Solo/Small Group Show Planning

Once upon a time, I ran into a list that someone had written up about planning for an exhibition for one person or a small group. I tweaked it to better suit me, and it has served me well. Then a lovely lady on the QuiltArt list asked for advice on planning for a solo show, and I sent it on to her. It has been suggested that I might like to publish the list so others could make use of it, so, here it is. Some items may apply to your show and others may not. Tweak it to suit yourself, and use it in good health. And have a great show!

Exhibition Time Line – Individual/Small Group

At least three months before the show
– find exhibition space (may need to be booked much earlier)
– decide on show dates (may need to be booked much earlier)
– decide on reception date
– decide on show title
– delegate tasks (if group show)
– photograph sample artwork for press release
– telephone local papers and magazines to find out press release lead times
– find out if papers/magazines want color or B&W photos
– measure the space
– determine how many pieces may be included or allocated space per artist

Ten weeks before the show
– write the press release

Eight weeks before the show
– mail the press release (may need to be mailed slightly earlier or later depending on the publication)
– design announcement

Six weeks before the show
– take announcement to printer
– update mailing list

One month before the show
– make final decisions about which art to include
– frame the art (as needed)
– buy stamps, labels, and other supplies for mailing announcements
– assemble binder with bio, statement, and photos for each artist in the show

Two weeks before the show
– mail announcements
– send email to digital list
– plan and order food for the reception
– decide what you are going to wear
– line up helpers to take care of food and sales at the reception
– make a description label for each piece in the show
– write price list

Several days before the show
– hang work
– round up non-perishable reception supplies and a reception book for visitors to sign
– make last-minute changes in labels and price list

Before the reception
– purchase perishable foods
– set up refreshment table
– set up guest book and photo book

At the reception
– make visitors feel welcome
– have fun

During the run of the exhibition
– arrange private tours

After the show
– take down the art
– deliver pieces to people who bought them
– repair and paint gallery walls
– send thank-you notes

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