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This is one of a continuing series of articles on discovering, buying, commissioning, and displaying
art.  If you would like to see more articles click on this link: WSG Articles


A Stellar Idea at Art Shows

In March 2007, Jody and I were two of 12 resident artists at a grand opening of an art gallery.  Being one of 12 artists that actually had their art hanging in the gallery was quite a thrill.  Rolling up in a limo (the gallery owner’s idea) was truly fun.  Got to know what a rock star feels like rolling up to an event.  The gallery doors opened after we disembarked from the limo, letting the line of people that coursed down the block in for their first peek. 

I was worried that the crush of clients, in the gallery, would prevent the clients from knowing who the artists were.  Not to fear, all the artists were wearing either boutonniere or a corsage.  Low key but very classy.  Made the artists easy to identify so the guests did not have to feel foolish knowing if they were really talking to an artist.    

Sometimes small items make all the difference in making a client feel comfortable.   

About RSVP’s for a Show 

In a recent show, an RSVP was requested for guests who planned to attend.  Not many guests bothered to RSVP but lots of clients showed up.  This caused some problems beforehand and during the show.   

Beforehand, since so few people had RSVPed, there were some potentially sour moments between the galleryowner and the artist involved.   

Both the gallery owner and the artist harbored thoughts that the other had not done as good a job of mailing invitations or pumping the publicity for the show.  This is a problem since the gallery/artist relationship is based on trust to a large degree.    

RSVP’s can also be used as an arms race.  From the gallery owner’s viewpoint – the last artist show had lots of RSVP’s and the current show has very few.  Means the current artist either:  has no clients coming, is relying solely on the gallery’s drawing power, or the artist ranks so low in the clients mind that if there is nothing better to do they will go to his/her show.  All not real comforting from the gallery owner’s view. 

The artist has similar concerns. The gallery has no clients coming, they are relying solely on the artist’s mailing list, or the gallery is a very low priority for the client.  Problem is that neither the gallery owner nor the artist can or should address this issue because of it’s volatility.   Not a great way to engender warm fuzzy relations between a gallery owner and an artist. 

During the show was the other problem.  The RSVP’s give the gallery owner a feel for the logistics involved.  Such as should the band be outside because a crush of people is expected?  How much wine and cheese to order?   Should there be police involved to direct traffic?  Does the gallery owner need extra sales or cash/wrap help?  

So what to do? Be kind, RSVP.  Yes it does commit you to being someplace but what better way to spend a night – seeing great art by an artist that you enjoy, breaking out of the mold of staying home or going to the movies (doing different things than normal),  meeting new people and renewing old friendships, and perchance buying some art. 
Not a bad way to spend an evening.  

Your RSVP is a small item with larger ramifications.  Just think, because of your thoughtfulness, you have indirectly helped make a relationship stronger (gallery owner/artist). This leads to less tension between the gallery owner and artist ergo a better evening for the client. 

Such a small gift with large benefits.

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