Congratulations on your upcoming art exhibition!
You have done all that is needed for a gallery show opening - created a series of paintings, selected the venue, photographed and priced your artwork, and all the preparations discussed here: How to Plan an Art Show.
Now it is time to decide on who you are going to invite.
This takes careful planning, as the people there will affect the outcome – how many artworks you sell, and how many new patrons and supporters you receive.
Listed here are some groups of people to consider for your invitation list. The common tendency may be to invite everyone you know. But, before doing this, find out from the gallery owner the maximum number of people allowed in the building. Not everyone who are sent invites end up attending, so plan your list well above that number.
People to Invite to an Art Gallery Exhibition, Including Art Collectors, Art Patrons, and more.
Interior decorators and designers
These people are hired to decorate and design homes. They may be looking for paintings and sculpture to bring a certain feel to spaces designed. Interior decorators are often strong supporters of local artists, and often commission artwork for homes. Invite any of these in your area and on your list. Work at building relationships with interior decorators, as having a few of these as collectors will ensure are always busy.
Local business owners
Business owners may want art to decorate their businesses and office spaces. Send invitations to all businesses in your area, even if you do not think they will actually become an art collector.
Even if they do not buy, they may talk about the show with their employees and customers.
Restaurant and coffee shop owners
Restaurants and coffee shops often have art displayed on their walls.
Invite owners and managers of these places to your art show.
Your regular art collectors
Send invites to all people who have purchased from you in the past. Email them or send an invitation through the mail.
These are your supporters and followers, so they are likely to continue collecting your artworks.
If you have a newsletter to keep art collectors, and supporters updated, send an invite out to all of these. keep your message short, including all the important details about name, place, date, venue, how to get there, etc. Also state that your paintings are available for sale.
Media – Television and Newspapers
The media should be invited to your art exhibition opening, including newspapers, radio, and local television stations. They may do an article or segment on you, which will bring your artwork extra publicity. Also, arrange for interviews with the media before the exhibition to build public anticipation of the event.
Friends and Family
These people are closest to you, and may even help you to organize the event. Invite all the people you know including teachers, co-workers (including your boss), neighbors, and whoever else you think is worth inviting.
Celebrities and Famous People
Most people will not have personal contact with a celebrity, but if you do, certainly send them an invite.
Just having them there may bring media attention to your exhibition. They may even do a shout-out at Twitter or Facebook about your artwork. Such a shout-out by a celebrity can bring overnight success for any artist.
Promote your Art Exhibition Online
Promote your new art show at your artist website, art blog, and social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. Many patrons may only follow you at these places, so it may pay to always send out updates of new events.
There may be places not listed here to find art collectors in your area, depending on where you live.
Think about the people who often purchase art. They generally have lots of wall space (large homes), well off financially, and are well educated.
Placing your focus on inviting these people will increase the chance of a successful exhibition.