The Trials of Arranging an Exhibition

Chiesa san fedele

San Fedele Church, Montone

Well it’s finally happened, I’ve got a venue, title and date to exhibit my work. “Points on the Horizon” will open in the gorgeous town of Montone, Umbria, where they will be holding their Festa della Bosco (Festival of the Forest), between the 30th October and 2nd November. They have agreed to let me exhibit my work in the little Chiesa San Fedele during this festival.

Setting up an exhibition

Tuscan hermitage

St Francis’ Convent at La Verna

The big question now is what do I show, how should I display them and what else do I need?  I’ve experience of showing work previously but never on my own so this is a little bit of a step into the unknown.

I figure that you should have confidence in your work and just go ahead with it. So that’s one worry out of the way. I think it’s a good idea to offer prints of some of the paintings to those who visit and there is the chance for those who are interested to buy the originals.

Including notes that acknowledge those who’ve lent you back your work and describe the meaning behind paintings (people love the story of a picture). Sometimes quirky styles need that backup, it saves letting viewers read things into the work that wasn’t there.

What to take

Interior space

Interior space

A great venue (tick), nice lighting (tick) and good display boards (under review) are all essential components. Eye-catching posters and publicity material will encourage foot traffic and it is important to build the buzz over the internet. If you can get the local press or radio involved then there is no harm. A P.T. Barnum said “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” and it is important to spread the word.

Opening events are a good time to celebrate and recognise your supporters and backers. These are the ones that have carried you through the hard times and it’s only fair to let them join in your good times. It also gives you a chance to invite possible future collectors and gallery owners who might provide your next opportunity.

Marketing future events

Last of all keep records comments books and build contact lists. This is afterall a marketing event, designed to raise your profile and build your brand. But I think best of all its a happy time of reflection and contemplation. A good time to review your work and decide where to take things next.

So that’s my plan for the next three weeks, any thoughts, advice or suggestions most welcome. Hopefully see you there. 🙂


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