Home Is Where The Art Is
Staging your own exhibitions only requires a true zest for art and a little confidence.
Why wait for gallery owners to exhibit you, why not become a gallery owner yourself ? Artists can open their homes to show art and curators can indulge passions or a personal choice of theme (as seen in photos 1 - 4). A sincere interest in art is paramount but a salubrious venue is not. Greats like Modigliani and Picasso lived and exhibited very modestly from home art studios. Alternative venues like warehouses, public housing apartments, suburban town houses, even old railways stations are superb if the presentation is good. This means rooms devoid of distractions: plain walls, sparse furniture, no clutter or personal artifacts. Curator Danielle Arnaud started a gallery from her London home in 1994 and simply removes rugs and furniture if they are not working. She has never advertised and began by inviting friends to private views that grew larger over time. However, Call For Artists notices can be registered free of charge in the community section of Craigslist and there are a number of free art exhibition listing sites on the internet. Veteran UK print magazine Art Monthly is among those who also publish exhibition listings at one month’s notice.
The most important aspect of publicity is the press release. Very simple to write but must include the obvious; location, times, title, theme and artists’ biography. Building a mailing list for the future is important.
The rise of the Open Studio/Gallery Association is relentless. Artists exhibit from home studio spaces in the US and UK where organisations and councils organise events at least once a year. The evolution of this new type of artists’ gallery/studio space is summed up by Joel Cadiou (as seen in photo 5), a young french photographer who specialises in scenes from life, nature and portraits from France and Asia. He has an open studio and workshop space in Paris and is represented by Gallery Younique but is also developing an association called Friends of the City Fleurie. This aims to open the workshops of Paris to the public so they can discover the many painters, sculptors and photographers who work there. Another is West-London based artist Noonie Minogue who opens her home studio through the Artist’s At Home association to welcome 60 visitors over one open weekend and earn several thousand pounds. Afterwards she simply leaves the pictures on the walls and adds new work every June. Her home is a permanent art gallery. She relishes public enthusiasm. Noonie has since happily invited her ceramicist friend Allegra Mostyn Owen to join her and further exhibitions at some well-known London venues have followed.
Photos 1 and 2- Noonie Minogue's Home Gallery/Studio near the banks of the river Thames in London - photo courtesy of the artist
Photo 3 - Christine King's Open Studio in a 1930 Kent & East Sussex Railway station - photo courtesy of South East Open Studios
Photo 4 - Melvyn Evan's Open Studio - photo courtesy of South East Open Studios
Photo 5 - Joel Cadiou at the opening of his Gallery Younique Exhibition in Paris - photo courtesy of the aritst