Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lessons from an opening...

Lessons Learned last night:

1. Make a huge sandwich board and position your most charming and outgoing friend at the door to invite timid folks in. Most people thought it was a private affair and didn't enter until invited.

2. Hound the media to post your press releases.

3. I said this before, plan twice as much time to complete tasks AND complete anything you can ahead of the event. (in my case also plan half as much food)

4. Baked brie is a favorite and while I brought WAY too much food the brie was wiped out even though I brought 2 wheels of it.

5. Ask for help. I did, and I have amazing friends.

6. Thank your gallery, treat them to goodies if you can, and thank your guests and gallery staff (in my case they all stayed 2-3 hours past their normal shifts to allow for my show).

7. Even when another event in the same area calls and give you unkind verbiage during your show, maintain your grace and good humor. (I just chalked it up to having good work if the other artist felt threatened enough to stop her show to call me and complain that my show was infringing on her attendence).

8. If you like the venue and the show has gone well, don't be shy about asking to come back next season/year etc.

Tomorrow I will post what I learned from the amazing criticism I received. (feedback IS a gift).


What distinguishes modern art from the art of other ages is criticism. Octavio Paz


  1. Great post, I always enjoy hearing about other artist's adventures!

  2. Thanks! I will have a bit more tomorrow. What was your best gallery adventure or lesson?

  3. Great tips Patrice! Sounds like you had a great show! Congrats! Kudos to you for being graceful! Look forward to your next post :)

  4. I have to confess that when the other artist called my phone during both our shows and was very bitter, I had to take 3 very deep breaths (and force a smile). I worked WAY too hard and I chose to NOT let her ruffle me.

    It was a great first show, and a wonderful place to have it. I stacked the gallery with great friends and then I still had a very respectable showing of "strangers" off the street from the 1st Friday festivities.

    Can't wait for the next one...

  5. Well done for what sounds like a great success but mostly well done for maintaining your dignity, you obviously were doing a whole lot better than your competition, I'll bet that phone call was bitterly regretted later as it told a tale of a less exciting event. Great tips by the way, so thanks for sharing.

  6. Actually, that was the odd thing, she had folks lined up down the street and took time out from entertaining her throngs (and she did sculpture and performance art)... it was a very strange exchange and a great chance to practice kindness, compassion and deep breathing...

    On the upside, I found out from one of my friends yesterday that a different gallery up the street asked for my information and put it on one of their tables and my folks did the same for them. So there are great supportive professional artist out there too.

    All in all a really fabulous beginning.

  7. Your work is LOVELY. Ohh those kitty cats.. who can resist them, especially on canvas.. smile.

    You Twitter friend, Kathy