I’m looking forward to the birth of my new studio – the upper floor of my husband’s shop/garage project – and though the very soonest I will gain the use of the space would be late fall, it got me thinking about exhibiting out of my studio.

I think it would be a cool idea to have a pre-studio exhibit – maybe when the walls are still bare studs and the floor unfinished. What a way to focus attention on the art – with no decor distractions!

The challenge with home studio exhibitions is getting people to come. Friends and family may not disappoint, but how to expand attendance beyond those nearest and dearest is tough. What I will try to do to bring people in the door:

  1. email notices to my mailing list – a week or two beforehand, and the day before.
  2. word of mouth – plan it well in advance so that I can talk about it to EVERYONE – the guy at the glass shop, the post office staff, even the clerk at the grocery store as I buy refreshments for the event. In my preparations, I will make sure that people know what I am preparing FOR.
  3. sales pitch – I will write down and practice my “mentioning” skills. How do I talk about my show so that people want to attend? Phrasing is key.
  4. hook – What am I offering, besides my art? Giveaways? Donation of proceeds to charity? Entertainment – maybe I should partner with a musician, or another artist (combining our client base!)

In 2005 I held a home studio exhibition as my husband and I prepared for a three month missions trip to Papua New Guinea. Sales were driven because my clients knew that all profits were going to fund our trip, and they wanted to support us in our adventure. Financially it was my most successful exhibition to date, and I gained some new clients and turned friends into buyers.

Our community art society has held studio tours during arts symposiums and workshops, and you can bet I’ll be getting on that list once my studio is completed (maybe with decor though!) Ask your local arts society if they have similar opportunities – or organize your arts community to hold an annual studio tour – like a garden tour for artists!