At Frame USA, we pride ourselves at being pretty good with gallery presentations. There’s a lot that goes into launching your first fine art presentation – whether you’re displaying sculpture, installation or 2D artwork. People will be looking at your layout as much as they’ll be looking at the art itself! Because of the sometimes-puzzling nature of galleries, we put together a list of 5 tips for your art or photo exhibition.
1. Present your art well.
First thing’s first – have some high-quality photos of your work! If you’re a photographer, you should be good to go. Make sure that your work is printed on the best possible paper for your shots. For artists of other varieties, you still need to have good quality photos of your work to get you through the gallery doors. Either way, your work will need to be presented in a way that highlights your work. Should your work be screen-printed? Should it be laminated? Should it be framed? Matted? A popular option is floater frames for canvas work, or a sleek in-depth picture frame for eye-popping quality. Consider your options, there are many!
2. Research your gallery.
Time for some logistics! Who are you targeting in this area? What can you do to bring in buyers and gallery-hoppers? Explore different venues of social media, put up flyers in some local coffee shops, tell your friends and family. Are you trying to sell or just create some buzz about your work? These will ultimately affect the vibe of your gallery and any type of events you may have.
3. Think in layouts.
Establish which prints, paintings and sculptures will need to be the focal point of your display. Obviously they will all have value to you, but it’s important to know which pieces look best under what kind of lighting, at what height to display your piece, whether the picture frames you use are appropriate, etc. You’ll need measuring tape and sample lighting to decide what’s best for you!
4. Know your art.
Before you even start the process of displaying your gallery work, ask yourself the hard questions. What makes your art unique, and what will you say to any buyers? What is your focus as an artist? Knowing yourself and your art will save you time and embarrassment moving forward. Don’t be rehearsed, instead, be comfortable and confident in your abilities.
5. Enjoy the process.
Don’t become caught up in a black-and-white mindset of success or failure. Enjoy the process of what it means to have a gallery presentation! This is your project with your artwork, and it is definitely a learning process. Your first show may have been a flop in your mind, but in the end it’s valuable experience that will help you be more successful at your next showing.
As always, be sure to leave any questions for us and we’ll answer to the best of our abilities!