This past weekend, I attended the opening reception for “Local Color 3: Inspired by Science“ – a traveling art exhibition I’ve been managing for the past year or more. I was happy to have had the juror, select two of my pieces to be included in this show – “Under the microscope #1“ and “Under the Microscope #2“. So not only am I managing this multipart show, but I also am one of the exhibiting artists.
I’ve been working with the team at Windsor Art Center for several months to pull this off. Let me pull back the curtain a little bit to let you in on some of the little-known behind-the-scenes activities which are responsible for putting together a good art exhibition.
Behind the Scenes, Activities Involved in Creating Art Exhibitions
- Financial Considerations: Art centers and other art organizations depend on donations and financial support from many organizations and individuals. So in addition to the routine work of – calls for entries, jurying, and so forth, financial considerations and attempts to secure financial support is an active part of putting together an exhibit. Financial considerations can constrain an exhibition and often do. So, support your local art center.
- Contracts & Sales Documents: Art organizations have to decide whether they’ll pay to insure the artworks in the exhibition in case disaster strikes. Whatever their decision, contracts need to be created which spell out the organization’s responsibility and that of the artists. It’s important to understand your responsibilities when you sign these contracts.
- Volunteers Make Exhibits Happen: For well-established museums and art organizations, they may have a limited staff working on exhibitions. But for many art organizations, a lot of the heavy lifting needed to get exhibitions running is done by volunteers. Yes, volunteers!!! And often that turns out to be a lot of sacrifice on their part. So, I encourage you to volunteer at your local art organizations and/or appreciate those who do.
As a result of all these reasons, I can’t tell you how grateful I am to the curatorial team I worked with to pull off this exhibition. I know how much of their own time and energies they had to invest into making this happen. So big thanks Windsor Art Center Curatorial team. It was great working with you!!!
So, you can imagine my joy at the opening reception to see the whole thing come together in a beautiful way.
The reception was awesome. A reporter asked me, “How did you do this? How did you fill up this place with people on a Labor Day weekend?” There were so many people, coming in and going out, it was impossible for me to photograph the artworks on the walls. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I really want to get great photos of the artworks in an exhibition, I need to go visit some other time than the opening.
The opening reception for me, tends to be about making connections with creative friends, having camaraderie, making new connections with art enthusiasts and professionals and celebrating art.
So for the time I was there, I focused on enjoying the people and getting a quick overview of the artworks.
“when you attend events with creative people. The creative energy is so palpable”
I tell you, something awesome happens when you attend events with creative people. The creative energy is so palpable. Whenever I attend an art organization meeting or opening reception, I always leave with a pressing desire to get into my studio and create something new.
This never fails to happen, the creativity boost you get with creative friends and seeing art. If you’re in a creative slump right now. This might just be what you need – inspiration and camaraderie from creative friends.
Question: Do you attend the artists’ opening reception? What are the reasons you attend opening reception s? Share your comments below. Can’t wait to hear from you.
Also published on Medium.