Focus on Education: Planning Your Exhibition

An artist’s exhibition can be as important as the actual creation of the work; it provides a goal to work toward, a deadline to meet, and the
drive to achieve excellence. If you aren’t currently showing your work to the public, you are missing out on the personal benefits of a show as well as the opportunity to display and sell your work to the public.

Exhibitions also provide inspiration to others. You never know who will be inspired by the art you have created—whether it’s a casual art admirer, a student, or a working artist. Decorative painting is especially important to exhibit, as it is one of the few art forms that can be accessible to anyone, regardless of inherent skill or prior training. That means that the person who walks in and falls in love with your work could soon be painting his or her own masterpieces, with your help.

To plan your exhibition, follow this simple checklist:

  1. Find the space in which you will exhibit.
  2. Determine how much work you need to fill the space.
  3. Create new work or select pieces to show from work already made.
  4. Work with venue owner/manager to determine dates (date of installation, opening, closing, and take down).
  5. Determine titles and prices.
  6. Create tags with title/price information for work.
  7. Advertise
    1. Use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
    2. Create and distribute postcards.
    3. Create and hang flyers.
    4. Send email invites to your friends and family.
    5. Advertise in your local SDP chapter newsletter.
    6. Talk about it! Tell your friends and family in person, and ask them to help spread the word.
    7. Send press releases to local media about you, your work, and decorative painting.
    8. Install the work, attend the opening/closing, and have fun doing it!

SDP is gearing up for International Decorative Painting Month in October. Artists from all over the world will be working together to promote decorative painting and SDP. Why not go out today and book a show for October at your local library, a gallery, a recreation center—anywhere that will help you find an audience for your painting. If you already have painting friends, invite them to show with you. If you plan to have a solo exhibit, talk to the attendees and make some new friends, then invite them to join you in a painting session.

For help booking a show, or for any other questions regarding holding an exhibition or International Decorative Painting Month, please contact Matthew Clagg at matthew@decorativepainters.org.