Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Marketing Tip: Alternative Art Venues

Barry O'Riley "Gaia"  
One important factor about being a successful artist is finding ways to get our work out into the community.  Of course there are high scale art galleries that a select few can get into, but there are many other opportunities outside of a traditional gallery or museum.  One term for places such as these is an alternative art venue.  Some alternative art venues include but are not limited to restaurants, hair salons, coffee shops, vacant business windows and other small businesses.  

1. Coffee Shops - Coal Creek Coffee Company and The Grounds in Laramie both display local artists work.
2. Farmers Markets - Farmers markets often have specific requirements and fees but some do enjoy having artists and crafts people.
3. The street - This is not for everyone, but some artists enjoy going to a downtown area in a large city to create and sell work.  Last Thursday in Portland is a perfect example.  I went this past summer, made a couple sales, and still have people contacting me who met someone who saw me there.
4. Laramie Main street - Organizations such as Laramie Main Street will often times hang photographs in empty store front windows.
5. Arts guilds or clubs - Artist organizations have relationships with businesses that lease, sell or hang work.  Laramie Art Guild blog
6. Restaurants - There are a variety of restaurants that want changing artwork created by locals.  Sweet Melissa's is one example in Laramie.
7. Apartments or rooms - Motel rooms can be rented for one night shows.  A loft could also be rented by a group of artists for a month long show.  University of Wyoming students have been known to have successful one night house shows.
8. WOW - Your very own WOW gallery can even be considered an alternative venue.  Although Works of Wyoming is a not-for-profit gallery space, WOW's atmosphere is a little different than that of a more traditional gallery space.  During an interview with WOW member Barry O'Riley, he was asked how Works of Wyoming had helped him and his response included that "WOW has provided an open and liberal, alternative gallery space for his work."

What are some other alternative spaces that you can share?

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