May 16th, 2017
My first solo art exhibition - "Emerging". Sunday May 7th, 2017. This show was a success. After months of careful planning, lots of hard work painting in my studio, I had my first solo and I am very grateful and proud of the success I had that day. What kind of planning goes into your first solo?
1. The date. I carefully picked the date. I knew that the beginning of May is when a lot of people are getting their income tax return and might have some extra money to invest in my art.
2. The materials. I took advantage of the Black Friday sales and bought all the required canvas and paint needed at 70% off. It was 2500 worth of materials for a fraction of the cost and it meant I had the canvas to look at and envision what pieces would go on what canvas.
3. The subject matter. I carefully picked through collected images and sketches to imagine what would be most successful to sell at my show. Even though I pre-selected images I still left myself open to new ideas and inspirations. My goal was 20 pieces and I was very happy with 19.
4. The Framing. Months before my show I contacted the framers to ensure I had the correct timeline and enough time to get my work properly framed.
5. Advertising. I thought carefully about what advertising would be effective for the show and what free advertising could be available to me. I made brochures and a new business card design with enough time to have everything printed and ready for display at the show.
6. Catering and venue. I used the same venue and caterer for my show. Although I am represented by a gallery I wanted my first solo art show to be completely under my control. In the past certain paintings were rejected from the gallery because of their subject matter. I wanted to make sure that all of my paintings would be included in this exhibition. It was a risk covering this cost myself but well worth it in the long run.
7. Budget. I was careful to plan out my budget and figure out how much money I needed for the show. All in all it cost me about $7000. I was fortunate enough to cover my costs and walk away with a profit.
8. The Title. Having a title and theme for your art show is important. I felt that after many years of working for other artists and planning group art exhibitions I was finally emerging as a solo artist. My family obligations were lessening as the children got older. My artistic professionalism and work ethic we're becoming fluid and my ability to focus was much easier. My true abilities were EMERGING hence the title.
I am am proud of my accomplishment and look forward to many more successful shows. I have already started planning my next solo in November.
If if you need help or advice in planning your exhibition feel free to contact me.
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Visual Artist and Curator in St. John's Newfoundland