LESSONS LEARNED FROM GROUP ART SHOW
When I left my part-time job in August, I thought I’d have more time to devote to writing and painting but somehow my life spun out of control (again) and the days vapourized as other activities pulled me away from the computer and the easel. It’s even taken me over a month to get back to my blog and provide my insights from our 4 Painters Art Show in September.
That said, I carved out a few minutes this week to share those thoughts with you. Here they are:
1. Next show we need to allow a full day for set up (i.e. 4-6 hours). Last minute problems can arise adding time to the set up.
- When we opened the door on Friday morning, freshly painted storm windows laid out on tables filled the entire space. Apparently the town thought we weren’t arriving until the next day even though we rented the space for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. As a result we waited over an hour to have everything removed before we could start organizing and hanging the paintings.
- Then we discovered the slot-wall in the hall lacked enough hooks for our paintings. When we spoke with the contact person responsible for renting us the hall, we learned there were no extra hooks available. Neither the local hardware store nor Home Depot carried the hooks or any other product that would work. So one of our “handy” assistants found a bracket he was able to bend into a hook to fit into the wall. Problem solved with some ingenuity.
2. Promotion and advertising were worth the cost, time and effort. People told us they came to the show because of the media coverage, as well as the posters and announcement cards we had distributed throughout Muskoka and via email.
3. Although we each had sales, we discovered most purchases averaged less than $200. For future shows, we need to consider offering smaller paintings that we could price appropriately to attract more buyers.
4. Two people were not enough to cover the show hours effectively. Lynda and Glenys were unable to take regular breaks or eat meals. We need three of us.
5. Although the Windermere Village Hall did draw visitors and buyers, it was remote, at the end of a road and not part of a natural driving loop so perhaps another location on the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour route might work better for us. On the other hand we had a great crowd so people found us and liked what they saw. One visitor told us our exhibit was the best one they visited that day.
6. It appears my smallest painting walked out of the show without leaving a
payment behind and two of Lynda`s small art objects disappeared as well. Either we don’t include small art pieces in our future shows or they need a more secure location where we can keep an eye on them.
After the show, the Janice, Lynda, Glenys and I planned to meet and dissect the show to determine what worked, what didn’t and decide if we would do another one together. I wasn’t alone in dealing with a hectic schedule so it took until October 17 for us to get together. My lesson notes above also reflect the group`s assessment of the show.
In the end, we felt the show worked for us and are considering launching another group exhibit again next year, using the lessons gleaned from this one. When we have determined when and where that will be, I will post a blog with those details.