Monday, March 10, 2008

Exhibit Opportunities in Wisconsin

Is your work one of a kind? Do you have a recognizable and unique style? Do you consider yourself an Artist and have work that would hang well in a gallery? Then think about gallery shows as another way to get exposure and sales for your work, especially your higher end work.

The best way to find regional calls for entry is through Portal Wisconsin, a public site that lists opportunities for all forms of art. Many of the listings are for art sale/fairs, but if you look closely, you will periodically find calls by non-profit galleries, with no fees involved. Often the sale commissions taken by non-profit organizations are lower than the sales commissions taken by commercial galleries.

You can apply either for solo shows, or apply with a group of 2 to 4 people, for a group show. The group show is a great way to go. You all can present a reasonable amount of work, and draw in 4 times as many people by combining your contact mailing lists. Be sure to leave promo postcards or business cards at the show, that list your website and/or online shops for future sales or commissions.

Two that I know are worth applying for ---
1. Hudson Hospital's Healing Arts Program co-curated with The Phipps in Hudson Wisconsin. These people are a joy to work with, very professional and devoted to all forms of the arts in daily life. My work was displayed beautifully and several pieces sold. I knew that I was guaranteed a daily audience of medical professionals and patients, with the work displayed in a beautiful waiting lobby area. I applied with my own work and indicated that I was willing to show on my own or in a group show. The curators paired me up with a ceramist who applied with the same terms, for an 8 week show. The work showed beautifully together! The Healing Arts Program provided publicity and a artists' reception.
To find out contact information and jurying dates, go to The Phipps page on the Healing Arts Program and scroll down to the bottom for a name and contact email.

2. The Frehner Gallery at the Monroe Arts Center in Monroe, Wisconsin. The Frehner Gallery offers one month exhibits in a beautiful well lit and well publicized gallery in the lower level of the Arts Center. Full application details are available here at this link. My own show just opened last Thursday. I was so impressed with the staff and with the well educated audience that attended the opening. "
Suzanne, the gallery director, went above and beyond the call of duty to install the show. She did such a fantastic job, using fishing line to hang the work and keeping it perfectly asymmetrical, just the way I envision the pieces hanging in someone's home. Now how often does that happen? I sold several of my leaf wallpieces right at the opening.

Remember! Galleries are not just for paintings. As long as your work hangs on the wall or sits on a pedestal, it might be just right for the space. Gallery audiences are often thrilled to see something different than the usual landscape or floral paintings that seem to predominate in a lot of regional work. Take a chance and apply. You've got nothing to lose.


mud and mint said...

lots of great information... thanks for sharing this kirsten!

Xanthe said...

thanx so much! I just not sure my what I make is gallery material.