ART EXHIBITION TIMELINE
Generally most exhibitions are planed between 1 to 2 years depending on the Gallery location. Some exhibitions can be executed in a short timeframe of 6-12months or less. This timeline for planning an exhibition is based on approximately a 12month timeframe with room for flexibility. I am using the example of my own first small solo exhibition.
Countdown to exhibition…
12months plus to go
☐ Start establishing your idea and theme. Do this by brainstorming or mind mapping.
☐ Research your ideas. Create Thumbnail sketches.
☐ Research potential galleries
☐ Research potential funding sources
☐ Draft up a budget (source quotes for; gallery hire space, materials, photography, invitations, postage, catering, courier/delivery if required
☐ Apply for gallery space
☐ Apply for funding
12months to go
☐ Further research, investigation and exploration of ideas.
☐ Start sourcing materials (i.e. canvases, paints).
☐ Begin painting if you are ready. Even if it is just priming (Gesso) the canvas ready
9months to go
☐ Start working on paintings if you haven’t already done so. Have 2-3 being worked on at the same time so while one is drying another one could be worked on.
3months to go
☐ Design and draft invitations
o Have a general idea of invitation design. Consult a graphic designer if required to draft up invitation designs. Or if you’re doing it yourself, start thinking about it.
2months to go
☐ Finalise invitation ready for printers
☐ Start sourcing contacts for mailout if you haven’t already. It is a big job.
o Tip: Create an Excel spreadsheet as you can merge your information into Word later and print no fuss on sticky labels. This helps save heaps of time and you don’t get hand cramps then!
6weeks to go
☐ Send invite to printers. Allow 2-3weeks buffer for corrections and changes, the printing process and their level of busyness
☐ Write an artist statement
☐ Update your website with information on your upcoming exhibition
4weeks to go
☐ Complete final touch ups and changes to artwork. Start varnishing completed paintings if you haven’t already done so.
☐ Start drafting artwork details for price list
☐ Start writing exhibition statements (brief blurbs on each artwork about inspiration, technique, subject matter etc) if required
3weeks to go
☐ Organise catering.
o Depending on your launch date (if it is the date of the install or a week later as typically the case) allow for 4weeks notice to caterer of; budget, food requests, estimated number of attendance, time etc.
☐ Package invitations for mailout. Add invite, business card.
2weeks to go
☐ Ideally be finished painting. Get artworks ready to hang
☐ Update your website and other online social networking sites with photos of your artwork and information about the exhibition.
1week to go
☐ Email contacts and media with invitations and artist statement of upcoming exhibition opening and launch
☐ Post mail out of invitation in time for launch (usually 2weeks before launch, however 3-4weeks depending on your art scene)
☐ Get installation bag ready (artist statement, exhibition statement, price list, extra picture hanging equipment for emergencies)
☐ Touch base with caterers. Pay deposit or complete payment
☐ Get launch night bag ready (DL price lists, extra invitations, business cards, receipt book, pen, guestbook)
☐ Send reminder emails of upcoming launch -1 week away.
Download the above information from this document exhibition timeline countdown
Click the image below to see a visual chart of the exhibition process timeline
|This table highlights possible timeframes to complete tasks as outlines above.|| |
TIPS & ADVICE
- Aim to be finished 2-4weeks prior to your installation when planning your timeline. Take into consideration school Holidays if you have kids, Visitors visiting if your live far way, Illness is your susceptible to getting colds and flu’s and bed ridden
- Try to have a plan B. For instance, if you catering venue should close down who would be next in mind. If your art space losses it’s funding, could you still go ahead with the exhibition and where could you have it?
- Start collecting your contacts as your progress through the exhibition to help ease the burden of searching for them in one goes. It is a big job. Add people from art organisations, fellow artists, if you’re a past student at institutions, family and friends, newspapers.
- Marketing is crucial. Advertise and promote your upcoming exhibition every where as you reach a wide audience and hopefully get those people attending your exhibition.
- Look for FREE event listings online.
- Contact your local art organisations you’re a member of to publish in their e-bulletins and e-newsletters
- Keep your invitations and business cards on you always to hand out. You never know when it is a good opportunity to network.
LINKS TO RESOURCES
Here are some useful links I have come across in my searches:Exhibition Development Timeline http://www.magsq.com.au/_dbase_upl/workshopD_2.pdf
Exhibition Planning Fact Sheet by ABAF http://www.abaf.org.au/files/Artist_Business_factsheets/Exhibition_Planning.pdf
How to set up and run a successful artshow by Glen Wooten. http://www.terriesmith.com/artshow.html
Artists Exhibition Kit by Brimbank www.brimbank.vic.gov.au/Files/ArtistsExhibitionKit.PDF
Exhibition Kit by Gigantic Art Space www.giganticartspace.com/pdf/kit.pdf
Exhibition Timeline by Artinsight http://www.artinsight.org/exhibition_timeline.htm