"How do you find places to show your work?"

Posted on 05.11.2007


This question was recently posed to me by someone very dear to my heart. She was interested in having her own show, and the way that I have gone about finding space has been haphazard up until now.

So, in an attempt to organize these thoughts for her and to give away all of my secret art spots, we have this post.

This one’s for you, Diane!

001. Read flyer’s. Everywhere. The book store, your school, coffee shops, colleges nearby. Some people just don’t know how to advertise, so xeroxing happens often.

002. Read Craigslist. Sections to peruse: Artists (community section), Creative (Gigs), Art/media/design (jobs). Read it frequently.

003. Got a college/art school near you? Check out the links on their Career Development Office pages: Call for entries, shows, space, etc. Local colleges also LOVE to have local artists showing in their halls. Look into that.

004. Get registered with your city. Or the closest one. MD has the MD Artist’s Registry, and you can post some samples of your work to the site with an artist’s profile. This is a good idea because potential buyers like to go to these sites and just look for fun.

005. Read the paper. Free pubs like the CityPaper and so on sometimes have listings.

006. Join an artist’s networking website. I am on Flickr, but there are SO many to choose from. Take your pick and make sure there are a lot of users and that the site is user-friendly.

007. In regards to the above: hit up your local art clubs. The groups like to have group shows every once in a while. If you get involved that way, you get exposure, and from there, you get your own solo shows.

008. Keep your eyes open for new restaurants or book stores that are opening in your area. These places, if not corporate chains, usually LOVE to get some local art on the walls for their grand opening. It makes their establishment look more “Community-Oriented”. And new customers love that.

009. The Internet is your best friend. Baltimore City alone has a ton of arts and promotions organizations. Do a Google search for “(insert your city here), office of arts, promotions,” etc. You will be amazed at what you find.

010. Netwokring and Word of mouth. I can’t stress this one enough: Get out there and network with other artists. Go to openings, have a card or 50 with you, talk with people. You never know who you’ll end up in a conversation with.

011. Art websites. Bookmark them and check back often. AIGA, Society of Illustrators, Community Arts, etc. Get on their mailing lists. ESP if there is a local arts chapter around you.

012. Don’t EVER be afraid to just walk into a gallery with a CD of your work!!! There are plenty of galleries around you. Again, keep your eyes on Craigslist and Google search ‘Your town, gallery’. Watch and learn. Make some calls first, send in apps. It NEVER hurts to inquire. EVER.

I’ll update this as I find more options.

Posted in: art, my work