Art show preparation checklist and shopping list

Getting ready for an art show it nice to I have a preparation checklist and a shopping list too. This to do include:

  1. Frame art for display (Click here for tutorial on frames)
  2. Curate / Place the art
  3. Label / Promote the art

That seems easy enough. But if you have ever done it before, you would know there are a number of details that are required for each step as well as creative decisions to be made. The approach I take is, to FIRST set up a work area with all tools and supplies – ready to go. Then I get creative and enjoy the process. For me, it’s essential to have everything I need so I can be creative. If things are not set up I can get frustrated with delays and interruptions.

Curating art for a show

The Design part

The first step is to decide on what paintings you are gong to have in your show and get all the dimensions. You can’t figure out how much of everything you need until you know what you are hanging in your art show. I visit the location and take photos. Then I use my commuter to map out digitally where I will place each painting.

Here is a before and after from one wall in my show. My digital map on the top and the actual show on the bottom. You can see there were some changes in the end. But the map got me started.plan-vs--actual

The business part

Another important ting to plan in the beginning is the inventory list with details like; price, size, material, and title. This is great in planning out how many things you will need of each. (If you want more details on the frame process – check out this post) This is where you get down to costs for a shopping list and your potential income from any sales. Here is my example:

  • 12 paintings
  • 12 frames (24 eye screws, 25′ of wire, 80′ of wood, 96 screws, 48 corner braces, etc…)
  • 12 labels
  • 12 wall hangers

I always error on the side of extra when purchasing supplies. It’s pretty normal to mess up the first couple of times. Of course, you should get the help of professionals if you are not familiar with basic woodworking. If you are gathering supplies for yourself, or for someone else, it’s still a good idea to review a basic art show preparation checklist before you go shopping. I still made 3 extra trips to the store for extra supplies – even calculating ahead of time what I needed!


Shopping List for Art Show Preparation

Below are all the things I used to get ready for a show. This includes the frames and promotional materials like labels that were mentioned earlier. Happy Art Showings! If you notice I’ve forgotten something essential – let me know!  What you need (Click here to see the amazon shopping list – to buy this stuff online):

  • Frames
    • Wood planks (eg. 1x4x8)
    • Wood Glue
    • Screws – variety pack is good
    • A Miter Saw (Need to be able to see that 45 angle)
    • Screwdriver (Magnetized is nice)
    • Power Drill (I use a corded one)
    • Drill bits (counter sink screws to hide them)
    • Sandpaper (a variety of grits)
    • Wood Filler (Fill the gaps)
    • Measuring tape (Measure twice, cut once)
    • Angle clamp (make sure they are 90 degree angles!)
    • Corner Brace (what attaches the canvas to the frame)
    • Pencil (Measure twice cut once)
    • Paper (Plan out how much wood you need etc.)
    • Paint (or stain – something to seal the wood)
    • Paint Brush
    • Paper towels
  • Hanging
    • Wall hangers
    • Hammer
    • Picture Wire
    • Wire cutters
    • Tape (the picture wire can be sharp – wrap ends with tape)
    • Screw eyes
  • Promotion
    • Printer (labels and price list)
    • Business Card Paper (labels, contact info)
    • Earthquake Putty (stick labels to wall)
    • Regular Paper (inventory/price list)
    • Laptop (or any computer)