15 Questions Every Artist Should Ask Before Exposing

Where every artist would love to be exhibited.

One of the biggest challenges that face professional artists today is choosing what events to participate in to expose their work. Many of us have limited resources; namely money; and it behooves us to examine the potential benefit for us in expositions.


It’s very important to get your work exposed to as many people as possible. With that said, how does one go about selecting which events to invest in to be able to reap the biggest rewards in sales and in potential clients and also in networking?


Whether you have been invited to participate in an exhibition or you are submitting your work for an upcoming show, here are some helpful questions to pose to the organizers of the event so that you can make the best informed decision as to whether you should proceed or choose another event.


In the current financial market, one has to be very precise as to what works to your advantage and what can end up just costing you money and time without a measurable return.

Here are a few questions to pose along with your own relevant questions pertaining to you in particular.


  1. If the event requires you to submit a statement and work to be reviewed by a jury for inclusion, who are the people on the jury and what are their specific qualifications? What events have they juried and also what previous events have the organizers themselves put together? If there are artists you see who have participated in these shows, contact them thru their web sites or social media sites and ask them to give you a fair assessment as to their experience at these shows and working with the organizers.Find out how communication was between them and the organizers.
  2. What newspaper, magazines and media are you advertising in and how many weeks in advance?
  3. Who is the spokesperson doing interviews for radio, web and print? Do they need someone to speak about it in a language maybe you speak but they don’t have the resources to expose properly through media? An example would be if the event takes place in a city that has a large foreign community that isn’t being addressed. If you speak Russian or Chinese in a city like London or Berlin, that could be very helpful in exposing your work and the event. Offer to do it for them.
  4. What is the event website? Is it being currently updated on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule? Do they have a blog that introduces upcoming participants to guest blog?
  5. How SEO friendly is the site? Does in come up in Google, Yahoo and MSN searches on the first page results?
  6. Is their a vernissage (opening night) and who is confirmed to be attending such as press outlets, political and social VIP’s?
  7. Will you have access and permission to re-use any media and photos covering the event?
  8. How many free invitations can they provide for you to offer to potential clients who want to attend the show? Giving them all to friends isn’t the best strategy. Reserve some for people who may be potential buyers. Having friends stop by your stand is good as it creates energy and movement and will attract more people to you stand.
  9. How large is the invitation mail list being sent out?
  10. Are local business owners being marketed to and invited to attend?
  11. Are their discounts available for food and drink for participants? As these shows can be expensive for an artist to attend and expose, it is in the interest of the event to make arrangements for a couple cafes or bars to offer a discount meal to participants.
  12. Is proper lighting provided? Spots or flood lights? What is the wattage? (You want between 20 to 40 watts for best lighting conditions.)
  13. Are there special deals for vehicle rentals for transporting your work or renting a car while there?
  14. Is there advertising targeting  hotels, airports, train stations, travel agencies, business office parks, real estate agencies, salons and high end furniture or home decor stores?
  15. Is their WiFi access at the event for participants and what is the charge? Is it discounted for participants?



These are just some of the questions that will help you better gauge whether an event is something you want to participate in.

What are your experiences as an artist exposing your work in shows? Have you found some questions that aren’t normally asked that end up becoming issues at your shows? I would love to hear from you about how you go about choosing events to expose in.

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