Art Shows - Should We Participate

There seems to be a common thread flowing through my blog posts as of late. There is no particular reason for this, at least not consciously. Perhaps it is because I have my work in a show that is happening now with more to come, I don’t know.

Art shows and why we should or shouldn’t participate in them. I am fairly new to the whole world of art shows. I have actually participated in a grand total of 4 now since deciding to embark on this journey to becoming a professional photographer. Each show has had its pros and cons but all in all I would say they have all been very positive experiences for me.

These shows cost the artist money to participate in, which is probably the biggest factor you have to weigh when considering taking part in these exhibitions. Does the exposure you would receive from the show outweigh the cost? Is it worth it? Can you afford it? Will you reach a wide enough audience with the individual show? Do you have the time to invest? These are some of the questions you have to ask and factor in when making your decision.

As mentioned above, my work is currently on display in a show for the month of October. This one is a different kind of show than I have taken part in up to now. There was an opening night for the show where media and the general public are invited to attend. The work remains on display for the entire month. The previous shows I have exhibited at have just been weekend long shows. At these ones, the artist remains in their booth for the duration of the show hours over the course of the weekend. They have their work on display in their own personal space (booth) and try to sell the work to the people attending the show as well as make new contacts and network.

My preference is the weekend long show and the reason for this is because there is a lot of interaction with people, you get to talk to and meet all kinds of people from different walks of life. You get a feel for what they think of your work you get real-time feedback from attendees. With each show you do you figure out what works for you and your booth, how to bring traffic in, different ways of displaying and most of all, you build on your communication and sales skills. It’s a process.

The bottom line is that you have to decide which type of show best suits your wants and needs. I thoroughly enjoy everything about doing shows and would highly recommend to photographers and artists alike, that they participate in at least one show during the tenure of their artistic career.