Creative Musings

12 Aug 2015

Art Exhibition Preparation

Preparing for an art exhibition can be a daunting task even for the most seasoned exhibitor. An art exhibition requires months of thinking, planning, fine tuned organizational skills, economical savvy, transport logistics and steely determination.

Exhibitions are a great opportunity to expose your work up close and personal to a larger audience. Once an opportunity for an exhibit is secured visit the venue in person to get the essense of the space taking pictures of every perceivable angle. Pay attention to the lighting and any large areas of natural light. If a personal inspection of exhibit space not possible then ask the owner to send you some pictures. Pictures help tremendously for future reference as a new body of work develops and helps to visualise the order and location of works.

Exhibitions require a long period of hard work and preparation therefore ensure plenty of time to pull everything together. Work diligently to prepare a new body of work, considering theme and a red thread to connect your work, this can be particularly challenging if you work across mediums.

My preparation of a body of work for any venue entails countless hours of researching,  sketching, developing thumbnails, photographs, procurement of materials and art supplies, painting, printing, designing glass, assembling and firing.

Here is a visual catalog of some of the exhibit preparation.

Mono Collage

Early stages of Torso ‘Sitting Pretty’

Torso ' Splendour' Assemble

‘Splendour’ coming together nicely

Glass Art Prep

‘Funky Fun’ birthplace

Final Firings

Firing 24/7 for 6 weeks

Apple Jack RIP

Ouch! My own costly impatience


‘Flight Of Fancy’ work in progress

Flight Of Fancy

Waiting for protective varnish and framing

Preparation of an exhibit catalog ensures a one place source of information on the artist, details of artworks, names, dimensions and price list. Labels are important for the overall flow as well as providing a immediate reference for each art piece. Provide the organisers with a digital file of the catalog for their reference.

Brouchure & Lable ready

Order size specific frames well in advance to ensure enough lead time for the frames to arrive well in advance to exhibition date.  Prepare frames for the art work and ensure they are secured for hanging.


Frames ready 2-3 weeks prior to exhibit

Transport can be tricky, all frames are secured in the corners with cardboard, bubble wrapped followed by corrugated cardboard even for the shortest of journeys.

Packed for Transport

Well packed & secure for safe transport

The day of the exhibition set-up make sure to clear a half or whole day to cover any eventuality particularity if you prefer to hang your own work. Bring all necessary tools and materials required to display the work.

Nothing beats the joyous satisfaction of seeing your body of work in its own exhibition space. 

Åkerlund & Rausing Konstförening –  Lund

Turning Torso 3 Turning Torso 2 Turning Torso 1Turning Torso & Glass displayTurning Torso

Flight of Fancy 1Flight Of Fancy 4

Flight of Fancy 5Flight Of Fancy 2Flight Of Fancy 3

Ensure display cabinets are clean of smudges with display lights working

Silver Birch Display 1Silver Birch Dispaly 2Funky Fun

Months of painstaking planning and producing a body of work for exhibit bears heart and soul to public scrutiny. The imagined glories of being an independent artist with the carefree daily creativity is far form a reality. Many challenges, administration and finicky details take us away form studio and easel but I would not change this for the world.

Art exhibits – visited any recently? what is your favorite?  Please let me know in the comments below.

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