What Is An Art Exhibition?
For the purposes of this article an art exhibition is defined by any event an artist or craftsman can display their work. This can cover a wide base of events that can be participated within.
A more traditional art exhibition can be focused more on public relations and networking. Likewise it can also be targeting sales.
There are also events which are driven towards promoting artistic craftsmen that is run by guilds. These events are often open to the public by the directors to garner interest for the artists participating.
Is It Worth An Artist Participating In An Art Exhibition?
The dynamics of art promotion has been changing over the past twenty years. Today the question of the value to participating within an art exhibition is more relevant than ever.
There are key instances where this can still be of great value. On the other hand there are also times when it is more of a waste of time.
The goal is to see what may most benefit an artist in our time. With online galleries and self promotion becoming more prevalent this dynamic will continue to change.
I wish to present key situations where an art exhibition is useful, and then those where it is not.
Art Exhibition For Public Relations And Awareness
Participating within an art exhibition for public relations is where they serve the greatest value. How is this achieved?
When working with charities or local community driven events towards helping that community you gain great exposure. The point to these events is less about profit and more about building relationships.
It is common for local businesses to be involved within such events. Building ties with these people as well as community leaders is obviously a win.
Likewise aiding or participating within the local arts center to help them or other artists is another avenue to this end.
Art Exhibition With Traditional Art Galleries
Traditional brick and mortar art galleries still can be very beneficial. If an artist wishes to take part within an art exhibition there will naturally be terms and conditions, or contracts, that one would need to consider.
These exhibitions will typically be geared towards generating some kind of revenue for the gallery and the artist. There are issues which arise for this kind of platform.
Among these issues is that they can only take on a select number of artists. An art exhibition of this nature is not a paid event but rather on a contract basis that is dependent upon the art.
Due to this not all art mediums, themes, or styles are applicable. The artist may find themselves tailoring some of their time and work towards the desires or needs of the gallery.
I personally find these kinds of art exhibitions less beneficial for me. The average artist will also find them difficult to gain access to them.
Art Exhibition With Art Guilds
Art guilds still hold a force within the marketplace. It is unfortunate though that these guilds are in decline.
The benefit to these events is that near any artist within its regional boundaries can participate for a fee. Each guild will have its criteria to meet for the art exhibition. If you meet the criteria then you may qualify.
Success is heavily dependent upon foot traffic. This in of itself has been a major problem over the past years as interest has waned in younger generations.
Some artists can only hope to break even with what they sell within the events. Others take a loss. Meanwhile there are those who do well.
Art exhibitions of this nature are geared towards how well you can present your work and yourself to the public. It is important to keep in mind this is not about public relations nor relationship building.
At its core, these events are venues to allow an artist the opportunity to gain a point of sale. There is little else to be gained from these events.
What About A Private Art Exhibition?
A private art exhibition can have benefits. This typically is geared towards profit and relationship building. It can also be seen symbolically as attaining some kind of status in that community.
Outside of this there is little value as it does not provide any public relations or further exposure from the outside. This may not be a bad thing depending upon who and how the host holds the event.
How To Decide On An Art Exhibition
The artist will need to determine why they wish to participate within an art exhibition. The purpose behind the event needs to match the artists needs.
The event itself needs to have the necessary components to support those needs. If open to the public it should be well promoted and established.
Likewise the art exhibition should be at a location that can provide the foot traffic required. This is merely one example of a single situation.
Nothing can be worse than not being able to achieve the intended goals or needs of the artist. It is important to research what is offered and the performance of the institutions historical events.
In no way should an artist participate within any art exhibition that does not match their work. Who would want to be involved within a craft fare when you are a visual artist? It doesn’t make sense.
Mixing your art in with an event that is not built around your medium or work is much the same. Get to know who will be participating and those who will be attending.
The Downside Of An Art Exhibition
The downside of an art exhibition within our time is their loss of potency. While some can be more effective than others, the sun has been setting on their impact.
Blogging is another format some have used to also further their footprint and exposure. Meanwhile further direct impact can be made within the local community in other ways.
These elements no art exhibition can give you. It is not a persistent presence and it cannot provide consistency. This does not mean that they are no longer valuable.
If you wish to partake within these events I would do so on a selective basis. Choose your goals and objectives then tailor your participation to those needs or desires.
The Benefit Of An Art Exhibition For New Artists
Any kind of art exhibition is beneficial for new artists. The reason for this is the experience that can be gained.
The artist can learn how to build a portfolio, communication, and how to interact with the public as well as the event planners. It is an all around learning experience.
This kind of education must be learned hands on. No classroom can provide the insight that being an active participant can provide.
Keep in mind that you will likely not be hitting the ball out of the park the first few times that you are involved. Perfecting these events takes time and insight.
What you gain here will in turn help you as you work in more specialized art exhibitions and private dealers or business owners. You only stand to gain.
At some point the artist will discover if they still wish to partake in these events. It can be common for many to outgrow them by another method or means that has developed through time.