However good your art, it is worthless if not on display. If your studio is currently cluttered with unsold works stacked in piles then the time is right to start getting it out there. Where it is on display really matters far less than most artists think. There is no point in holding out to have it displayed in some prestigious gallery when you are losing opportunities elsewhere.
We will be discussing getting your work into galleries in two months time, but because it takes time to achieve this it is worthwhile looking at other immediate actions you can take to get your art out in public.
Places to display your art for free
The options of where to display your art are limited only by the number of empty walls in the country. You should constantly be on the lookout for places where your art would enhance the atmosphere and where it would be exposed to large numbers of people.
Keeping a range of your work hanging in your studio should be mandatory for the artist just starting out. The cost is negligible compared to the opportunities it can bring. It is also an excellent place to sell work from, which we’ll discuss next month. Treat your studio like a gallery, neat and clean with the work well organized and hung on the walls.
Events, shows and exhibitions of all types are often interested in having art on display if they don’t have to pay for it. Keep track of any upcoming events in your area and approach the organizers with your portfolio, explaining why you think your art would enhance their event. Another effective way is to form a combined show with artists from different disciplines. Jazz music and abstract art are a common example, but try to think of a novel combination that your work would harmonize with.
If you have spare work lying around your studio that is not likely to be sold, consider giving it away to cafes, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and any other public buildings you can think of. This is not the same as selling your work in these places, since many will not allow this. You are giving them the work permanently, and the only thing you ask is that your name and preferably website address are clearly on display. This can be a very effective way of getting your art noticed because of the volume of people who will be exposed to it each day.
Art competitions are organized up and down the country by foundations, corporations and individuals. The prestige of a competition is best judged by the prize money being given out, but at first you should try to enter as many as possible whether prestigious or not. It not only gets interest in your art, but is also an excellent way of meeting people, gaining credibility and possibly earning a little money.
Grants and awards
Grants and awards give money and opportunities to promising new talent. They vary greatly in how they are run: some are nothing more than cash in hand, others offer training courses. They can be an excellent addition to your resume, and many also offer promotional opportunities. Always be wary of any grants or awards schemes run through the internet. If they ask for more than thirty dollars to apply then you should consider them a scam.
If you take a particularly novel approach to creating your art that would be of interest to the public then have a short video made of yourself producing it. You can send it off to galleries, put it onto your website and have it on display at your exhibitions. It gives people who know little about art something to talk about in discussing your work. You can even try sending it off to a local television network or newspaper.
The number of people who see your art is directly proportional to the price you can sell for, so get as much out there as possible especially in the local community. Just remember to make sure your name and contact details are clearly displayed alongside.