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02-21-2016, 07:33 PM   #1
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Small exhibition.. Tips?

Hello

So my aunt organized me a small 'exhibition' in a friends restaurant that doubles as a small gallery since 12 years. April to March.

And I'm actually absolutely clueless.

I'll obviously have to have some pictures printed. Not sure if I should go for the "cheap" paper route or aluminium/glass or something like that.
My dad thought the latter would be great because frames wouldn't be needed.

I was also wondering and assuming that I should offer different sized prints if someone wishes to have something in a different size (that is, if someone wants to buy something)?
And I guess it'd be better not to limited the pictures to certain quantity?

What circumstances would attract buyers?


As I said, I've got no clue at all, but I hope someone here has one!

Many thanks,
Topsy

02-21-2016, 08:39 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Topsy Quote
that doubles as a small gallery
see what other folks typically show at the restaurant.....mimic it.....offer prints in various sizes that cropping to that size does not alter composition without affect.......
good luck
02-21-2016, 09:05 PM   #3
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Usually in restaurant / galleries there is a very limited number of spaces so pick your best work, your best presentation, your best framing and so on. This is a 'showing', yes you might sell something but mostly you are getting exposure and your name out. Make sure you have plenty of business cards on hand. Make sure you get pictures of the hanging once everything is up, that goes in your CV. You can now brag that you have shown in a gallery. That gets you in the door at other galleries.

A few things to consider:
1) Before doing anything else check on what is currently hanging, what style, how elaborate are the frames, how many pieces are hanging, what are the prices
2) Check the menu, is the average meal $20 or $100. Makes a big difference on what your pricing should be
3) Talk to the owner, find out what his rules are. Does he have a contract, a hold harmless agreement, a suggested price range?
4) What percentage does the gallery take? 30%, 40%, 50%? You need to price accordingly
5) Who supplies the wall tags? You or the gallery. Do they have a standard form or suggested format?
6) How are the tags attached to the wall? Do they have rules for attaching tags or for attaching the art? Weight limits?
7) How are sales handled? When do you get paid?
8) How is advertising handled? Are you allowed to have an artists statement hung? Business cards?
9) Check the sizes on display now, and how they look. Take a tape measure. Are the pieces too big? Too small? You want items that look good in the space they will be displayed in.

Paper is not necessarily 'cheap'. Not if it is done properly with fine art paper, double matting and a good frame. I do conventional framing, canvas and metal prints. The cost is not as far apart as you might think. Unless you go really cheap on the frames and don't use archival paper and matting and museum glass.

In the restaurant I show in the only pieces available are what is hanging, they do not allow prints or smaller sizes but they have a stack of my business cards and hand them out if anyone wants something else. I have had several phone calls from the restaurant with requests that resulted in sales of other things not hanging there.

Talk to the wait staff, make friends. Educate them in your art and what you do, engage them. They are the ones who will be answering questions, if they know things they will sell for you and it makes them look good that they are knowledgeable.

Good luck! And if you have questions just ask. This a tough business to break into.

---------- Post added 02-21-16 at 08:09 PM ----------

Also, find out if they do an artists reception or other event. Make a point of eating there occasionally after the art is up. I sold a piece one night while I was eating in the restaurant. The waitress came over and asked if could take a moment to talk to another diner who was interested in a piece. Of course I was! Gave them my 60 second sales pitch on where and why the photo was taken and we sold it straight off.
02-22-2016, 05:19 AM   #4
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Some good comments above already.
I'd prefer to limit quantity of photos and i know black & white prints work nice on metallic (aluminium) boards.
Color print on plexi glass.

Doesn't cost that much & if no sales, it is nice for yourself or for later exhibition.

Again, i wouldn't put too much on the walls but rather spend time selecting photos and finding the appropriate walls in that place.
Maybe go with a standard (free) photosite and make sure the link is visibly available (maybe a few cards) in the restaurant..
People interested can look at what more you have & may contact you that way.
My 2 cents
good luck!

02-22-2016, 05:33 AM   #5
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Don't forget that you could also "hang" a digital picture frame that cycles through a range of images. In other words, you display your website (or part of it) at the exhibit. Easily done, and I've even seen it done. Now, whether you like that statement or the "tone" is another matter.
02-23-2016, 06:46 AM   #6
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Ha! You sound like me about a month and a half ago. I had never shown my work in a galllery before, but got chosen to be the featured artist of the month. So I had to quickly make some of the same decisions you're mulling over. I'm still trying to figure this thing out, but here's what I've learned and where I screwed up. Most of my pics don't fit easily into an 8X10 or 16X20. However, they fit onto an 8X12 print with little to no cropping. So I opted to do 8X12 prints. I wanted white space around the prints, but I thought 16X20 mattes would be too much, so I opted to put them in 14X18 mattes. That was my first mistake! You can't just go out and buy 14X18 mattes with cut-outs for 8X12 prints. You either have to cut them yourself, have them custom cut, or order them online from somewhere that stocks a wide variety of mattes. I mail-ordered mine. The same thing kinda goes for the frames. You can buy 16X20 or 11X14 frames all day long, but my choices in 14X18 were far more limited. However, I was able to find some locally at a great price, but it took some looking. So stick to standard sizes if at all possible.

Once I got everything hung, the pics looked great, but there was a sameness to it all. That was sort of okay since I was the featured artist because it quickly let people know which was my work. But for the purpose of making sales, I felt I needed more variety. It may be different since you'll be hanging in a restaurant, but in this gallery, my pics are hanging along with oil paintings, pen & ink, metal sculpture, mixed media, etc... I decided a little variety might not be such a bad thing...not only in the types of prints I was showing, but also size. I brought in a couple of 16X20 metal prints to show and I just got in a couple of larger canvas prints that I'm going to take down to the gallery this weekend just to mix things up a bit.

This particular gallery is in a section of town that has a number of galleries within a few blocks. The first Friday of every month, they have an Art Walk where all the galleries stay open and have snacks and things set out for people to enjoy. It was interesting listening to the comments of the people coming through and hearing why they liked particular images...not just mine, but those of the other artists in the gallery, too. It seemed to me that there were several distinct groups of folks. Some appreciated my pics that are what I consider good photography...things seen in an unusual way. But other folks were more concerned with how well a picture matched their sofa or the bedspread in the spare bedroom. They were looking at them strictly as decor. Still other folks liked certain pictures because they reminded them of something...where they worked, where they used to live, the drive to grandma's house, etc...

As it happens, a photographer friend of mine who has been showing his work for a number of years now was showing some things in a gallery that's next door to the gallery where I am. I noticed that right before Christmas, he changed out the pics he'd been showing and replaced a number of them with close-ups of car logos and hood ornaments that he'd shot when a parade of classic cars came through town a few months earlier. He had all these canvas prints of Dodge, Chevrolet, Ford, Pontiac, etc...and I thought, "That's pretty smart!" I could totally see some guy buying one of these for their "man cave" or maybe their wife or girlfriend buying one as a gift.

Last, one of the things I learned in talking to one of the other artists in this gallery is "talk to the gallery owner about what sells". After all, the owner is the one who keeps track of it all. They often have a good feel for what will sell and what won't so be prepared to take their advice. And like someone mentioned earlier, what you're really doing is getting your name out there. Someone may like your work and contact you later to ask you to shoot something specific, like a city skyline or something. Good luck...have fun...and enjoy the process. I don't know about you, but my attitude is that, whether I sell anything or not, at least I've taken the first step and started the journey, ya know?
02-28-2016, 07:50 AM   #7
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Thanks a lot for your replies! I've been busy the past days getting my PC back to working condition so that I actually can grab my pictures to have them printed..



QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Usually in restaurant / galleries there is a very limited number of spaces so pick your best work, your best presentation, your best framing and so on. This is a 'showing', yes you might sell something but mostly you are getting exposure and your name out. Make sure you have plenty of business cards on hand. Make sure you get pictures of the hanging once everything is up, that goes in your CV. You can now brag that you have shown in a gallery. That gets you in the door at other galleries.

A few things to consider:
1) Before doing anything else check on what is currently hanging, what style, how elaborate are the frames, how many pieces are hanging, what are the prices
2) Check the menu, is the average meal $20 or $100. Makes a big difference on what your pricing should be
3) Talk to the owner, find out what his rules are. Does he have a contract, a hold harmless agreement, a suggested price range?
4) What percentage does the gallery take? 30%, 40%, 50%? You need to price accordingly
5) Who supplies the wall tags? You or the gallery. Do they have a standard form or suggested format?
6) How are the tags attached to the wall? Do they have rules for attaching tags or for attaching the art? Weight limits?
7) How are sales handled? When do you get paid?
8) How is advertising handled? Are you allowed to have an artists statement hung? Business cards?
9) Check the sizes on display now, and how they look. Take a tape measure. Are the pieces too big? Too small? You want items that look good in the space they will be displayed in.

Paper is not necessarily 'cheap'. Not if it is done properly with fine art paper, double matting and a good frame. I do conventional framing, canvas and metal prints. The cost is not as far apart as you might think. Unless you go really cheap on the frames and don't use archival paper and matting and museum glass.

In the restaurant I show in the only pieces available are what is hanging, they do not allow prints or smaller sizes but they have a stack of my business cards and hand them out if anyone wants something else. I have had several phone calls from the restaurant with requests that resulted in sales of other things not hanging there.

Talk to the wait staff, make friends. Educate them in your art and what you do, engage them. They are the ones who will be answering questions, if they know things they will sell for you and it makes them look good that they are knowledgeable.

Good luck! And if you have questions just ask. This a tough business to break into.

---------- Post added 02-21-16 at 08:09 PM ----------

Also, find out if they do an artists reception or other event. Make a point of eating there occasionally after the art is up. I sold a piece one night while I was eating in the restaurant. The waitress came over and asked if could take a moment to talk to another diner who was interested in a piece. Of course I was! Gave them my 60 second sales pitch on where and why the photo was taken and we sold it straight off.

1) Last time they had paintings hanging, so I can't really compare, but I took my laptop with and showed a few photos and the owner thought they'd surely be fine.
2) That I didn't check at all, but apparently it doesn't matter as people come and look in for the art anyways.. There also will be a jazz concert with a full house whilst my pictures are hanging.. I've not got much clue about the place actually as it isn't in my home town either..
3&4) That is sorted, and I also asked at the photo store here and they suggested the same price range.
5) Thanks! Forgot about this one!
6) Good question too, I know that there are rails for frames etc..
7) Sales are handles by my aunt.
8) Will also have to check on this. Although, I don't have any business cards..
9) Those there were too small imo, but I've got all measurements of the place.

I'm going to have some test prints done, found a place nearby that offers a free draft which sounds ideal!
Yes, an artist reception is planned and I'm totally not shitting myself


QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
Some good comments above already.
I'd prefer to limit quantity of photos and i know black & white prints work nice on metallic (aluminium) boards.
Color print on plexi glass.

Doesn't cost that much & if no sales, it is nice for yourself or for later exhibition.

Again, i wouldn't put too much on the walls but rather spend time selecting photos and finding the appropriate walls in that place.
Maybe go with a standard (free) photosite and make sure the link is visibly available (maybe a few cards) in the restaurant..
People interested can look at what more you have & may contact you that way.
My 2 cents
good luck!
Yeah, I don't want to hang too much (Maybe I'm too critical but I haven't got enough nice images to plaster the walls anyways), easy on the eye is better.
Thanks!



QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
Don't forget that you could also "hang" a digital picture frame that cycles through a range of images. In other words, you display your website (or part of it) at the exhibit. Easily done, and I've even seen it done. Now, whether you like that statement or the "tone" is another matter.
This is an interesting idea, hadn't thought of this.

QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Ha! You sound like me about a month and a half ago. I had never shown my work in a galllery before, but got chosen to be the featured artist of the month. So I had to quickly make some of the same decisions you're mulling over. I'm still trying to figure this thing out, but here's what I've learned and where I screwed up. Most of my pics don't fit easily into an 8X10 or 16X20. However, they fit onto an 8X12 print with little to no cropping. So I opted to do 8X12 prints. I wanted white space around the prints, but I thought 16X20 mattes would be too much, so I opted to put them in 14X18 mattes. That was my first mistake! You can't just go out and buy 14X18 mattes with cut-outs for 8X12 prints. You either have to cut them yourself, have them custom cut, or order them online from somewhere that stocks a wide variety of mattes. I mail-ordered mine. The same thing kinda goes for the frames. You can buy 16X20 or 11X14 frames all day long, but my choices in 14X18 were far more limited. However, I was able to find some locally at a great price, but it took some looking. So stick to standard sizes if at all possible.

Once I got everything hung, the pics looked great, but there was a sameness to it all. That was sort of okay since I was the featured artist because it quickly let people know which was my work. But for the purpose of making sales, I felt I needed more variety. It may be different since you'll be hanging in a restaurant, but in this gallery, my pics are hanging along with oil paintings, pen & ink, metal sculpture, mixed media, etc... I decided a little variety might not be such a bad thing...not only in the types of prints I was showing, but also size. I brought in a couple of 16X20 metal prints to show and I just got in a couple of larger canvas prints that I'm going to take down to the gallery this weekend just to mix things up a bit.

This particular gallery is in a section of town that has a number of galleries within a few blocks. The first Friday of every month, they have an Art Walk where all the galleries stay open and have snacks and things set out for people to enjoy. It was interesting listening to the comments of the people coming through and hearing why they liked particular images...not just mine, but those of the other artists in the gallery, too. It seemed to me that there were several distinct groups of folks. Some appreciated my pics that are what I consider good photography...things seen in an unusual way. But other folks were more concerned with how well a picture matched their sofa or the bedspread in the spare bedroom. They were looking at them strictly as decor. Still other folks liked certain pictures because they reminded them of something...where they worked, where they used to live, the drive to grandma's house, etc...

As it happens, a photographer friend of mine who has been showing his work for a number of years now was showing some things in a gallery that's next door to the gallery where I am. I noticed that right before Christmas, he changed out the pics he'd been showing and replaced a number of them with close-ups of car logos and hood ornaments that he'd shot when a parade of classic cars came through town a few months earlier. He had all these canvas prints of Dodge, Chevrolet, Ford, Pontiac, etc...and I thought, "That's pretty smart!" I could totally see some guy buying one of these for their "man cave" or maybe their wife or girlfriend buying one as a gift.

Last, one of the things I learned in talking to one of the other artists in this gallery is "talk to the gallery owner about what sells". After all, the owner is the one who keeps track of it all. They often have a good feel for what will sell and what won't so be prepared to take their advice. And like someone mentioned earlier, what you're really doing is getting your name out there. Someone may like your work and contact you later to ask you to shoot something specific, like a city skyline or something. Good luck...have fun...and enjoy the process. I don't know about you, but my attitude is that, whether I sell anything or not, at least I've taken the first step and started the journey, ya know?
Thanks a lot for this too!
02-28-2016, 11:33 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I did an exhibition three years ago. It is fun, but a lot of work. You probably know how many works you can hang, since you should fill the space in the restaurant probably. Printing on plexiglas or aluminium is popular now. In a frame is very nice, but maybe that is more for ten years ago.

Video of my exhibition, I had it crowded with to many images, don't do that. I had frames on loan, so that made me make more images.

I had some good press covering, due to the subject and that I made images for our paper. I made a post card with information about the exhibition and placed them in different places a long with some posters.

With the opening, just relax and enjoy. Your work is done then.


Last edited by RonHendriks1966; 02-28-2016 at 11:41 AM.
04-18-2016, 06:33 AM   #9
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So, I totally forgot to post in here.. I went to hang my pictures up two weeks ago and am quite happy with how it ended up looking.



Sadly it's a really tricky place to take good photos!
04-18-2016, 03:22 PM   #10
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looks nice! good luck!
04-18-2016, 03:36 PM   #11
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So....? How were your images received? Or, how are they being received?

Happy with your choices? Any lessons learned?

I'm getting ready to hang some of mine at a local restaurant that has lots of other (kinds of) art on its walls....
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