Monday, October 19, 2009

Art Question: How Are You In So Many Art Shows?

Lisa E. asked me "How do you get into so many art shows?"

There are a few ways to go about getting art shows.

1. Join an organized art group that shows regularly. I am a member of the Minnesota Watercolor Society. This group has two exhibits of member's work each year. One is a juried show, the other is an inclusive show. I assume that I am a good enough artist to get into most juried watercolor shows, so I can count on an average of two shows a year through this group.

2. Join or create a group of artists around a theme and propose shows. This is where my Project Art for Nature membership comes in. Project Art for Nature is a group of twenty artists and illustrators working around the theme of protecting the natural environment. The twenty artists are split into small groups, called pods. The larger group has an annual exhibit at either the Bell Museum or another location. The pods also pursue exhibits in smaller venues. Through my connections, I was able to set up a show for eleven PAN artists at University of Minnesota - Morris this month. Another pod member, Teri Power, lined up a small show in Hammond, WI for January. So, right there, I have three exhibits in the next year through this group. I organized one, other people organized the other two.

3. There are galleries for which you can pay a small fee in order to show. An example of this is my solo exhibit at Homewood Studios in October of 2010. For a very reasonable fee, I will have my work on display for two weeks. It is important in these instances to find a gallery that you are comfortable with and you respect the quality of the work being shown. Also, is the gallery a place where work sells so you can at least make up your fee? I am very comfortable with George, the owner of Homewood Studios, and the art exhibits I have seen there. I have also seen that several pieces in each show sell. There are a few galleries like this in the Twin Cities. Some cost more than others and you have to make sure you are getting what you pay for.

4. How do you get into shows at your traditional gallery with white walls and higher prices for your work? Ssshhhh, that is a secret... Honestly, my best opportunities have come from other people. These gallery owners are seeing new work all the time, either through their own research or people coming in to inquire about a show. Unless your work hits their eye in the perfect manner, they most likely will not take you on without knowing you. That is where a reference is important. I was invited to show at The Grand Hand Gallery because a respected person who was well acquainted with my work had recommended me.

But the two most important aspects for having regular art shows are to:
- Get out there so people can know and see you and your work. You cannot have an art career alone. It takes many people to make your career possible.
- Make work consistently. If you are showing a lot, you need to be creating a lot. You cannot keep showing the same ten pieces over and over again.

No comments:

Post a Comment