Essential Tools for an Exhibition – Setting Up

Another Art Essentials post.  This post has been inspired by my own experience with setting up for my end of year exhibition.

1) Paint – Good old white household emulsion.  If, like me you have had to set up in the space you have worked in then it’s a good idea to cover up any marks you have made on the walls, such as paint splodges or finger marks, and it gives that space a clean, fresh feel too.

2) Paintbrushes/Roller and Paint Tray – For obvious reasons (see above)

3) Screwdrivers/Hammers/Scrapers – these are MY essential tools, depending on how you are displaying your work and how much you are altering the space will depend on what tools you will need.  I had fixtures attached to the wall (a light switch) others had picture rails, shelving, picture hooks, the list goes on…basically whatever tools you will need to help you get your space as you want it to be viewed by the audience.

4) For me Wallpaper and Paste – again, this will be dependant on you and how you want your space set up and your work to be displayed and viewed.

5) Patience and Elbow Grease – Being patient will help with setting up and make you more efficient.  Remember not to rush setting up, the audience will be able to tell if you have.  Be patient with others around you, they may be going through all manner of problems with their work.  If you have problems with your setting up, breathe and take 5 mins to think through your problem, ask for help or guidance if needs be.  Muck in with others if they need help and they will return the favour.  Be prepared to spend time cleaning and scrubbing, it will pay off in the overall effect.  I spent time cleaning the sink (and that was really gross) but it made me feel better on exhibition night knowing that, even though it was covered, should anyone peek beneath, it was clean and shiny again.)  If others who are setting up look a bit worried or concerned about something then ask whats wrong and see if you can assist.  Remember it’s not just about you and your work.

And when it’s all over, attend opening night, wander around and listen to what the audience is saying, it will make you feel really proud of your work!  Enjoy the atmosphere.  And one last thing, smile! 🙂

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