How to Invite People to My Gallery Exhibit


You've completed the arduous task of preparing a gallery's worth of your best work. You've also selected an appropriate venue, decided on a dress code, chosen refreshments and priced your work. Sending the invitations should be easy after this, but it still takes some careful preparation. By planning your invitations carefully, you'll attract potential patrons who may include serious art collectors as well as those who may purchase one of your works to decorate their home. A successful exhibit could also lead to loyal supporters for many years and a network of connections.

  • Make a list of who to invite. Do not make this a short list. Your list should include friends and family members who live in the area, as well as those living farther away. Those living farther away could be visiting, or they may simply cherish the invitation as a memento. And if you include a link to your website, they can view and purchase your work online. Also plan to invite coworkers, neighbors, teachers, fellow students and anyone else who may be interested, or who you see regularly. Galleries often send out their own invitations, but it's fine to send your own to anyone on your list who received one from the gallery already.

  • Decide on the format. You could opt for cards sealed in envelopes, postcards or email invitations. Sending invitations by email will save you money. However, don't use too many graphics or embed text in the graphics, or your potential guests might not see the text at all. If you want to feature images of your work, opt for printed invitations instead for a more formal look. Send email reminders several days before the event in either case.

  • Make a list of all relevant information, including date, time, address, type of show (such as solo, juried show or group exhibit), dress code, whether refreshments will be available and whether guests may purchase artwork. Include a phone number that guests may call for additional information. Also include basic directions, specifying how to get there from a nearby landmark. Have a friend look it over and tell you if anything seems to be missing, and read the information again later to make sure it's complete.

  • Write your invitation text in letter format, keeping it brief. Try to provide all the necessary information in fewer than 10 sentences, or only three if you're sending a postcard. Don't assume that you can say more if you are sending an email. You don't want to bombard your readers with less important information that could make them delete the email in frustration. Get to the point so all the relevant facts stand out. Show your personality, too. If you're funny, keep it light. Showing your personality helps you connect with people and draw them in.

  • Design your invitations. The design should capture the tone of the exhibition and your style of artwork. If you have a funky style, make your invites funky. If your invitation feels boring from the lack of graphics, include a link to your website, which can present the same information in a more artistic way -- and don't forget to promote your gallery exhibit on your website for the widest distribution.

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