MIC Dec. Artist Showcase – Gallery/Booth Ideas

November 1, 2016

Ideas about your booth-gallery from Kayla on the MIC Design Committee

I’m a “plan ahead” kind of person, so I have been giving the booth idea quite a bit of thought lately. For every show I participate in, I do a mock set-up at home because I don’t always have lots of time to set up at the event. I like to get a visual idea of what my artwork will look like in the given venue and environment so that it is represented at its best.  I decided to write down some of my personal guidelines, including some Internet research.  Perhaps there are artists who have not created a booth space before or those who are looking for new ideas.  I am hoping others on the committee will add to my suggestions as we combine our experiences.

Because Made in Clarkdale has not presented this model of art showcase before, we all have a lot more to become aware of about the bigger picture, the whole show.  Each of us needs to work with each other to ensure that the show continues to present a professional gallery type experience that will inspire art lovers to enjoy and own some of our art.  How do we do that?

Guidelines for setting up your “gallery-booth” space

Throughout your design process, always keep in mind that this is a “gallery showcase for your artwork.”

  • That means it is not a boutique, street fair, arts & crafts show, gem & mineral show, or holiday show. (more about boutique, next section)
  • Fine Art needs space to show it off. Space (air) acts like a frame to set your work apart, to emphasize it.  It is special.
  • If you have a lot of those special pieces, put them aside, under a table, etc., so you can pull them out as needed if someone wants a different color, size, or design.

Make a label(s) for your artwork and gallery-booth. 

A standard label for the artwork will be sent to you that will have the Made in Clarkdale logo on it for artists to use.  The artwork labels can be printed on Avery Business Card # 8371 or on regular card stock then cut to size.

Artists also need to create their own label forth the small items they are selling – to make it easy – the first letter of your first name, first letter of your middle name and first letter of your last name (example: RCB –01).  All items must be labeled.

Do you want people to touch your artwork? If it is ok, let them know…a small sign will work.  If you’d rather they not…let them know to ask for assistance.  People are more comfortable when they know what is appropriate.

Think in terms of THEME. Themes can be created simply by using a flow of color, grouping certain textures together, or extending something in your artwork into the booth background, for example.  Use a variety of heights to create appeal and show more art in less space.  Look at your booth as a 3D artscape.

What about selling Boutique items?

Artwork that we have in the past put in the “boutique” area of the show, can now be sold in your booth.  But how do you keep your whole booth from looking like a boutique?

  • Group your boutique artwork together in a separate area or table from your fine art.
  • Make it attractive and in keeping with your theme.
  • Again, if you have a lot of items, keep them handy but not necessarily all on display at once.

Other ideas

Business cards, brochures, or post cards. Promote yourself and your artwork with business cards, brochures, or post cards.  Don’t forget that people want to know about the artist. Bio and portfolios work well to let them know how you got to this point of professionalism.

Make a master price list of your work.  You will want to keep track of your own sales even though MIC will be handling the sales for the show.

If you have small or delicate items in your booth, it is a good idea to cover your table after you set up and at night.  This is a common practice at large shows because it keeps the dirt & dust off and deters wayward hands from slipping expensive small things into their pockets.    After all, you’ll now be staffing your own booth so you will be able to uncover and tidy up you space before opening in the mornings.

Don’t hesitate to use props in your display.  Remember, they are not the focal point but support the overall design.  Many unusual items can be covered with cloth, paper, paint, etc. to emphasize your artwork.

Allow yourself some space in your gallery-booth for writing up a sales ticket, wrapping your artwork, and storing your supplies.  Don’t forget to calculate chair space (3’ square) for you to sit your booth when you are not busy.  Most of all, you want to be comfortable.

Need help setting up your booth display?

Need someone to brainstorm with? Talk things out…?   Need props?  Do not wait until show time.  Contact someone on the design committee soon.

Kayla Fox – 928-300-8481

Karen Boehm – 928-821-0193

Jane Henson – 415-416-4486

Teal Sullivan – 928-300-1765

Particulars on booth layout, dimensions, and table size are provided at this link.

Before show critique

Let’s help each other out and share our supportive ideas (critiques) if there needs to be something changed in our booths to make a better unified presentation.  It is not always easy to see our own booth as others see it.  Be flexible, make changes as needed.

Let’s have an incredible show that is fun and memorable for all….and profitable too.