Planning The Perfect Show Opening

So it has been about eight months now since I opened this gallery. Seven shows have come and gone. There has been much to learn along the way about finding and presenting high-quality art. A key part of the presentation is putting on an Opening Reception – an opportunity to let clients meet the artists and generate a little buzz in the press for the show. Let me tell you about yesterday’s Opening Reception for “Unconventional”.

Planning these things has become fairly routine. A couple of weeks in advance I cue the caterers and write the press release. A week before the show I put together an email about the show to send to my client list. The days before the show are busy with getting in the art and hanging it. A few days before the show, I try to do a blog post about the show and point to it from Facebook. The morning of the opening is usually quiet, the action starts around noon when the caterer arrives to set up. The artists begin to trickle in and by 1pm we are ready: artists in place ready to talk about their art, nibblies laid out for our guests, punch and glasses set out, and the art ready for viewing. The press arrives to talk with the artists and take photos of their smiling faces in front of their art.

Then it happened. The president of Headwaters Arts walks in. With a baby bottle in his hand? Followed by an eight day old lamb!?? To a chorus of coos from every woman in sight, the food is of no interest, the artists are lost in the crowd and the art on the walls becomes invisible. You just know what the press was shooting. Do the galleries on Queen West have to deal with this?? (We had fun anyway.)


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