Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Exhibits - Applications

Preparing for an exhibit by Sara Harley

How to prepare for an exhibit - Part 2: Applications & Writing Statement

If you are answering an open call for exhibit, the application process is straight forward but not necessarily easy. It's straight forward in that all you need to do is follow the instructions laid out by the gallery who has sent out the call. Usually the gallery will want an application/submission form filled out, a list of works and prices, samples of work, and a CV or biography.

My advice in this case is....make sure you follow their instructions concisely and don't overlook anything they have asked for. They may specify the document formats (pdf, jpg, etc)....make sure you submit your information in the formats they have requested. And...don't send them anything more than they have asked for either. You'll be competing with other artists and an easy way to get your application put to the side is by not following instructions.

If you would like to exhibit your work at a gallery on your own, there are a few things you should pull together:

Artist Statement with head shot - In your artist statement you should include: what type of artist you are, what type of medium you work with, how you do what you do (noting any uncommon or important aspects of your creative process...things that might set you apart), and why you are compelled to create (what excites you about your work?). This should be concise and interesting....this is YOU in a nutshell! It should be about one paragraph, and shouldn't be longer than one page in length. Shorter is better...100 to 300 words was suggested by someone when I was researching this for my own purposes.

Series Statement/Exhibit Statement - 1 paragraph to 1 page in length, your exhibit statement should contain similar information as your artist's statement, but pertain specifically to your proposed exhibit. Who would be interested in seeing your exhibit? Similar to an artist statement, this should sound like you. I have read exhibit statements that totally baffle me! Maybe that's what galleries are looking for, but I propose that your exhibit statement should be in your own words...not bafflegab...and should entice people to want to see your show.  

Samples of your work with price list

Social Media Contacts - include a list of your social media accounts                 

Your contact information - this may be obvious, but should be mentioned :)

CV/BIO - mention your successes...newspaper or magazine articles, quotes from happy customers, etc

Even if you aren't planning to approach a gallery, it would be a great idea to pull this information together. You'll be ready at a moment's notice to respond to a call for a group exhibit. And....if nothing else, writing an artist statement makes you really think about YOU and what excites YOU. It will help get you focused on making the art that makes you the happiest.

Previous Articles:

1. Selecting a theme - more difficult than it seems!

2. Applying for exhibit space - writing an exhibit statement

Upcoming Articles:

3. Exhibit check list - things to remember

4. Selecting images for the exhibit - narrowing your focus

5. Creating an exhibit catalogue

6. Publicity

7. Artist Talk - yay or nay?

8. Asking for feedback/Public involvement

I'll try to get this rolling in the next few days....stay tuned!

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