Opening up your private sanctuary to the public can be a daunting task. This was my 3rd Open Studio event as part of Northants Open Studio. Every year I learn something new and every year I wished I had done something differently. Today I'll share my experience with you so that it might help you if you to decide to open to the public.
Step 1 Research
Find out about Open Studios in your area. You can usually find details about them in local galleries and museums. Visit some artists in a home studio, a group show , a hall and other locations. Decide what the benefits to each location would be. Keep notes about what you liked and what you didn't like about the location. If it's a group show ask if you can have more information about joining them next time. When visiting look at how they display the work and how they draw attention to the location, do they have signs displayed and bunting, do they have refreshments and is it welcoming?
Step 2 What and where you want to show?
Do you want the public to see your studio, warts and all ? Or would you prefer your work to be displayed along side other people's in a space that is already suitable for the public, such as a hall or gallery? If it's a public space you will need to decide what to take, how to display it and whether or not you will be there with the work all the time. Think about the pros and cons of each setting and make a list before you decide on a location. Think about the logistics and the costs involved. Will you be displaying all your work , which can be very exciting for the public but sometimes confusing, or will you display your most recent or best work? Again lists of pros and cons are good for clearing the mind!
Step 3 How to display your work
Once you have decided what to show you then need to think about pricing and display. Does your work need framing? What will the costs be? Do you want to hang your work in collections, if you do using the same frame will create a neat display. Do you want the public to see everything you do including all the messy parts of creating the work ( for me this is the most exciting aspect of Open Studios). Once you have decided what you would like the public to see, then you can find a location to display it. Contact the location to find out details,costs,availability ,hanging restrictions make notes and save them.
next time I'll be blogging about step 4
Step 4 Working alone or with others
Minnie Teckman, I'm a fine artist that loves oil painting, drawing, portraiture, animals and urban sketching.