Last year, my co-leaders and I at Visual Sanctuary decided that we wanted to put together a group show for the benefit of artists in our community and to create visibility for our group. God has been very gracious about taking us through this process. Abundant Life: A Community Art Show will be at Gallery 831 -831 S Front St. Columbus, OH February 6-28 and will have an opening reception on February 6, 6-9 pm. Click here for details: Abundant Life.
Putting together a group show is different than putting together your solo show.
I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had to be a part of many great group art shows.
I have learned a lot about my own art and what other artists do that has helped me along in my progress to this point from group art shows.
It is important for an artist, specifically a watercolor painter to distinguish themselves amongst a group of artists, even if there is a theme.
There are three things I believe every artist should consider when they want to stand out in a group art show, so far as their art goes: color/value, voice, and size.
When you are in a group show your art will likely blend in with all of the other work, yet you should aspire to stand out. Every artist chooses a different palette based on their preferences and their subject. When you choose which paintings to submit you should think of how that piece stands out on its own. If you are working in black and white or monochromatic, an image without highlights or value contrast will get lost. Likely, you will send a jpeg image to the show director, make sure that your colors are balanced and accurate and that it is in the required format and size.
Your voice is the combination of your subject, media, and style. In the early stages of your art career you will struggle with what you are trying to say and what people read in your work. If you started out by copying another persons voice you will struggle to distinguish yourself. The truth is that every artist’s work is the sum of their art influences and their belief system. When your art is on the wall next to another person’s work in the same media, determine if you stand out in either subject or style. Once you determined this you can make a conscious effort to move into your unique voice.
This is the hardest one to nail. Size is a determining factor for price. Size will also determine your visibility. I have painted in 9″*6″ format for many years because it was easy to transport from outside. In group shows I have been in; however, my smaller paintings got lost. It might make sense to have different sized images in a solo art show or a festival to have different price points, but for group shows you want to have work that stands out against the others. I am not advocating that you create wall sized pieces all of the time, but the art should be big enough to draw attention across a room roughly the size of a ranch style house’s living room.
Standing out in any crowd is difficult. The only other factors I would say to consider when you want to stand out is to be courteous and be ready to talk about your work and the potential buyer’s interest.