For the month of November, I have been the featured artist at the Nashoba Valley Winery. This is a new venture between members of the Bolton Artisans Guild and the winery. Thus far we have featured artist Amy B. Moran, a watercolorist, and a jewelry specific event.
Setting up and displaying an art exhibit is different from setting up a booth at an art show. Lighting is a common factor but other aspects I had not considered before.
Name the Exhibit: This probably seems like an obvious thing to do. However, what makes it potentially difficult is coming up with a creative, catchy title for the exhibit. Much like talking about our art, giving our exhibit a title requires us to, well, talk about our art in descriptive terms. And at one time or another we’ve all been told that talking about ourselves and our accomplishments is bragging.
For a solo show, be sure your name is in the title. If the items you’re displaying have a focal element or theme, be sure to use that as a starting point for an exhibit name…if not the exhibit name itself. Naming your exhibit also makes it easier to promote.
Plan the Layout: Ideally you should have measurements of the exhibit space. This includes wall measurements, the location of doors, windows, air ducts, vents, counters, and anything else that affects the visual line of your exhibit. Are there any temporary structures that can be moved to accommodate your art work? Where are the lights located? Can the lights be adjusted to focus on your art work?
According to Alyson Stanfield, space for 2-D art work is measured in linear feet. The total amount of linear footage is then divided by 2 to determine the amount of space available. Example: a 20’x30′ room equals 100 linear feet (20+20+30+30). 100/2 equals 50 linear feet for 2D work.
Space for 3-D work is measured in square feet. Using the above example, a 20’x30′ room gives you 600 square feet. In this situation you also need to consider how much space is required AROUND each piece of art so people can comfortably view it.
Arranging the Art: A few things to consider when arranging the art include traffic flow, lighting, color (the exhibit walls and your art), shapes, size, pattern, and lines.
Labels: Alyson recommends placing labels to the right of 2-D work. A general rule of thumb with pedestals is as follows: for tall pedestals, place the label on the front of the pedestal. For short pedestals, place the label on top. What I learned with my exhibit was to make sure text was at eye level as much as possible.
Here are a few pictures of my exhibit:
To learn more about displaying your art in an exhibit, check out Alyson Stanfield’s web site, Art Biz Coach