Putting The Puzzle Pieces Together: The Work
|Putting on a successful show is like |
working a puzzle
Rule number One: Only show your best work.
Rule number Two: Only your best work is good enough
Rule number Three: Separate your best work from the mediocre work.
Rule number Four: See Rule Number One.
As you can see, the only rule that really matters is 1. Only show your best work. Having less than stellar work included in the show to take up space at best really only does that-take up space. At worse, it detracts from the good, well-planned and well-executed pieces. It can also discourage buying. People want to buy from accomplished, and if possible established artists. Getting established is the point of your first exhibition, and being well received really depends on the view of yourself that only displaying your best work brings.
So step one is to gather all your work, and I mean all and do a first cut.
Separate the best from the floss.
Put in one pile work that is incomplete. These pieces can be worked on.
Put in one pile that has good parts, but seems to lack focus, these pieces might be able to be cropped.
Put in one pile work that does not work. These are learning pieces but not for show even if they are your favorites.
Put in one pile works that seem complete. These are the bases, the foundation pieces of the show. Better too few than too many of indifferent quality.
Take the last pile, the best of the best and lay them out.
Do they have anything in common? A common theme, subject, color or texture? What do they say about you and how you work?
Lay out pieces that seem to go together. See how many such groups you can arrange. How can you tie the work together? These should be hung together. It is fine to have several such grouping. Put all your tropical island paintings/drawings together, all your puppies and kittens, etc. But look closely. Is there something else that can tie them together in an unusual way? [friends]
To put on a successful show, you have to present your work in a way that leads people through it. It needs to encourage people to move from piece to piece. Hopefully, there will be a theme or subject or style that will hold the work together.