How to organize your exhibition at the Old Post Office Art & Therapy Centre
First of all we want you to know that this will be YOUR exhibition. This article and information is only to help you to organize and to clarify any questions you may have about what we need in order to show your artwork and to promote the exhibition.
The “tips” at the end are only to help and guide you in case you need them.
About the subjects and techniques:
We state in the introduction:
“The human body has inspired artists throughout the ages, traditionally the body was often used to explore allegory, beauty and sexuality but in the twentieth century there was a significant shift in both how the body was perceived, and how it was used to create art.”
The subject needs to be related to the human body and expression.
Just to mention some examples: Dance, Portraits, Art-Nude, Attitudes, Body Painting, Tattoos, The Beauty of Ageing , Society, Still life – observation – realism, Still life – abstraction, Figure – portrait-personality and more.
Important information about nudity and genitalia. They are both accepted but they need to be carefully selected. If you have any doubt we will recommend sending us the images/artworks so we can tell you if they are suitable or not. Please understand: WE ARE NOT GOING TO JUDGE YOUR ART, it is because of the characteristics of the venue/gallery that we are not able to show all the subjects we want. We are planning to have a special space for the gallery in the future in which one we will be able to show any kind of artworks.
Art Techniques: We accept any techniques, such as acrylic, graffiti. Oil painting, pencil, aquarelles, photography and more. The only restriction, and it is because of the panels on which we are going to show your artwork, is that they cannot be framed or in canvas. Basically the depth of the artwork cannot exceed 5 millimetres (0.19 inches).
About the area/panels for your exhibition:
The total area is 8.28 meters. We have 3 foldable panels that can be use on both sides. The usable area on each side is 1.38 meters (wide: 1.20 high: 1.15 meters).
To give you an idea we recommend about 3 or 4 A3 mounted artworks (Around 52 x 40 cm) on each panel. The panels have Velcro stripes fitted and we will provide the auto adhesive hooks (Velcro) for the back of your artwork.
We recommend, but is not compulsory, to protect your artwork with cello film (bags) or similar.
Timetable of your exhibition:
We usually host the exhibition for one calendar month. On the last day of the previous month (unless it is not suitable for some reason) we will ask you to come and prepare the exhibition and on the last day of the month of your exhibition to collect your artworks.
About Promotion & Opening:
We will promote the exhibition on our usual channels: Press Releases to local newspapers & magazines, our newsletter subscribers, social media and posters in specially selected areas and in our website too.
In order to take the advantage of our promotion you need to provide the following information and files:
Description / information about your exhibition: No more 100 words on a word processor compatible file (odt). If you are planning to sell your artworks or merchandising this information should be included too.
Your Bio: No more than 60 words on a word processor compatible file (odt).
Self-portrait: JPG file no more than 2 mb.
Logo, if you have one: JPG file no more than 2 mb.
No more than 3 photos of some of the artworks you will show during the exhibition: JPG file no more than 2 mb each.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These photos will be used to create promotional material, if your exhibition includes some kind of nudity choose carefully the images as they may not be accepted by the media.
We need to receive all the information and images at least 40 days before the opening of your exhibition as we need to prepare the information and send it back to you for your approval. We will start the promotion 30 days before the exhibition.
If you want to also send invitations or promote your exhibition we can send you the logo of the Centre to be included or you can forward the promotion we will prepare.
Opening: Some artists may want to do an opening reception. If you want to do it this is how we manage it:
Choose the day and time for the reception: It does not need to be the first day. As we will open the exhibition the first day of the calendar month it may not be suitable for an opening reception.
We suggest doing it on an evening of Thursday, Friday or Saturday but you can choose any other day, just check with us that the venue is free.
We also suggest offering wine and cheese to your guests. We do not have a licence to sell alcohol but we can give it during opening receptions. You must provide the wine and cheese. About the cheese we suggest you contact “The Blaenafon Cheddar Company” famous local homemade cheddar business that will give you a special attention. (http://www.chunkofcheese.co.uk/)
About selling your artworks:
We are building a selected audience and we want to be sure they will get the best.
We do not charge a commission for selling your original artwork. About photography we consider original artwork to any A3 print or bigger, printed on Acid Free or similar Archival paper and signed by the artist.
About merchandising: If you are planning to sell derivative works, such as printed copies, postcards, and others we will ask for 10% commission.
Very important: if you are planning to sell copies of your artwork the quality of the copies need to be the best. We suggest printing your copies on Acid Free, Gallery Archival Quality Paper, safe for long term preservation. If you do not print the copies on this kind of paper we will ask you to state that. As you will use our gallery to sell the copies we want the customers to know about the quality of the copies.
We are also building an On-Line Shop. If you want your artwork to be included in the catalogue we will charge 10% commission plus delivery costs.
Insurance and protection:
We have a standard insurance coverage of the content of the Centre. That will include your original artwork in case of damage. We also have CCTV and alarms. We will do our best to protect your creations but if you want to add your own insurance it will be welcomed.
Costs for your exhibition:
As we mentioned before we do not charge to host your exhibition in our gallery. We do not charge commissions if you sell your ORIGINAL artwork. Of course, donations will be welcomed.
We do charge:
10% commission for selling copies and/or merchandising of your artwork.
10% commission for selling your artwork in our On-Line shop (No setup fees).
Using the venue for the opening reception:
As we hire the venue out, and also host our own activities; having an opening means we cannot use the venue for anything else that day. For that reason we hope you will understand that we will charge if you want to host an opening reception. But the charge is very reasonable: only £ 20. – This is our normal fee for hiring the venue per 2 hours for community groups.
We hope this will answer all your questions, of course if you have some more please do not be shy and contact us.
Tips to make your exhibition the best one:
Your artist resume/bio:
Try to list the previous exhibitions, solo and group. Any articles, books you wrote or somebody else did write about your work, honours, awards and grants you received.
We know it is not easy, but you can try by telling a story instead of a mission. Keep it short. An artist statement is about feelings not techniques. Tell about how your ideas are presented in your work. You can also mention sources and inspiration for your images.
Make your art affordable but not cheap:
You put a lot of yourself in each artwork, not only time and materials. You need to find the right balance between the value and the price.
Not everyone will be able to afford a full-sized painting or original photograph. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep less expensive items on hand, such as smaller works, sketches and print reproductions or merchandising that you can sell for a lower price
During your opening reception, you should be prepared to answer:
Why did you choose to become an artist?
How long have you been an artist?
What inspired the works that are on display in your exhibition?
Do you have a favourite work?
What would you like people to take away from your work?
Who are your artistic influences?
Have special cards, postcards or souvenirs to give to your guests’ during the opening reception.
Social media is vital too and there are many platforms where artists, art lovers and collectors share ideas and news online – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Deviant Art to name some.
Choose a subject/theme:
A good art exhibition should be characterized by a prominent theme. If you do not have one only we can use the advantage of the foldable panels and group your artworks by themes. If you can, give the exhibition a name.
Choose your artwork:
You do not need to fill all the spaces in our panels. We can distribute your artworks wisely instead. Choose the best only instead of trying to fill the empty spaces with artworks that may not have the quality of the others.
Prepare your catalogue:
Selling your artwork during the exhibition is an option, but not all visitors may have the money to buy your artwork during it. You may want to consider having a catalogue with high-quality images of the works you’re showing along with their titles, dates, mediums and prices. This will give the visitors the option to contact you and buy your art later.
Success doesn’t always mean sales: Don’t get disheartened if you put on the best exhibition ever, art critics love it, artists are happy but you don’t sell. This happens to everyone!
Something to consider:
In the Centre we have a print shop: Tango Creations
If you are struggling with your prints and want to ask us, please do so. We offer 10% discounts to artists who show their artworks in the centre. IMPORTANT: This will not in any way influence the way we are going to manage your exhibition. If you have your own suppliers it is the same for us.