Artist painting outside

by Dr. Lori Verderame

I receive questions from artists about ways to promote their art and to gain exposure. The following checklist may be helpful for artists to assess the exhibition, sales, and promotional opportunities. I equate promotion, any type of promotion really, to looking for a job and I remember that my Dad would advise that “if you are looking for something, you need to tell everyone you know that you’re looking.”

Conduct a Survey

Familiarize yourself with the art offerings in your area. Use basic resources that are easily available like community newsletters, mall flyers, artist organizations, charity auctions, fundraisers. Think about places where your friends have shown their artwork or community sites that may not be conventional galleries or exhibition spaces but have the ability to show art and decorative items. (e.g., cafés, coffee shops, libraries, hospitals, etc.)

Contact local groups

Contact your local park and recreation office or other community organizations. They often have events that include art work and sometimes offer artists opportunities to conduct a one day instructional program or seminar. Community art museums usually have dedicated space to show local artists’ work. It never hurts to ask. Many artists help the educational mission of the museum and show their work within that context before going on to local, regional, and national juried shows or dealership and gallery representation. Use the internet to identify opportunities for artists, events, and hosting locations.

Be old fashioned

Good, old fashioned hard work and community unity is always a solution.One approach is to organize your own event showcasing local artistic talent. Seek out volunteers, ask friends, other artists, and community members to contribute time and/or funding. Try to entice local community organizations or businesses to pitch in and host the event or support the cause. Arrange a child/adult art show. Many community businesses will help support the arts and if you plan something that can attract young people and seniors alike, you have a definite winner. Contact your state and local arts commission for information about grants.

Get an online appraisal of your artwork from Dr. Lori.