ACW Exhibits and Events: How to organize
You have decided you want to organize an Exhibit- that’s wonderful! Now what?
There are a few roles that will need to be filled:
- Organizer / lead (scheduling, contract)
- Promotion (announcements, Newsletter, Facebook, Website, etc.)
- Intake (coordinate with space rep, handle scheduling, sending details to participants, hanging of the show)
- Pickup (coordinate with space rep, handle scheduling, sending details to participants, take down of the show / handling pieces that aren’t picked up)
- Reception / Events (scheduling, publicity, budget, food etc., )
The same person can do all these tasks, but it helps spread the work out and gives others experience in what goes in to putting on an exhibit if there is more than one person doing it.
- Define theme for the exhibit. Pick something that will encourage people to submit & to partner with you for the exhibit. Consider the venue when selecting your theme.
- Meet with the ACW Task Force to review your proposal and get approval. Bring a paragraph to the describe the proposed exhibit.
- WHO will be included in the exhibit- are you going to make a call for art for all ACW members, are you going to invite non-members that you know (ACW would really like them to become a member- if they need a scholarship just let us know).
- Connect with the space representative to get &/or confirm:
- Dates & times for __display __ reception / other events __ drop off __ pickup (determine expectations for the installation to respect the space rep’s time!)
- Constraints for use in the space and theme restrictions
- Available space and fixtures (e.g. 2d or 3d art? Can fixtures be moved?)
- Sales process (who handles it, when will pieces be picked up, what information will be given to artists, how is payment to be handled, commission)
- Map out the space to determine the # of people and # of pieces per person, given your expected size of pieces. Determine what limits there are for size.
- Create Artist Drop off/Pickup information sheet with:
- Directions to the space
- Contact(s) for the drop off and pickup
- What to bring with them
- What will be expected when they get there
- Sales terms- will the artists be responsible for their own sales or will the venue- what percentage will the venue take?
- Delivery information
- Tax expectations (Will sales tax be handled by the venue or will each artist pay their own sales tax)
- Decide how you are going to take in submissions- if it is a small show emails might be fine for a larger show you might consider using Google Forms.
What Will ACW DO:
- Promote this event in the monthly Newsletter (get copy to Barbara at email@example.com by the 23rd of the month to be printed the beginning of the month)
- Set up an event on Facebook and promote on all social media platforms (you should plan to be involved in this part too- like, comment and share to push the posts further)
- Connect you with experts that can help where needed. Help bring in speakers on your theme, set up virtual events that coincide with your theme.
- Guide you to have a successful exhibit in all areas.
- Access to a volunteer base.
Tips / FAQ
- Have the artists sign a contract so they are clear about the drop off and pick up dates and commission taken. Here is template that you can alter to fit your event:
- Plan your layout to enable promotional events if you are doing them
- Venue selection concerns: accessibility, times when display will be open, security, public bathrooms (especially during events)
- Scheduling the event to balance support from like events with competition for artists & audience members
- You will get more value in exposure and sales by putting together a promotion plan that brings people in and considers publicity from the start. Set expectations with artists for their assistance in promotion, through social media and distributing flyers or cards. Encourage the artists to personally invite at least 10 people to the opening.
- ACW has a media spreadsheet that you can use to send out a press release. The best press we have gotten in the past is small newspapers. Ask the artists what their local newspaper is and then highlight that artists in the press release you send that paper. Here is a link to the media spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZUL-mTQKO0U1L1OVzKFNyYMQZsN0CvoMXPNzsrxAZTg/edit?usp=sharing. Please update it every time you use it- the contact people will likely change and newspapers may shut down. Feel free to add media as you come across it.
- Plan for ways for artists to interact with attendees if possible. Have signage about the group, theme, charity or artists. Consider adding activities that add to the event- demonstrations, mini workshops or make and takes. Make it a community event.
- Create an inventory form with clear expectations and make it easily available
- Create art tags- ACW likes to encourage artist statements that go with the work.
- Get high quality pictures for publicity.
- Visit the space to confirm assumptions or information from the space rep about the hanging system and displays, wall surface for putting tags on, and other details like accessibility, parking, directions, and lighting.
- For your reception or events, consider what you will do for
- Food (must be store bought, not brought from home)
- Liquor (ACW does NOT have a liquor license- You need to have a bartender or other entity that has a liquor license to serve any alcohol.)
- Restrictions you need to comply with (e.g. from the venue)
- Have your plan ready when you present your proposal to the task force and be prepared to provide updates as needed.
- Plan to send a Thank You to the space provider and volunteers. It goes a long way to creating a positive experience that people want to repeat!
- Pull together a kit for the hanging / installation with
- Extra hardware (e.g. for hanging on the wall and wiring pieces to hang)
- Tools (hammer, pliers, wire cutters, etc.)
- Pens and cards to fill out for each piece (see above)
- Electrical / Duct tape (if you may be running cords across the floor)
- If you will need chairs/ tables / posters for the reception or events, how will you get them? Who will bring them and when?
- Figure out if you need to plan for additional lighting or other utilities.
- Helpful links:
- Checklist for publicity: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15ZfaJSUV2TiACqgXB2AeAmzL-Xz3NxhCsseCsrsvjbI/edit?usp=sharing
- Sample news release: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iZGh5iIBGePXB0EEDXow3-AYr1s2FntGseLUrYOTMbo/edit?usp=sharing
- Sample Call for Entry: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TJzv8qaSfGmDUUOZw_YAyQD5KVz3w0GDV8fwVUvdJcQ/edit?usp=sharing
- contact information for suggestions and help with your proposal: Layl@claysquared.com Lucy: Quiltlucy@gmail.com Barbara: firstname.lastname@example.org