So I told you that I would write a bit about the process of putting a show on. Well here it is for your reading pleasure.
First- Find your venue. This is important. You want it to be a well recognized place, a place the will invite people. Typically it's a gallery of some sort. You want this because there are a lot of perks built in when a gallery is involved. One is that they have there own mailing list to get people to come to your show.
Second- Try to figure out what your costs are going to be. And think about everything. Food, booze, invitations, promotions, the cost of the venue (maybe), Catalogue of the work being displayed. All these things cost real money. IF your lucky the gallery might throw some of this things in. In our case the invites and some of the booze are part of the package. The venue is free also, but after opening night they charge a 5 cover charge for people to come in and see your work. That's how they recoup there money.
Third- Sponsorship, sponsorship, sponsorship. This is very important, because this show costs. So think about who you might like to have as a sponsor. Don't be afraid to ask. We asked for a beer sponsor only to be turned down. But then we asked some magazines and they gave us great sponsorship. You have to offer them something that is worth wild.
Fourth- Make sure that you have work to show. With us it's not a problem, but that's because it's a group show. A solo show might be harder.
Fifth- Plan out your space. Know the area that you are going to be displaying in. Know how you want your work to be viewed. Know this before hand, it makes it easier than just rocking up the day of and going, Hmmm.. that would look good there and this should go there. Don't be afraid to go out on a limb and do something different. People expect to see your stuff on white plinths 2 inches off the ground and a do not touch sign on it. Plinths are good don't get me wrong, but if you don't want that sterile feeling then do something different.
Sixth- Have a huge opening night, get the press there. Send out press releases 2 weeks before hand. And send them anywhere you can think of. Recently I sent ours to The Furniture Society, Australian Wood review, Fine Woodworking and all the local newspapers. Invite everyone you know to be there. The last thing that you want to happen is nobody to show up.
Seventh- This I just thought of, but the whole goal is to get your name out there and hopefully sell some stuff. Always remember that the gallery is going to mark up your stuff. So price it right. Here the gallery adds on 33% and then a 10% government charge. So if you want 4,000.00 dollars for your coffee table, know that the gallery is going to put a price tag of a little less than 6000.00 on it.
I hope this lays out some of the steps to throwing a show. It's a long and hard process. Especially with a big group of people showing. Everyone has there own opinion on things. For us it's boiled down to putting 2 people in charge to make the major decisions.
So until next time people... Always remember the show must go on..