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5 useful tips for hosting memorable exhibition

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Your art exhibition is your day to showcase who you are to the world. Whether it is a solo exhibition featuring your work only, or a group exhibition you curated, this is your big day to present all of the hard work you’ve put in. You want this exhibition to stand out to people in such a big way, that your exhibit stands out among the rest in the minds of your guests. More importantly, that your guests purchase the work available at the exhibition.

For our artists and curators out there, here are 5 useful tips to remember to ensure your exhibition is memorable for your guests for years to come.

  1. Think like a storyteller when curating your pieces. The art pieces you present should tie together in some way. Like a story, when your guests walk through your exhibition, it should feel more like an experience. One piece should lead into the next. The pieces should portray like sentences, or paragraphs, together creating a narrative that leaves a lasting impact in the hearts of the viewers.

  2. Start promoting at least 3 months in advance. You’ve put your heart and soul into putting your collection together, you deserve a great audience to appreciate it. Marketing your opening night is just as important as putting your pieces together. Gather a list of guests several months beforehand. Make connections with artistic and cultural institutions and organizations. Get to know the art collectors in the area. Design an invitation that beautifully introduces the theme of your collection. Develop a marketing campaign to create excitement around your opening night. Build a team to help you spread the word. Don’t stop promoting until the big day is finally here! (Even afterwards, keep telling the world where the exhibition is living.)

  3. Have great hosts in the room. On the day of your exhibit, have some of your close friends, family, or partners work the room and speak to people on your behalf. Having hosts in the room who will entertain your guests, gather contact information, speak about your art, and help get it sold, is always a plus!

  4. Refresh to Express. Many patrons expect to enjoy a dose of wine and cheese to accompany their craving for new art. You, however, can take the opportunity to feed the mind, body, and soul in a more artistic way. Work with a culinary artist to craft snacks that match the theme of your exhibit. Are you going black and white? Match the theme with specially crafted black and white cookies! As patrons take in these refreshments, they are intimately familiarizing themselves with your work. Thus, increasing the likelihood that they will bring a piece of art home along with their wonderfully crafted assortment of snacks. See, selling your art is a piece of cake!

  5. Create a Healthy Competition. If properly executed, you can potentially sell every single one of your pieces if you can connect with the competitive spirit of your guests. Your event was promoted months in advance, and the gallery is packed. The guests are entertained with feels, vibes, food, and music crafted with care to draw the people to your art. The host and curator work together to enchant your guests throughout the night. The entire night, there is one piece, beautifully framed, and covered, shrouded in mystery. This is the piece that is to be auctioned. Auctions are a great way to stimulate interest, while driving up the value of artists' work. Your art may sell for $2500, but one auction can easily drive the value of your work up to $25,000 overnight!

Note: The purpose of the auction is to drive up the value of your work.

Take the note above into consideration. You shouldn’t worry about how much money you will secure from the auction. It actually may be a better strategy to partner with a Non-Profit or charity and donate the earnings to the cause. This is why you do not sell a piece until after executing phase 5. This may be your first show, and you may have intended to sell your work for $1500 - $3500, however, your auction was a HUGE success, and you raised $35,000 for a charity cause. Now your prices need to be on par with the auction value. It is not a good feeling to win an auction, and leave the event with a feeling you were cheated. After the auction, adjust the prices of your work, you now KNOW what people are willing to pay, and you also know the guests with the capital to pay it forward. Those who lost the auction, will want to leave the exhibit with something. Your prices should be lower than the value of your auctioned work, yet, if your auction was successful, you should leave your exhibit with far more money than you ever expected.

Contact Above Art Studios today to begin planning for your major exhibit. New Brunswick, New Jersey is a prime location for the arts and artists who aspire to grow. Take notes from this article and allow our staff to consult you for pricing and housing your work in our award winning gallery. We look forward to hearing from you today.

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