Prepare Your Art For A Show

This step-by-step guide will walk you through 6 steps to prepare your art for a show, with a list of materials you may need along the way.

Step 1: Review The Show Guidelines

Carefully read the show’s guidelines for size restrictions, hanging methods, framing specifications, and presentation requirements. Knowing the requirements will save you time and frustration later on when you show up to set up your work. Pay attention to entry fees and deadlines.

womans hand with paint brush in water

Step 2: Select The Artwork For The Show 

Choose a single piece or cohesive selection of work that represents your unique creative style. Consider the dynamic of your audience and choose work that will be compelling and offer a lasting impression. Consider your art choices based on the details of the display space and the show’s theme.

male artist painting har on the floor

Think about what your intention for the show is and choose something based on what you hope to accomplish. As creators, we need to be passionate about our work and showcase what we want to continue creating over time. If your art is not just a hobby you need to consider who your audience is and whether is it sellable to that chosen audience.

Turning something you love into a business is very different than just creating work. Showing work in a public show is your chance to make a lasting impression so make your choices wisely!

Step 3: Prepare Your Artwork For The Show

Consider creative ways to present your work that make it look professional and appealing. Base your preparation on what works best for your medium. Photos and artwork are hung with weight-appropriate wire to hang from a single point. When you prepare your art for a show, all of your work should be hardware-ready for installation and comply with art show restrictions. 

a dress at a gallery on a stand

Possible Art Prep Materials: (Depending on Medium)

  • Soft cleaning cloths, frames, matting, plexiglass, hanging wire, d-rings, corner braces, hooks, screws, nails, anchors, wire, tape measure, hanging rods, clips, mounting hardware, labels, fabric weights 
  • Paintings, photos, and drawings may require protective varnish or clear coats
  • Framed pieces should have secure backing and hanging hardware
woman from behind looking at art

Step 4: Create Art Label And Title Block Information

Create your printed art label and title block in advance of the art show. Secure the art label before dropping the art off for installation. 

art title block example
  • Print an art label with the artist’s name, artwork title, and contact info 
  • Securely attach the art label to the back or bottom of your work
  • Print a title block on cardstock with an easy-to-read (10-12pt) font
  • Use bullet points or short lines of information with proper spacing
  • Keep the size of the block label cohesive with the size of your work
  • The title block should include the artist’s name, artwork title, the medium, size, and the price
  • Consider including a QR code linking to your website
  • Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!!!
  • Consider preparing a short artist statement or bio to display for inquiries.
  • Bring branded materials and business cards with contact information for interested collectors.
  • Consider having an email signup sheet for your future marketing
artist bio example, Sheri Oneal

Pricing artwork is often a difficult process. If you aren’t sure what to charge for your work, talk with other artists. Consider the value of your work based on your local market, expertise, and time invested. It is up to you to determine your work’s value and establish a final price.

Step 5: Hanging And Presenting The Art

Being prepared for the unknown is helpful if something goes wrong on the art installation day. Consider bringing along the following items to make sure all goes as planned. Here is a list of materials to consider when you prepare your art for a show depending on your medium. Some items might be available at the event location, but you must reach out in advance of the show. 

List of things to bring

man with gloves hanging art on wall
  • Hooks, screws, anchors, or other hanging methods designed for the weight of your art
  • Pliers, a hammer, super glue
  • A level, pencil, measuring tape, and painter’s tape for marking art placement
  • Pedestals, stands, drop cloths, textiles, or presentation table(s)
  • Lighting, batteries, extension chords
  • A step stool or ladder
  • Your art title blocks and bio information
a dress at a gallery on a stand

The presentation of your work is important with how it is organized and displayed in the show. Prep any tables, pedestals, and displays while considering the overall balance and symmetry of your art. Group and space your work accordingly.

lady looking at art hung at a gallery show

When hanging art, use a ruler to measure where to place the proper hardware on the wall and level your work. Step back and assess the overall balance and symmetry of your art display making changes as needed.

Step 6: Art Event Day Final Touches

Double-check everything to ensure your artwork is secure, labels are attached, and the presentation is neat.

  • Dress appropriately and be approachable to answer questions about your artwork
  • Network with other artists and show organizers
  • Have fun and share your passion with the art community
people networking at an art opening

Conclusion For These 6 Steps To Prepare Your Art For A Show

These essential steps will help you to prepare your art for a show allowing everything to go smoothly from start to finish despite any issues that may pop up. They will guide you to success and keep you from stressing out so you can have the best exhibit experience possible! By following these steps to prepare for your upcoming art or gallery exhibit, you’ll be ready to showcase your talent and make a lasting impression.

photos in an art show

Thank you for reading. Here are a few affiliate links on Amazon for the items that I mentioned in this article.

Book Light Clip-On LED

Picture Hanging Kit Option 1

Picture Hanging Kit Option 2

Basic Tool Kit

I hope you found this information helpful, and if so feel free to share it. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss free tips for artists and creatives. Join my tribe here to be sure you are the first to learn about special offers, news, behind-the-scenes, and artist interviews.

The Creative Push Vlog on YouTube

You can watch my How To Prepare And Display Your Art In A Show in this video.

The Creative Push Podcast

You can listen to my 6 steps on how to prepare your art for a show, here or on The Creative Push Podcast!

I hope that you will sign up to be a part of this creative TRIBE

To read artists’ interview stories visit The Creative Push blog!

To listen to interviews check out The Creative Push podcast!

To see my photography visit Sheri Oneal Photography!

There is more on the way!!

Similar Posts