How To Put On Your Own Solo Art Exhibition | Artist Consultation

How To Put On Your Own Solo Art Exhibition | Artist Consultation

Putting on an art show can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, allowing you to showcase your work and connect with the art community. During my first full year selling my work, i held 4 art shows. one in new york, one in miami, and 2 in nashville. BY NO MEANS WAS OR IS IT AN EASY FEAT TO CURATE YOUR OWN SHOWS, BUT AS A NEW ARTIST, I DIDN’T HAVE CONNECTIONS WITH EXISTING GALLERIES AND WANTED TO SHOW MY WORK. AFTER LEARNING FROM MY FIRST FEW SHOWS, I HAVE DEFINITELY GOTTEN INTO A GROOVE WHEN IT COMES TO CREATE AN EXHIBITION EXPERIENCE THAT IS EXCITING AND FULL OF SURPRISES. organizing an art show requires careful planning and attention to detail. In this step-by-step breakdown, we will guide you through the process of putting on an art show that will leave a lasting impression on your audience.

1. Define Your Vision:

The first step in putting on an art show is to define your vision. Every exhibit i have put on has had a specific theme. Whether it was the in the mood show that was a little more on the risque side to the inital show that told the story of a relationship and the hills and valleys that can happen. I always come at show creative with a sense of cohesiveness yet letting the work go where it needs to go. Determine the theme or concept of the show, whether it's a specific genre, style, or subject matter. This will help you curate a coherent and engaging exhibition that resonates with your audience.


2. Select a Venue:

One of my favorite parts of the show process is finding the space. finding a suitable venue for your art show can be a challenge but my highest recommendation for anyone starting out in the art business is to strive for a partnership or profit share with a landlord that has a vacant space. With a profit share, you can guarantee either an amount for the duration of the show including the install and breakdown, or you can offer to the landlord a profit share of any work that sells. This can be more difficult if you don’t have the tract record of selling work at your shows, but if the space is vacant, landlords are typically open to the conversation. Consider the size, layout, and atmosphere that align with your vision. Art galleries, community spaces, and even outdoor venues can provide a platform to showcase your work. And get creative with it. it doesn’t have to be a gallery necessary. I have done shows at office spaces, a pop up at soho house, a hotel penthouse show in partnership with the 1 hotel. All you really want to make sure of is to Ensure that the venue has appropriate lighting, display options, and accessibility for visitors.


3. Plan Your Timeline:

Creating a timeline is crucial in organizing an art show. Start by setting a date for the opening of the Show and work backward to establish deadlines for tasks such as artwork selection, promotion, and installation. Give yourself ample time to prepare and ensure that all logistical aspects, including permits and contracts, are taken care of well in advance.

4. Curate Your Artwork & Merch:

Curating your artwork is an essential step in putting on an art show. Select pieces that complement each other and fit within the overall theme of the exhibition. Consider the size, medium, and visual impact of each artwork to create a cohesive and visually appealing display. Pay attention to the arrangement and flow of artworks within the space, allowing viewers to engage with each piece individually and as part of the larger collection. Merch is not necessarily a must-do but i have found if you have friends and family attending your show that want to support you, but may not want to shell out thousands for an original, you are giving them a way to support you and make some extra profit to cover the cost of your show.

5. Promote Your Art Show:

There are a ton of ways to promote your show. Marketing and promotion play a crucial role in the success of your art show. Utilize various channels such as social media, email newsletters, local newspapers, and art community websites to spread the word about your event. Create visually appealing promotional materials, including posters, flyers, and online banners, that effectively communicate the theme and highlight some of the featured artworks. If you want to go above and beyond, you can send out mailed invitations like we did for my first show, which ended up drawing the biggest crowd we have had to date! Collaborate with other artists or influencers who can help promote the show to a broader audience.

6. Install and Display Artwork:

Before the opening day, carefully install and display your artwork in the chosen venue. Pay attention to lighting, framing, and spacing to create an aesthetically pleasing and engaging exhibition space. Consider providing signage or artist statements that provide context and insight into each artwork. Ensure that the display is accessible and encourages viewers to explore and interact with the art.

7. Engage with Visitors:

During the art show, make an effort to engage with visitors. Be present at the gallery and be prepared to answer questions about your work and the exhibition as a whole. Consider hosting an opening reception or artist talk to further connect with your audience and provide additional insights into the creative process and inspiration behind your artwork. I almost always have one or more close friends with me that support me during the shows to answer questions and support with selling the work.

8. Refreshments & entertainment:

Definitely pay attention to who and how many guests you are expecting to plan for refreshments and entertainment. I held an opening reception in new york and we only did an open bar at the event due to expecting a very large amount of guests just stopping by. whereas, at the hometown shows in nashville, we did an extravigant spread of food and a full bar for 200 close friends and family. Know your audience and what is going to elevate their experience.

Nashville Exhibition | November 2021

9. Document and Evaluate:

During and After the art show, document the event through photographs or videos. This will not only serve as a valuable record of your accomplishment but also allow you to evaluate the success of the show. I have hired a photographer and videographer for every opening reception and it is the most valuable money i have spent on any part of the show. This content will be usable for social media promotion, taking your follower on the journey with you, and to help with promotion with future shows. Analyze visitor feedback, sales, and overall response to identify areas for improvement and future opportunities.


Putting on an art show requires careful planning, organization, and attention to detail. By defining your vision, curating your artwork, promoting effectively, and engaging with visitors, you can create an immersive and memorable experience for both yourself and your audience. Remember, an art show is not only an opportunity to showcase your work but also a chance to connect with the art community and leave a lasting impression on viewers.

Best of luck in your art show endeavor! 

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