10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 9

Week 9: Exhibit your work

Exhibiting your artwork has endless benefits for your artistic career. You could say it is the most important things in building a solid practice! When you exhibit your artwork:

  • it is viewed by peers, clients, potential clients, fans of art, writers, curators, friends, etc
  • usually an exhibition involves working with other artists, and / or galleries, curators, or professionals in the artistic field and can give you excellent experience
  • you learn from your mistakes
  • you engage in dialogue about your work
  • it adds credibility to your CV. With exhibitions on your CV, you stand a better chance for receiving grants, scholarships, exhibition opportunities, residencies, and more.

Strangely enough, exhibiting their own artwork is one thing that a large number of artists do not do. There are many excuses why not to pursue exhibition opportunities for yourself, such as:

  • the work is not “good enough” to show
  • you don’t have time to put together a body of work
  • you’re not a “professional” artist
  • you don’t know how to go about exhibiting your work

Sound familiar? Most of these excuses are rooted in fears that your artwork will not be accepted by peers, clients, curators, the public, etc. It is difficult to be objective about our work, and so we worry that it isn’t good enough. The simplest and most effective advice I can give you is: just do it! You’ll be glad you did.

Week 9 Project: Seek exhibition opportunities and / or exhibit your artwork.

Since I wrote this post to challenge you to exhibit your artwork, I’ll offer some suggestions to get you started:

  • Check calls for artists here.
  • Check out my list of galleries (soon to be growing!) with links to submission procedures where applicable here.
  • Seek out venues (shops, restaurants) that exhibit artwork and inquire.
  • Skip the institutional approach and go guerrilla!

Enjoy!

If you need to catch up:
Week 8: Take a Class
Week 7: Seek out and Learn from Critical Feedback
Week 6: Get your Paperwork in Order
Week 5: Fine-tune an Artistic Target
Week 4: Take Advantage of your Resources
Week 3: Create a Structured Project
Week 2: View Art in Person
Week 1: Contact Artists you Admire 

Image source: SsJ Toma

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4 comments

  1. Thank you for your post and what an interesting synchronicity. I just applied to one of the galleries despite all DON’Ts in my head. Will see…

  2. HI PracticalArtWorld! Love your blog, and thank you for this series. I’m a Virtual Performance Artist and have done many virtual performance works, portfolio here:
    http://vaneeesa.com/portfolio/

    So performing at Virtual Art Galleries and Virtual Public Spaces is already pretty well in hand. Perhaps I should take this week’s challenge as an invitation to exhibit work at an Online Art Gallery (rather than performed in a “Virtual World”) or at a Physical Gallery or space.

    Thoughts?

    • Whoa… I just checked out your work. All I can say is “whoa” (in the best way possible!)

      I’m trying to imagine a translation from a virtual to an online or physical gallery space. They work so well exactly as they are.

      I suppose my only suggestion would be to do something greater than you previously thought was possible! I think that would be in the sprit of the project :)

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