Solo Art Exhibition Preparations

Having a solo art exhibition is really exciting as well as hard work. It’s not just about making the art, there are lots of other jobs that need to be done and as I’ve just been through the process I thought I’d share it with you. Here goes….

 Title and theme

This is always my first decision; it provides clarity for both you and the gallery.

Size of gallery

You need to know the meterage (if that’s a word) as well as the position of windows, doors and other immovable objects are so that you can formulate a hanging plan – or at least work out how many pieces of work at what size will fit in the space.

Make and select the artworks.

You may be making new work, showing old work, or a combination of both. I always try to show mostly new work. I love making new work as it evolves all the time. I sometimes include relevant older work. This always takes longer than I think as not everything makes the grade.

Number and size of artworks.

Including whether any need to be hung together (eg triptychs)

Document the artworks

You need photographs of the work before it is framed (I failed on 2 for this exhibition which is really annoying and completely my fault). Once documented you can use them for the exhibition catalogue, your website and your future book 😉

Title the artworks

Titles are really important to me. I like the title to be ambiguous but also hint at what I am trying to convey in my work.

 Provide artist biography/information about the artistic process

Although the gallery may do this for you it is worth putting some time into it. If you have an unusual process the audience will be interested to know about it.

Provide gallery with information about each artwork

Size, medium, price etc

Frame the artworks and attach suitable fixings

This varies according to the gallery’s hanging system

Label the artworks.

Wrap the artworks

This protects the frames. The gallery will do a check for any damage prior to you leaving the artworks with them.

Deliver the artworks

In my case it’s ‘how many artworks can you fit in a mini’ !? The answer is 46 but there’s room for more.

Liaise with the gallery

Keep in contact with the gallery the whole way through the process. You are working together to make this exhibition happen

Share information about the exhibition

The gallery will also be doing this but I always do it too, both on social media and via artist newsletter (before and during). You will reach different audiences.

There’s no point in having an exhibition  if no one knows what it is or where to find it