What do you look for in an art show?

watercolor of poppies and verbena

small watercolor of mexican poppies and wild verbena, two flowers that go so well together!

I will be putting 8-10 paintings into a members show at the El Paso Art Association at the end of August. It will be my first time putting together that many pieces into a show, and I had some questions for the artists that read this blog as well as art lovers of all kinds.

  • Do you appreciate when the artworks are on a theme or when they show a range of topics?
  • Do you like to see a range of sizes?
  • Do you like the works to all be in a certain medium (i.e. painting) or is it more enjoyable to see a mix?

I tend now to paint on themes, closeups of nature/flowers/seedpods, but I have some landscapes, and some dog paintings, and I’m not sure how to decide what to include. I also have my bead embroidery sculptures that I could include…

So I’d appreciate your thoughts or suggestions. Thanks for stopping by!

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12 thoughts on “What do you look for in an art show?

  1. I belong to a small group that puts together small shows. When we do this we usually pick a presentation, (same size, framed or not, gallery wrapped with the same depth for all, etc.) and have had no theme lately. Since it seems that you will have a variety of people and media, I would say “go for it.” I have eclectic tastes so always enjoy variety. Whatever you decide, I’m sure it will be great. I’m new to your blog and am enjoying it as I am just starting to learn something about watercolor painting

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    • Wow thanks for your quick response. My first thought was to focus the work but various subjects could appeal to different people. Definitely something to think about. Glad you are enjoying my blog and keep up doing watercolor!

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  2. I definitely would appreciate seeing a mix of your work, any size, 2D or 3D, any subject. Since you will be featured among others, you won’t have any idea ahead of time how to fit to a “theme” – right? Just give ’em your best.

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    • Thanks Diane. You’re right there won’t be a theme. I think i want to include my beaded stuff bc people remember that but might not connect my watercolor work with those. Have to borrow two more pedestals or set Don to making more. He made the only one i have and we recycle it.

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  3. I would say to present your best work regardless of theme or subject matter. However, it’s nice to see theme or types or kinds of work that an artist specializes in. If the art is too varied from a particular artist and shifts in style and so forth, it may look like a separate exhibit at that artist’s showcase, if you know what I mean. It’s good to have some unity and cohesion within your pieces, a thread of some sort that makes your work stand out as opposed to here’s another painting of this, another painting of that, and so on.

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    • What you are saying makes such sense, thank you. I didn’t want it to seem scattered, but just the fact that I tend toward similar themes will give it cohesion but the variety will show other aspects of what I can paint. Thanks again!

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  4. Maybe, instead if theme/subject, select a color palette that reps your strongest work across all mediums and subjects? That way, from a distance, the viewer can tell all the works belong together and the whole experience is unified, then when they get closer and see that it’s all by the same artist they’ll be like, oh cool! I don’t know, just brainstorming here lol, maybe it’s not a practical suggestion. Either way, hope the show goes super well!

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  5. Feature your best work. I have two very close friends who are also artists and we sometimes assist each other with this task. Sometimes what we think is “yucky” is another’s gem! Have fun!

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