Preparing for Your First Exhibition

You’ve spent countless hours fine-tuning your skills and creating your collection. Now it’s time to show off your work at your first art exhibition! Exhibitions are professional stepping stones that allow you to connect with potential buyers. You’ll also have opportunities to network with other artists and industry experts. It’s never too early to begin preparing for your first art exhibition.

Check the gallery’s or art show’s requirements.

The first step should always be to check the specific requirements for the gallery or art show. You may need to fill out some paperwork and provide additional items, such as your professional resume and a statement about the focus of your artwork. You might also need to provide a brief biography, in which you may discuss your artistic influences and interests.

Select the artwork to exhibit.

You may have dozens of paintings that you’d like to show, but only a select number will make it into the exhibition. First, check the gallery’s limit on the number of pieces you can display. Next, spend some time contemplating your entire collection. Which pieces can best be grouped together? Which paintings share a similar focus, subject matter, or statement? It’s best to choose artwork that can clearly be identified as being part of a cohesive collection.

Photograph your selection.

You may be required to photograph your selection as part of your application package to the gallery or art show. Even if this isn’t a requirement, it’s good practice to do it. If a painting sells, your photo is what you’ll have to remember it by. You might also want to use these photos in professional branding or sales materials. High-quality images are a must, so take your time getting the lighting and angles right.

Each May, the Western Art Association & Goodey Gallery hosts the National Fine Art Show & Auction. New and established artists alike are invited to submit an application to enter the art show, which is held in Ellensburg, WA. For more information, you can call their office at (509) 962-2934.