You’ve just opened an exhibit at a gallery and the work will be on view for another 4-6 weeks. It took a lot of work to prepare the art for exhibit. You spent a ton of time and energy in making the art. You spent even more time and money in matting, framing, transporting, and installing the work. You approved the press release, the press kit and the post cards for the exhibit. You put on your best smile, your lucky underwear and smile and shook hands all through your opening reception. Now what?
A vacation on a Caribbean island where the water is a shade of clarity that breaks your heart, the Rum is delicious and cheap … ?
Oh how I wish!
After the opening, I email everyone that I meet and thank them for coming to the opening. Then I send individual emails to everyone who I would like to see the show but were unable to make it. People who I have had some previous connections with, press, other galleries, collectors, fans of my work and or simply because I like them and they are great people. Of course I had sent out a mailing before the opening announcing the event but just because they didn’t show, it does not mean that they are not interested. Sometimes the invite ends up in the spam folder by accident. Sometimes there was a scheduling conflict. While other times they had made a mental note of the opening but forgot because the kettle whistled and they needed more coffee.
It doesn’t matter why someone didn’t come to your opening. What matters is that you let people know your work is available on view and get people to come and see the art in person.
This goes for press attention as well. So what The New York Times and the Village Voice did not review your opening. It is up, in the gallery, on exhibit for another 4-6 weeks. Re-write your press release slightly, instead the release being about the opening reception, make it about the work and why the work is interesting. Re-send the press release out to your press contacts and allow for another chance for magic to happen.
Of course as artists we like to believe that it is enough to make the work, find the gallery to represent it and exhibit it, prepare it for show, make an appearance at the opening receptions and then stride back into our studios to make the next batch of great art. We all would like to hide away until the next time we have a brand new body of work and it is time for another opening reception. All the while, our galleries are busy promoting, selling and marketing our work and money is flowing as readily as the delicious Rum. But until your art career has reached the status of an art star and our dreams are a reality, I am afraid your work is not done.
Your art is hanging up in a beautiful gallery space for the next X many days. Don’t waste a minute of it and make the most out of this opportunity to show off your work to the world!
Once your work come down and you’ve completed all of the necessary follow up then we can meet on the Caribbean island and have a drink!