Most artists hang their art in galleries for a period of time. However, there may be a time that you need to plan a gallery for one day only. You may compare this type of exhibition to setting up and tearing down for an arts & craft show, but you may want it to be in high-end, professional venue, such as an arts council or organization. Because a one-day gallery is unusual, it’s important to plan extensively for effective execution of your event.
Contact a Venue
Decide where you want to hold your gallery and what kind of venue you’re seeking. Think about your market, or demographic, when choosing a venue. If your art is very modern and abstract, a college campus may be an option. If your art is more realistic- landscapes, portraits, still life- a traditional art gallery may be an option. Think about the type of people who typically go to the venue, then think about what type of people your art attracts.
Book the Venue
Often times, venues fill up months in advance. Think about what date you would like to hold your gallery. Visit the space you’re looking at displaying your work, take measurements, look at what type of hanging devices the venue utilizes, draw a diagram and ask questions.
Develop a Timeline And Stick to it
Take a look at your calendar and develop deadlines. Space out your deadlines so you’re not completely overwhelmed. Have a visual schedule will help you manage your time while in the planning process.
Depending on when your one-day gallery will be, you can market right away, or closer to the event. You want to market far enough in advance that it gives people time to schedule around your event, but not so far from the event that people forget.
Numbers 4 and 5 can go hand-in-hand. It’s important to plan preliminary details of the event so that you can effectively market it, but there is much more to planning a one-day gallery than just that. Remember those diagrams in number 3? Take a look at them. Figure out how many pieces you will need to have in order to fill the space you booked. Are you going to have a reception table with a guest book, coffee/wine, handouts, etc?
Other items to think about are:
• Hardware on the back of your frames
• Labels for your pieces and pricing information
• Invitation list
• “About the Artist” write-up
• Having a guestbook
Work on your Collection
While there are tons of nuts and bolts to plan related to finances, business and marketing, don’t forget to work on your collection, because this is the most important part of the event.
Contact PR Avenues
Since it’s a one-day event, you probably want a decent turnout. It’s up to you to make that happen. Send out a press release to local newspapers, radio stations and magazines. Writing a press release can be daunting, so do some research and look for templates to help you along if you’re not used to writing.
Create a Checklist
Write down everything you need to take with you the day of the event, down to the smallest detail like pens, notepads and glue dots. Don’t leave anything out. Use the checklist when you pack the night before the event.
Dress the Part
Plan to look like you’ve got your act together, even if you don’t. Having a one-day gallery event can be stressful and frustrating, but rewarding. It’s like being in a wedding- many things can go wrong, but as long as the bride, groom and officiant are there, everything else can go by the wayside. While you want everything to go off without a hitch, as long as you and your art are there and look presentable, that is what is important.
Reap the Benefits
After all your hard work, it’s time to stand back, socialize and look at your awesomely professional one-day gallery. People will be amazed that you pulled it all together in one day when it looks as though it should be hanging for weeks.
Don’t forget to take pictures of your gallery for your Facebook page and website. It’s important to document your events.