All artists are responsible for allowing the world to see their work. Art is an essential part of people’s lives, the world we live in and the society we create. But it can sometimes be difficult to find the opportunities to exhibit your work. It’s partly a numbers game, and partly about remaining creative in your pursuits - explore every avenue and you will find ways to exhibit your art!
We’ve compiled a list of 30 ways that you might not have thought of, to help get your art seen.
1 - Stores and restaurants: Approach some stores and restaurants to ask if they would be interested in exhibiting some of your artwork.
2 - Community centres: Is there a community centre in your town? Perhaps they would like to have an art exhibition showcasing local talent?
3 - Bars: Sometimes bars might like art in the foyers or on the walls.
4 - Live painting at music shows: It’s becoming more and more popular for artists to paint live at music shows. It’s a great way to engage with crowds and show off your talent.
5 - Charity auction: You can donate a couple of pieces for a charity auction with a reserve which suits your pricing strategy. Make sure you also drop your artist business card on the table.
6 - New condos and show homes: Try approaching the sales offices of new condos in your area, or approaching the show homes. They often like to have the show homes as welcoming as possible, which includes art on the walls.
7 - Cafe exhibition: Many coffee shops struggle to get customers through the door late in the afternoon. An early evening art show could change all that.
8 - Open studios: Are there any open studio events in your town? These are great opportunities for the public to meet the artists. If not, then organize one!
9 - Hotels and B&Bs: Sometimes, small hotels or Bed and Breakfast places are looking for art to go on the walls. Try searching for them online and reaching out one by one to offer to rent them pieces.
10 - Home stagers: Selling homes is big business, and many people trying to sell their homes use the services of home stagers to bring out the best in their homes for viewings. Offer to rent your paintings to these businesses.
11 - Independent art exhibitions: There are many small art exhibitions all over the world. Most artists who are serious about their work set aside a small annual budget for submissions to art exhibitions.
12 - Photography studios: Many photographers use props and furniture in their studios to create homely atmosphere. Try approaching some studios in your area to ask if they would like to rent or buy some of your artwork.
13 - Office buildings: There is nothing like a beautiful piece of art to brighten up an office building, and a lot of office owners know that it helps motivation and increases productivity. Contact the office managers to offer to rent or sell your paintings to them.
14 - Shopping malls: Has your shopping mall ever hosted an art exhibition? It’s a great place to reach hundreds (or even thousands) of people, all of whom have their wallets in their hands. Join forces with other local artists to split the costs.
15 - Craft fairs: Many craft fairs, particularly seasonal ones around the holiday time, accept applications from artists. Make sure you get on board with these by applying early.
16 - Cruise ships: Cruise ships are growing in popularity as a holiday for families and couples. One thing that all holidaymakers seek is a relaxing time. So offer to rent or sell your art to cruise operators to fill their ships with beautiful artwork.
17 - Non-Art Museums: While exhibiting your work in an art museum would be the perfect solution, there are often ways to get your art into other museums more easily. For example, if you have a series of butterfly paintings, and the local botanical gardens has a butterfly exhibition, offer to place some work in their gift shop or cafe for people to buy.
18 - Spoken word events: Art and poetry go hand in hand. So why not contact the organizers of spoken word events to suggest exhibiting your work at their shows.
19 - Hospitals: Sick people can benefit from the colours and energy of your artwork if you exhibit your work in hospitals. You can even generate some PR opportunities by making donations of your artwork to hospitals.
20 - Tourist office: In the tourist office of your local town, visitors from other towns and countries will come and be fascinated by the work of local artists. Offer to rent them your artwork, and be sure to leave dozens of artist business cards!
21 - Apartment wall rentals: There are companies popping up which offer to rent artwork to people with bare walls. They may take a commission on any sales.
22 - Street sale: During the summer months, take to the streets and exhibit your work for the world passing by.
23 - Home lending: Make your own classified ads and offer to lend artwork to responsible homes who are looking to decorate their walls. In exchange they will show the art to all of their friends and family.
24 - Waiting rooms: There are few things in life more dull than a waiting room, and once you’ve read all the magazines from the 1990’s it’s relieving to have some beautiful art on the walls to admire.
25 - Online galleries: Several websites offer artists the opportunity to exhibit digital images of their work. These places will often provide a means to sell your art to international buyers.
26 - Artist festivals: Use a search engine to find all of the artist festivals within a 100 mild radius of your home. With a small annual budget you could be travelling far and wide to exhibit your art.
27 - Art competitions: There are websites which collate all of the art competitions which happen all year long. Make sure you sign up for their mailing lists and submit to as many as you can!
28 - Air BnB: The sharing economy is here to stay, and many people are now making extra cash by renting out spare rooms in their property. Offer to beautify the experience by renting your artwork to decorate their walls.
29 - Fitness centres: For fitness centres, art is often the last thing they think of, since all of the equipment can be so expensive. But having paintings and photography on the wall can make the place more inviting and ultimately improve their sales.
30 - Library exhibition: Speak to the librarian in your local library about hosting an exhibition there, which could even be a fundraiser for the library.
Do you have any other ways to exhibit that have worked for you?