Welcome back to our ongoing series on planning and executing your solo show. In the last installment of the series, we talked about using your circle of influence to promote your solo show. In this post, we’ll be talking about how to create and use an art show press release to generate a buzz for your show.
Although our circle of influence is a great starting point for promoting our solo shows, there’s a wider audience available to us beyond that starting point and we need a strategy to reach this audience. This is where an art show press release comes in.
With a well-crafted art show press release, you can reach people far beyond your circle of influence. Some of the audiences beyond your immediate circle of friends you want to reach include:
- Professional Organizations to Which You Belong (Their Blogs & Newsletters)
- Local Galleries Which Show Your Type of Artwork (Do your research)
- Galleries Where you’ve Exhibited in the Past (invite gallery directors)
- Local/Regional Newspapers (send press releases)
- Art and/or Interior Decorating Magazines
- Specific Niche Publications (Example: if your artwork is about wildlife send your announcement to wildlife magazines)
- Professionals Who Juried Your Work in The Past (send invites with personal notes)
- Bulletin Boards / Newsletters of Local Art Centers (use posters)
For most professional settings in which you want to promote your art show, you’ll want to use an art show press release for that purpose. So, let me say a few things about press releases here.
How to Use An Art Show Press Release to Promote Your Show
Press releases are official statements you send to newspapers about your events. It can be daunting if you haven’t written one before. But once you get the basic structure of a press release you’ll be able to write one. See below for a copy of the art show press release I crafted for my solo show. Let me say this,
the important thing about writing a press release is that you need to have a catchy headline.
Editors get a lot of requests for press releases but they have very limited space to publish all the requests they receive. So,
for your press release to stand a chance of being published it needs to stand out of the crowd.
Textile art is still relatively new on the art scene so you need to pique readers interest with a headline that will not only make them read further but also want to come see your solo show. Also, you have to be as succinct as possible because publishers have limited space to work with.
Sample Art Show Press Release
My art show at Atticus was my first opportunity to write a press release. However, because I employed a very catchy headline, I was able to promote my solo show in a major newspaper in my region at my first try.
Note that your original press release might be edited by the editors before it get’s published. You’re only giving them enough info to be able to write their article. Here’s a look at the original press release I submitted; and above is what was published.
When I was planning my solo show, I really wanted to see sample press releases specifically for textile art shows to help me write mine, but I could hardly find any. So I hope this one helps you.
The second thing I want to say about sending out press releases is that you need to send them out early – usually, a couple of weeks before the event – and you need to follow up. If possible, get the email addresses of the art editor of the publication you want your announcement in.
It’s easy to do an online search for that info. Create a media contact spreadsheet and save all of this info in there. So you have easy access to information about who to send your press releases to, when to send them, and how to contact them to follow up.
Then, you want to send the editors personal emails every now and then (no spam), to check on your press release and see when they’re planning to publish it. Keeping in touch is key to ensuring your press release gets published.
Get Help to Promote Your Art
Finally, if you’re finding all of this overwhelming, calm down!!! 🙂 You don’t absolutely need to do everything I’ve talked about here, nor do you need to do it all by yourself. But doing these things will certainly help you run a successful solo show.
Also, there’s a lot of help available. So you don’t need to go it alone. Remember what I said in part 1 of this series:
” Forget about the word “solo” in solo-show. It requires a team effort”.
Yes, it’s an entire production for which you’ll need to plan very well. But it’s not a solo event. You need a team effort. So, certainly get help when you need it.
There are organizations which will both design and print the materials for you to promote your art show. You can also check out independent and inexpensive designers on Fiverr to help you out. If you want to design the promotional materials yourself, check out Canva.com. It’s a very easy-to-use design application.
There are also press release templates available, to help simplify the process. All you do is to fill in your info and the wizard will generate your art show press release for you. If you don’t sign up for this particular service, then you’ll need to click on the preview button to copy and paste your generated art show press release into a word document for later use.
Also, there are services (both free and paid) which can distribute your art show press release to selected geographic areas of your choice. So you don’t have to take care of distribution by yourself.
As you can see, lots of resources and help abound.
Whichever route you choose to take,
the most important thing is not to ignore to promote your art show.
In conclusion, you chose to have a solo show because you want your work to be seen. And people will not see your work unless you promote your art show. So, get out there and promote your art show like you mean it.
Craft a compelling art show press release and use it to reach a wider audience.
There’s an audience out there wanting to be introduced to your work. Go get them!!!
I’m rooting for you. I know you can do this!!!!
Question: What are some other audiences not listed here that you’d like to see your work? See you in the comments.
You may also be interested in the other titles in this series:
1: Planning for Your Solo Show
2: Curating Your Solo Show
3: Laying out Your Artwork
4: How to Promote Yor Solo Show
5: How to Write a Press Release
6: Installing/ Hanging Your Art Show
7. Opening Reception