As we continue to see with the ever-expanding field of art, there are two main types of displays for artists’ work. One is called a gallery show, and the other is an exhibition.
A gallery show typically features one or several artist(s) and is usually organized by either the artist or their representative. This way, the audience has direct access to the artwork and they can view it at their convenience, which is mostly done in a controlled environment.
Exhibitions, however, do not have that luxury. An exhibition is designed so that people can explore the different pieces as well as learn more about the artist! This is why most museums organize exhibitions instead of having them take place at a specific time.
Which type of exhibit is best depends on the goals you want to achieve. If your goal is just to get attention, then a quick exhibition may be the better choice because you can easily spread word of it and gain exposure. On the other hand, if your intention is to educate and inspire others, then organizing an exhibition is the better option.
This article will discuss the differences between a gallery show and exhibition, how to prepare for each type, and what to expect during the event.
Differences between a gallery and an exhibition
While both are forms of display, galleries have a special designation as an art space. They focus more on displaying large-scale works that require adequate room to be appreciated fully.
Exhibitions, on the other hand, are usually focused on a specific theme or area of art. This allows for a closer look at individual pieces and they can be easily relocated after being seen once.
Both types of displays are important in spreading knowledge about art.
Who is the audience for galleries
As we have seen, most museums offer both gallery and exhibition spaces. But what are these? And which one is better?
The term ‘gallery’ comes from the Italian word galleria, meaning corridor or passageway. A museum with this type of space designations is called a ‘galleried museum’.
In a gallery, all displays are organized vertically (like in a window) along a wall. The space between each display and the next is either empty or contains an object. This arrangement makes galleries very visually appealing – you get depth by adding onto the next layer of art.
But there is a downside to using galleries as your main form of art exposure — they can sometimes be boring!
If you compare a vertical wall of objects with nothing but empty space beside it, then the empty space is usually much bigger than the displayed item. So, instead of getting eye-height exposure for a given piece, you must make people walk farther to see it.
This may not seem like a big deal at first, but when looking at a lot of art, this becomes annoying. Plus, many pieces of art require people to bend down or climb up to fully appreciate them.
Exhibitions fix both of these problems. An exhibition uses both vertical and horizontal space, so every item gets its own amount of attention.
Who is the audience for exhibitions
As we mentioned before, an exhibition is not limited to having only you as the viewer. An exhibition can be more about showcasing a genre or style that the artist represents, or it can be to draw attention to an issue that the artist is passionate about.
By including other artists in your space, you are creating a community of art lovers that will connect with the displayed works and get inspired by them. Your visitors will come across new styles they have never seen before and find new inspiration from the designs set out there.
This way, your exhibit becomes interactive – it encourages conversation, sharing and exploring. It also gives people outside your circle of friends access to important pieces that require special consideration or advanced knowledge to appreciate fully.
It’s like having a museum at your house! And what better way to enjoy a museum than in its most natural state? When you share your museum with others, you create an environment where everyone feels comfortable coming together to admire and learn from beautiful things.
The main difference between an exhibition and a gallery setting is just how many people feel free to look and explore. In a normal gallery, very few people are allowed inside unless invited, which cuts down on the number of attendees.
But in an exhibition, anyone can stroll around and study whatever takes their fancy. There is no obligation to speak to or interact with any one piece, making it more casual and informal.
Costs of running a gallery
Running a gallery is more expensive than running an exhibition. This can be due to higher staff costs, larger premises needed, additional marketing expenses, etc.
Running a gallery is also much more complicated as there are several stakeholders that need to be involved and understood. There are different agreements and contracts for each stakeholder which must be managed properly.
There is also the issue of what kind of art people want to see in your gallery. If you do not have enough artistic diversity, then your audience will leave. Having too many similar styles or types of artwork may make it hard for people to choose something they like.
If you would rather spend your money on other things instead of on running a gallery, perhaps working in another field is better. A lot of artists cannot afford to run their own business so this makes sense.
Costs of running an exhibition
Running an art exhibition is expensive! It can cost anywhere from free to very high amounts of money depending on what type of event you are hosting and how much exposure you want to give your work.
Running an exhibition requires space, resources and materials to display and promote your artwork. This includes setting up the venue, buying or renting displays, producing promotional material such as flyers, putting together online galleries and accounts for social media, paying for website domain names and hosting fees, etc.
Many artists start their careers by holding small exhibitions in private homes or rented spaces which do not require too many expenses. As they grow in popularity and have enough savings, they begin looking at larger venues and/or wanting more exposure.
Choosing a location for your gallery
Many artists choose to have their own exhibition space or use an existing venue that they are given access to. This is usually through connections or via them advertising their work for display.
Running your own art gallery can be quite expensive, even with all of the supporting materials and equipment needed.
Finding a room or area at a low cost may not give you the same experience as having your own studio or space.
You will also need to find someone who shares your passion for art to work with you. Artists who want exposure will help promote your work and vice versa.
There are many ways to get free artwork to hang and look interesting. You could make your own frame, use pictures you already have, or search online for inspiration.
Choosing a location for your exhibition
Running an art gallery means establishing a strong market for the artist’s work, as well as finding appropriate spaces to show it.
As artists ourselves, we know how hard it can be to find a space that is conducive to creating new works and displaying them beautifully.
It’s not easy! Luckily, there are some great resources available these days which can help you in this regard. Many large cities have dedicated art galleries or arts organizations that offer free services like studio time to aspiring artists.
These facilities may even have additional funding opportunities for professional use of their studios. By being familiar with the area and the community, you will know where all of the best potential venues exist.
And while it sounds cliché, word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful tools in our business, so talk to people around you and see what they tell you! You never know who knows someone who could use his/her expertise to progress their career.
Equipment for a gallery
Running a art gallery means ensuring that you have all of the necessary equipment to promote your business, run the show, and keep up with trends in the industry.
Most art galleries need at least six different types of standard tools to function properly. These include sash windows (or doors), glass display cases, acrylic or wooden framed paintings, plastic/paper goods such as brochures, magazines, and exhibition information, pedestal tables or stands, hanging wire or cords, and lastly, ladders or scaffolding to showcase the work.
More advanced artists look for additional items such as lighting, power supplies, and other promotional materials. The type and number of tools needed depends on the size of the space, the level of professionalism required, and the style of artwork being displayed.
General rules of thumb are to always be aware of how much room you have and what kind of looks you want to achieve with your pieces. This will determine which decorations you use to fill the empty spaces!”
Running an art gallery can cost anywhere from $1,000 to well over $20,000 depending on the length of time it takes to find the right vendors and get quality merchandise. It is important to know who your main vendors are so you do not waste money by going somewhere else for a product that they supply.