As we already mentioned, writing a proposal is one of the most important parts of running an art show. While some people may think that it’s only important when you are hosting an exhibition yourself, this isn’t the case at all!

Writing proposals can be tricky if you don’t know what tricks of the trade artists use in exhibitions. Even more so if you aren’t familiar with how certain institutions run their shows.

As such, this article will go into detail about what makes a good artist’s proposal, as well as some tips and tricks to improve your own! If you’re looking to launch your career as an artist, writing effective proposals is something you should pay attention to.

We will also look at examples of successful proposals, which you can refer back to.

Make a list of topics you would discuss in a meeting with the organizers

how to write a proposal for a gallery exhibition

Now, what are your goals as an artist? If you want to gain exposure for your art, then hosting a show is the way to do it. As an artist, there’s always room to grow. You can start off by agreeing to host a small exhibition at a local venue or work from home via Instagram until you get enough followers to create a more substantial setting.

From there, you can take it up a level by collaborating with other artists or curators. It’s not only great advertising material but also a way to make some money if you’re good at painting, sculpting, or designing.

Make a list of topics you would discuss with a potential guest curator

how to write a proposal for a gallery exhibition

Now, what should be included in your proposal is determined by whether the artist is giving out their own ideas or asking someone else to lead the exhibition. If they are doing the latter, then that person will likely not want to collaborate unless they feel there is strong motivation for them to do so.

If it’s the first option, then it’s up to you to determine if they are looking to expand their audience, explore new styles, etc. This could include collaborations where you bring material along and they design around yours, or an individual project designed specifically for the gallery.

Either way, your proposal must contain all of the following: 1) A detailed explanation of the exhibition concept, 2) An indication of how much time you can commit to leading the show, 3) The name of the position (guest curator), 4) Contact information for the candidate, 5) And now, the most important thing: why you are the best fit and why the artist believes you in this idea.

Write your proposal based on these topics

how to write a proposal for a gallery exhibition

Writing proposals for art exhibitions is its own set of rules that can be tricky at times. But, you cannot start writing without first defining the topic or audience for this proposal!

This article will help you determine the main points in an exhibition proposal by breaking down the process into three major sections: what type of event it is, who the audience is, and then the body of the proposal. Once those are done, you can begin to write!

General tips

The style and tone of the proposal matter more than ever before. When proposing an exhibition, there’s even more pressure to create interest and intrigue. Your readers may already know some pieces from the artist, so keep them engaged.

It’s also important to understand how different types of events organize their proposals. Some have clearly defined guidelines, while others do not. This article will go over many of the basics, but nothing here should be used without additional research and proofing.

We hope you enjoyed this article about how to write a proposal for an exhibition.

Practice writing your proposal with friends or family

how to write a proposal for a gallery exhibition

Writing proposals is hard, which is why most artists never do it. But if you are really dedicated to your craft, then you have to invest in resources to learn how to write effective proposals.

So what makes a good proposal? Does length matter? Are bullets okay once in a while? What about using “and” instead of “or”? All of these things come down to being clear, concise, and having appropriate levels of detail.

If you are new to proposing, start small by offering free entry into an exhibition! Who doesn’t want that? Then move onto a talk at a club or organization before asking for the next level.

Once you get the hang of it, you can transition into hosting your own show as well as developing more elaborate proposals.

Identify your audience, and choose a location

how to write a proposal for a gallery exhibition

As with any type of writing, writing a proposal for an exhibition is influenced by who you are writing to and where they live. Who will be reading this document? Are you targeting business professionals or art enthusiasts?

If the later, then you can skip this step as you likely have already done some research into what kind of artwork people like and how to access more such material. If not, that’s okay too! We’ll get to those types of tips in another part of this article.

For the former, you need to know who these individuals are! Figuring out who their colleagues, friends, and influencers are can help you connect with them and promote your work.

Your potential recipients may also use apps to make it easy to view and share art so being familiar with those is important as well.

Find out the budget

Before you begin writing your proposal, you will first need to know how much money there is for the exhibition. This includes the amount set aside for the event, as well as the cost of materials and decorations.

It’s very common to run into trouble at this stage – some artists don’t want to show their work because they have no funding, while others can’t find anyone willing to back their project. It’s best to be clear about both these things before starting.

If you are too early in the process to learn that information, it’s better to start planning another exhibition instead!

The publishers of this book will not get a penny if you read all three chapters and then go ahead and publish your own proposal! So, make sure you only focus on art for ideas, not practical tips, once you have learned the basic principles here.

Plan out your exhibition

how to write a proposal for a gallery exhibition

After deciding what kind of gallery you want to organize an exhibition in, you will next need to plan out how to promote it. This includes developing creative ideas or proposing strategies to get people’s attention, establishing deadlines, finding appropriate locations for the show, and more.

When organizing a group exhibition, make sure to include enough time to promote it. It is not very motivating when you have to work hard to find someone to attend your show while most people are busy with other things.

Planning ahead can help mitigate this problem! By doing so, you will also be able to coordinate the event with others and give everyone adequate notice about the exhibit.

Another way to promote your exhibition is by writing a article or creating a web page dedicated to it. You can use this link as a template if you would like.

Prepare your artwork

how to write a proposal for a gallery exhibition

Before you write up your proposal, you need to make sure your work is clear and organized! This includes editing out any bits and pieces that you’ve already shown or posted online.

If possible, edit out pictures of the same piece from different angles or times so it feels fresh and new.

You can also re-do or re-style something to feel comfortable with it. For example, if one of your still life paintings looks too busy, maybe reduce the number of objects in it to create an easier picture to focus on.

Make sure nothing important was left out! If there are photos of you posing with friends, proofread their names and identities to avoid issues later.

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Thank you again for reading this article, and don’t forget to visit us at for more art studio tips and tricks.