A gallery show is an incredible way to showcase your artistic talent and self-expression. You can create your own show, or you can choose from one of the many online galleries that offer free exposure. Most have you add your material as a member so it is easy to contribute and gain followers.

There are several ways to start hosting virtual exhibitions. Writing a strong caption for your artwork is crucial to establishing an audience. Your captions should tell people about yourself, what genre your art belongs in, and how they can learn more about you.

Get permits if needed

how to have a gallery show

A gallery show is much more than just putting your work up for people to look at! While it may seem easy enough, having a successful art show can require some paperwork and permissions.

Most venues will ask you to bring proof that you have paid your house or business rent in time, that you have appropriate insurance, and that you have permission to use the space you are hosting the event at. These spaces must be accessible to everyone including those with limited mobility or who cannot stand for long periods of time.

These documents don’t exist for every city but we recommend being prepared by either printing out these things or going through an online resource to make sure you know what rules apply to your venue and exhibition.

Your guests should also know about their safety here too! Having adequate numbers of staff and first aid equipment ready is important.

Fund the show

how to have a gallery show

Having a gallery event does not come free! The venue usually covers the cost of the decorations, the admission, and the food, but it is best to be prepared with some money saved up before you host your exhibition.

Most venues will ask for around $300-500 per person as entrance or guest ticket fees. This can include the entry fee into the exhibition, the meal, and the drinks after the show.

The more people that attend your event, the lower the price tag becomes. So try to invite as many people in your community as possible to make the event successful!

Some artists choose to sell tickets to their work or donate all of the proceeds to a cause, this way others get to enjoy the art and help an organization at the same time.

General tips: remember to research your local businesses and see if they are any kind of charity or non profit group.

Pick a theme for the show

how to have a gallery show

Choosing a topic or even deciding what genre your art will be in is an important first step! Before you start taking pictures and putting together pieces, you’ll need to decide what kind of gallery you want to hang out in.

You can choose from three different styles for your exhibition: still life, landscape and figure-ground (or conceptual).

A still life is defined as artistic depictions that emphasize creating eye-catching patterns and shapes. A common element used in still lifes are fruits and vegetables which artistically showcase their shape and color.

Landscape exhibits focus more on the natural setting of the picture rather than anything specific. This style typically uses nature as the background and includes reflections within the painting. Figure-ground displays contrast between foreground and background. In this case, the emphasis is on one item — like a flower or leaf – over everything else.

The best way to find your perfect gallery style is by experimenting with it.

Buy decorations

how to have a gallery show

Now that you have picked your media, determined how many people will be attending, and organized your space, it’s time to start buying some decorations!

Most professional galleries hold an event invite-only party before the exhibition, so make sure to do the same thing – if possible, at least a week in advance! This gives everyone enough time to prepare for the event and to spread the word about it.

Many times, artists will ask their friends to bring donations or use of their studio as charity stalls during the event, so stock up ahead of time! It is always best to overbuy though, as you never know what kind of response you get and there can be unexpected crowds.

Artists are usually very good at taking care of themselves, so try not to worry too much about them unless you really want to put in some effort. If you normally take care of yourself well then don’t feel like you need to give extra attention to others, but maybe pick up a drink or snack for when visitors arrive or leave.

And finally, remember to enjoy the show while it lasts! Many people begin gathering around the gallery after work and going home early because they just wanted to see the art and admire the setting.

Plan your opening and closing times

how to have a gallery show

After you have picked your genre, time to move onto setting up your gallery show! The first thing is to decide when you will be hosting your exhibition. This is an incredible way to showcase your talent as a photographer!

You can choose whether or not to have a public event which allows anyone with internet access to view your work. Or, if you are more creative in nature, you can opt for a private event where only you can see what you put out. Either way, make sure that you are comfortable with how you want to run your exhibition!

Some things to consider are how many people will be viewing your art, how long it will be until there is a next activity, and if there is anything else going on at the same time.

Tell all your friends

how to have a gallery show

After you have picked your theme, time to tell everyone! Let people know about your event by posting on social media sites, sending out announcements via email or texting, and putting up posters and flyers at local businesses and churches.

People will spread word of your event online and through word-of-mouth, which is one of the most powerful forms of marketing there is!

By having lots of exposure, more people will be aware of your event, increasing attendance and interest in the show. And if they are interested, they can come check it out!

Celebrate after the show

After the exhibition, meetup groups and/or discussion forums for your chosen art style exist everywhere. Many artists start their career with a gallery showing so attending such an event is a great way to get into the field.

Write down your theme for the show

how to have a gallery show

Now that you have chosen your medium, it is time to decide what kind of gallery you want to create! The first thing you should do is write down your main topic or idea for the show.

This will help you focus more clearly on designing and creating your exhibition. After you have this all set, you can move onto the next stage which is choosing your genre.

You will need to determine if your exhibition will be categorized as being artistic, conceptual, or both. If it is only classified as one then you may not use very good materials in the exhibition.

Artists such as Pablo Picasso made many masterpieces while using simple material such as clay or watercolor.

Prepare your opening display

how to have a gallery show

Now that you have prepared your space and picked your theme, it is time to prepare your opening display! This will be what people see when they visit your gallery show’s website or mobile app for the first time.

Your opening display should include at least three pieces of art – one piece per slide-style panel. The panels can be vertical or horizontal, but make sure each row of panels is the same length.

In addition to the artwork, there should be some kind of caption or explanatory text underneath the panel. This could be an artist biography, commentary on the work, or even a short message from you as the artist and/or owner of the artwork.

After this, add a link to the main page of the site or app where visitors can view more art. You may also want to include links to other pages such as a buyers guide or testimonials, etc.