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Are You Prepared for the Art Exhibition?

To prepare for an art exhibition you'll need to create the pieces, get insurance, spread the word and install your work.

There is a lot to think about when your art is going to be in an exhibition. You might feel overwhelmed or accidentally forget something while preparing for your debut. We've put together a list to help you make sure everything is taken care of. 

1. Make the artwork
You can't have an exhibition without artwork. While it's tempting to show your wares and get a gallery slot before having all the work done, this can lead to some seriously stressful time in the weeks and days leading up to the actual gallery event. Create all the pieces you plan to have in the show so you can cross that item off your to-do list. Procrastinators, consider this a way to alleviate your stress levels and allow you to focus on marketing the event and making sure it goes off without a hitch.

2. Market the event
When you are showing your work at a space, someone at the venue likely will do some marketing to let people know about the exhibition. Depending on the host, this may come in the form of emails, a Facebook event or other social media postings. Be sure the person in charge of marketing has the link to your website and your contact information so they can share it on these posts. You can do the same for them, sharing the venue website, address and contact info so your audience knows where to attend the exhibition.  Share a picture of the event poster on your site and social media profiles. If you have time, you may even want to pass out art marketing flyers. You could also send personal emails, text messages and phone calls to personally invite people. They'll be more likely to come if you single them out and ask (think: family, close friends, people in the art world who you want to impress.)

3. Get insurance

"When your art is in your living room, you have control over who interacts with it and how."

When your art is in your living room, you have control over who interacts with it and how. When it is in a gallery, however, many people will pass by and there is always the potential for something to happen. The piece may fall off the hanging system, for example, or someone may bump it, making a hole in the art from a nail that was holding it up. It's important to protect yourself in case situations like these happen. Talk to the venue that will be hosting your exhibition to see if they offer insurance or if your work will be covered under their policy. It's also helpful to talk with your own insurance agent to see if you can have your art added under your own policy. This way you are protected if something happens to your work.

4. Hang your pieces
A day or two before your exhibition opens, gather up all your pieces and head to the venue. Take your time installing your work. If you don't think it's perfect, be sure to do all you can to make it look the way you want it to. Check with the space beforehand to be sure you know what you need to bring to install your pieces. If they are sculptures you may need shelving and pedestals, or bring hanging hooks and wires for canvas pieces. Also ask about a step stool or ladder in case you need some extra height. Consider bringing a friend or two to help you, especially if you have a lot of art or your work is large and heavy. They can also assist you in making sure items hang straight on the wall or are arranged properly.

Take time to step back and double check your work when installing it. Make sure it is level and hung in the place you want it to be.

5. Bask in your success
When the day of the event finally comes around, everything should be taken care of besides getting to the venue. Wear something that shows your personal style and makes you feel confident. Remind your friends and network of art-lovers that the show is today and be sure to head to the space early. When you get there, double check that everything is in order and that you're happy with your pieces. Chat with attendees as they enjoy your work and relax knowing that you've done a great job and earned a night in your honor.