title “Creations: Of Nature and Man” I wrote a few lines about my passion and, since my niche is historic buildings and Home Portraits, I emphasized that in the press release. And, I included a photo of one of my paintings. A picture always catches people’s attention. I then included contact information, website information and the address of the bank, as well as exhibit dates and times.
In addition to sending the press releases to the newspapers I thought it a good idea to send copies to local art groups and galleries. You never know, someone at a gallery might decide to check it out.
Finally, even if no one was interested in buying a painting of someone else’s Home, they might be interested in commissioning one of their own. So, I designed and printed up a flyer about Home and Garden Portraits – why a prospective client would want one, how I create one and how to contact me to commission one. I included photos of my work on the handout. The handouts could be placed in a holder in plain view and taken home, hopefully to prolong the experience and maybe to generate a commission.
This exhibit has not yet taken place but will shortly. I’m in the midst of pulling everything together and I will post further on this as things progress.

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