A Guide To Art Exhibitions
A Guide To Art Exhibitions
An art exhibition is the place where art objects meet an audience in some form. The term show is seldom used in American English, but in British English it is said to be “the exhibition” or “the exhibition grounds”. In American English, they might be described as “an event lasting more than one day”. Art exhibitions may take many different forms and take many different approaches, but the main aim of all art exhibitions is the same: to promote the art and to demonstrate the work to an interested public.
There are art exhibitions for art museums, academic and other public art galleries, artist’s organisations, dealers, retailers, designers and even commercial organisations. Sometimes these are sponsored by artists, other times by the relevant industry or institution. At an art exhibition the participating artists (or their representatives) offer their works for sale in order to raise money for particular projects, events, exhibitions or practices. They also exchange the art for money, hire venues for the duration of the fair or event, or sell paintings, sculptures, photographic expressions of art or other objects. The art is available to the general public either on the fairgrounds, in waiting rooms inside the event venue or on a centralised market place.
A number of art galleries organize such exhibitions and sell various types of art objects, whilst others may simply arrange the display and sale of art objects. These are normally arranged by the artist or art gallery as part of a marketing initiative, but may sometimes be organised by a commercial organisation. In a large contemporary art exhibition, the main focus is often on new artworks, but occasionally older pieces of art are displayed too. Many of the smaller art galleries also exhibit smaller amounts of art, which is often made available to the public. Most of these art exhibitions are usually arranged by the sponsoring artist or gallery, with the support of other artists or specialist organisations, to spread the awareness of particular works of art. There are also some national or international art exhibitions, which are sponsored or coordinated by the government.
An art exhibition may be decided upon and organised by a single artist or a group of artists, or by an organisation. It can be a one-off exhibition or ongoing, and it can take many forms, ranging from a small solo exhibition featuring one or two artists to a major international exhibition featuring hundreds of artists. In a single day, the amount of art that is sold can sometimes go far beyond the financial investment of the organising artist, as more people come into contact with the exhibition and buy art either through word of mouth or from websites and catalogueues listing the work of the participating artists. Art exhibitions can also be organised as part of a media campaign, such as a film or documentary, which is designed to inform and stimulate the public about art and its various disciplines.
Art exhibitions can be planned as part of a public exhibition, where all the work of the participating artists will be on display for everyone to see, or they can be planned as a private exhibition, usually at a gallery or museum where only selected people are allowed to attend. Private art exhibitions are usually shorter than public ones, and can include works which have not reached the stage of public exhibition and which have specific or personal meaning for the artist. One of the most important things to know before organising a private art exhibition is the background and profile of the artist, especially if he or she has never showed or presented anything in a public context. You should ask how long the artist has been making art, and if there are any unfinished projects. If possible, visit some of his or her previous or current works.
Most art exhibitions are organized by organisations or museums in order to raise funds, support specific projects or activities, or promote an artist’s or a studio’s specific style. For example, an artist who has recently won an award or exhibition may wish to present work that has been specifically raised for his or her benefit. More often than not, participating in art exhibitions is a very pleasurable experience for both the artist and the art collector. It is a chance to share a work of art with others and to create something new for the future.