Tips: Hosting Your Own Art Exhibit

05/04/2019

Calling all artists! This post is here to help you make good on your exhibiting dreams – helping you to find the spaces and events to showcase your art and bring your creativity to the forefront.

Sourcing exhibitions.

“I want to exhibit my work one day, like, get my work out there…but I don’t really know where to start, know what I mean?”

 

Well, social platforms like Instagram can prove to be extremely useful in your quest to find exhibits to take part in. There are a couple of hashtags you can look up to point you in the right direction. A great hashtag to use for connects is ‘#opencall‘. This hashtag has been used on almost 70,000 posts which may not seem like a lot – but that’s 70,000 open calls for 70,000 different exhibits and events in the world – the chances of you finding at least one upcoming opportunity or event to get involved with are pretty high.

You can also search the opencall hashtag on platforms like Twitter or Facebook.

Other helpful searches:

Under both ‘People’ and ‘Tags’ search:

#ArtCurator

#ArtGallery

#Exhibition

#ArtSubmissions

Also, follow creative collectives and galleries and keep an eye out for any events they may be hosting or promoting through their pages. Creative Debuts is an great example of an inclusive creative community who often host events and provide platforms for artists from all backgrounds to showcase their talents. Check them out here. (This isn’t sponsored – I just think they’re flipping amazing.)

 

“I want to host my own exhibit. Unsure where to start.”

Yes, go for it! There is an absolute treasure trove of venues and locations waiting for creative folk like you to come and grace with your art. You may want to get together with other artists and form a collective show adhering to a certain theme of your choice, or you may want to curate it yourself and open the floor for artists to submit – it’s your call. Either way, you’re going to need to find somewhere to host it.

Below are links to websites to point you in the right direction and connect you with the necessary people to provide you with a space. They all have varying price points (some more expensive than others). Stay conscious of venue location, ease of access – will your event be free or have an entry fee? Consider these variables before coming to a decision.

 

In the first instance, before sourcing locations; set up a contact list with all your favourite hotspots and corresponding e-mail addresses. Put together a brief proposal to shoot off via e-mail to set about using space. In some cases, you may be presented with conditional offers, some paid and others completely free.

It’s luck of the draw; down to available resources, space and the strength of your pitch.

 

If you would prefer to go straight to some sources, TAP has some options for you:

(Prices correct as of May 2019)

 

The Flying Dutchman

(Art students can host exhibitions for free on Tuesdays)

‘The Flying Dutchman is a one of a kind mixed arts venue, exceptionally well suited for a variety of events.’

Conditions:

  • The whole space is available for you every Tuesday from 12pm – 12am.
  • We ask for a £70 deposit which will be refunded back to you when the bar makes over £150 on your night and there are no damages to the space.
  • The bar will be half-priced all through the night.

There are options to exhibit on other days as well for a fee. Contact them here for more details.

 

The Brick Lane Gallery

(£660 – £1980)

Includes:

  • -Installation & set up
  • Email invite to their mailing list of over 30,000 recipients
  • Invitation cards
  • Opening reception
  • Press Release & Promotion
  • Details of your exhibition on their website
  • Vinyl lettering of your exhibition, title and artist name on the gallery window
  • Professional staff invigilation
  • Pricing advice & sales support

 

Art Rebellion

(Need to be contacted for pricing.)

Get in touch with them here for details.

Includes: 

  • Use of a secure and well-lit wall space within Art Rebellion gallery of approximately 12 Sq feet in size for exhibition of artworks.
  • Curatorial support and assistance with exhibition installation and associated administration.
  • Experienced gallery staff will provide sales support throughout the run of the exhibition within normal gallery opening hours. Please note however that all artwork sales that are carried out by Art Rebellion are subject to VAT and a 5% handling fee.
  • Art Rebellion will promote the artist and exhibition via their website and twitter account. A general overview of the exhibition will also be highlighted in the monthly gallery newsletter.
  • In addition we can provide support and advice on all aspects of your exhibition including press release writing and distribution, framing and presentation.

Destination Hackney

This website has links to over 30 galleries and spaces for you to host exhibitions including Rich Mix, Print Club London and Space.

Click here to see the listings.

 

Art Rabbit

This website has details of hundreds of galleries in and around the world offering spaces for artists and creative people to exhibit.

Click here to check out the venues.

 

 

“I’m excited! Taking part in my first exhibition! But what do I need to bring? How do I do this…thing?”

Congrats! The curator of the event should fill you in on all the details in regards to spacing, wall material, necessary equipment and location. If there is anything you’re unclear on – you need to make sure they clarify everything.

If you’re planning on showcasing framed work – IKEA has some great quality framing solutions that won’t leave you eating indomie until your next pay day. If you are intending on printing out digital artwork to frame it – ensure you have your artwork printed out in CMYK format and not RGB to ensure top notch colour printing. RGB formats prints for web use, so the colours may turn out completely different once printed out using this setting. So CMYK it!

If you’re hanging framed pieces – you will need all your tools; a hammer, different sized nails, hanging wire and strength. If you’re planning on using posters –  invest in some high quality, coated posters that won’t crease on sight. You will need something that will hold its form during dispatch and not come out looking like an ‘unscrunched’ receipt.

Velcro strips, blue tack, uni bond – there are a number of adhesive solutions at your disposal, but ensure you get all the details of the surfaces you’ll be using – as some adhesives work better than others on different textures (naturally.)

 

All in all, have fun with it! Set out your plans, have a clear theme or goal for your event if you’re curating from scratch – and if you’re looking for events to take part in, make sure it’s a great fit for you and what you stand for! Shake the table and get yourselves out there! We’re rooting for you.