Alumni Opportunity with A. Zahner Company

As a member of our KCAI alumni community, I just wanted to make sure you were aware of this new opportunity for alumni to submit entries for a biennial competition to have your artwork fabricated for free with the A. Zahner Company, the largest fine-art fabricator in the United States, which also happens to be located here in Kansas City.
Visit  to apply, see fabricated works by past winners, or to cast votes for entries that have already been submitted. (As you will see from the few entries received and posted to the site, your submission would be especially welcome.)
Entries are due December 15, 2014, at 11:59 PM. Voting will take place from December 1 – December 31, 2014

. The winner will be announced January 21, 2015.

Every other year, A. Zahner Company has continued to sponsor a competition for KCAI students to fabricate an artwork for the Biennial KCAI Auction, the proceeds of which go to future students’ scholarship funds. This year, however, the competition is being opened up to KCAI alumni as well.
The winning contestant will have his/her artwork produced by Zahner and receive an additional $1,000. Zahner donates the metal, engineering, and production of the project, and the produced work will be featured in the Live Auction portion of the 2015 KCAI Biennial Art & Design Auction held in Kansas City on June 6, 2015. All proceeds will go to the KCAI Student Scholarship Fund for future students. This competition is open to all students* and alumni** at the Kansas City Art Institute.
Rules for Entry
*Competition open to all KCAI sophomores, juniors, and seniors as well as Alumni of the Kansas City Art Institute. **Current employees and family members of A. Zahner Company or Kansas City Art Institute are not eligible contestants for entry. Contestants may submit multiple entries.
Guidelines for Submissions
The description should clearly describe the artist intent as well as the desired outcome of the project. Contestants may choose to deliver 3D Mockups or additional materials to Zahner for consideration. For hand-delivered or shipped materials, please use the address below. This is optional, and will not increase or decrease chances of winning the competition.
ATTN: Lauren Landreth
A. Zahner Company
1400 E. 9th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64106
Proposal materials are to be shipped at the expense of the applicants.  Entries will be not returned to applicants and become property of A. Zahner Company.  All applicants must fill out the online form, and may submit only one image. If the artwork will be outdoors, it must be designed and constructed to withstand the elements of the four seasons.
– The artwork may be any size up to 12’x12’x12’.
– The artwork should not require any ongoing maintenance.
– The artwork must have a minimum lifespan of 25 years.
– The artwork will be located in an area that is used by the general public.
– Subject matter should be suitable for a viewing audience of all ages.
– The artwork should have no sharp edges and be mounted securely.
– The artwork must be able to withstand touching and handling by the public.
Winning Artists Will:
Not be responsible for costs incurred in the construction of the artwork; not be responsible for the transportation of the artwork to the site; be willing to allow use of pictures of the artwork for the promotion of the project by both A. Zahner Company, Kansas City Art Institute, and publications.
The jury reserves the right to reject any or all of the proposals at their discretion. Winning Artists will be notified by phone. Artists whose work is not chosen will receive notification by mail.
Voting and Judging:
Friends, family, and the general public are invited to vote on entries. Voters may vote for as many projects as they want, but only once per project. Voters must create an account to vote, and may only vote for each project once.
After voting has ended on December 31, 2014, the top finalists will be invited to present their designs to a jury on January 13, 2015, at 4pm Central time.  Artists will each have five minutes to present and discuss their designs with panelists, and a winner will be selected and announced January 21, 2015.
Prize Package:
Grand Prize:    Artwork Fabricated by A. Zahner Company for June 6, 2015 Auction + $1,000
Second Prize:  $750
Third Prize:      $250
If you should have any additional questions, please contact Zahner directly.
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Job Postings for August 2014


KCAI has an opening for Director of Alumni Relations and Development.

Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City is seeking a part time entry-level Visitor Services Team Member.

The Missouri Arts Council seeks a Community Arts Specialist

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) seeks a Marketing and Constituent Services Coordinator

Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas is looking for an adjunct to teach Printmaking 1 and Art Appreciation (a lecture course) for the fall semester of 2014. Both of these classes meet on Tuesday/Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. and  10:50 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. back to back. Interested applicants can emaiL Christa Kagin, MAET-ATR their resume and contact information ASAP!!!

Real Estate Developer in Overland Park is need of an artist with 3D imaging expertise or other ability to create color images of Multi-Family Development project for our test website. Send resume and portfolio to

Constructing Media Marketing Group is seeking graphic artist for Kansas City-based marketing group.  Exceptional creativity and great portfolio requested.  WordPress experience and web design experience will win the job.Please send resumes to Kirk at

The Kemper Museum has an opening for a part-time Museum Protection Officer, submit resumes to Jean Hanover at or deliver to their East Office Building.

KidsTLC INC  is looking to hire a new Street Outreach Specialist is responsible for providing community outreach, assessment, support and referral to community resources for homeless youth. The position requires some on-call time.

Printing company located in Merriam is looking to add a pre press operator to their staff.

10 POWER Marketing needs a graphic/wordpress designer.

A vehicle graphics company is looking for a full-time graphic designer.

Graphics and T-shirt artist position.


Art Director for Marlin Network, Inc. in Springfield, MO. Contact Creative Director Dan Stewart at 417-885-4573. For more info, check us out at or

The Daum Museum of Art in Sedalia, MO seeks a part-time/ on call installation staff.  A full background check will be required to work in collections storage areas. Please forward a cover letter and résumé to Matt Clouse, Registrar/Exhibitions Coordinator ( No phone calls please.

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has several openings including a full-time curator position.

The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft seeks a Director of Community Outreach and Development.!employment/cgex

Galerie Gabrie, a contemporary fine art gallery in Pasadena, CA, is looking for a Gallery Assistant.

Looking to relocate to Miami? Here is a Art jobs board for the city.



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Student Opportunity Deadline: Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey announces a $500 award!


Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey has a 30 year history of making dance accessible to all, teaching young people critical life skills through dance, and modeling interracial and multicultural community partnerships.  To celebrate our 30th Anniversary and community members that exemplify the life and vision of our mission, we are requesting proposals from Kansas City Art Institute students to create an three-dimensional award for KCFAA to present at their 30th Anniversary Gala.


The winning design will receive $500 plus the cost of materials to produce the piece.

Medium options:  glass, ceramic, fiber and other materials considered.  Material must be three-dimensional, inspired, and appropriate to use as an award.

Dimensions:  No larger than 24″ x 24″

Theme: The ART of Dance

Proposals due: August 1, 2014

(please include estimated cost of materials)

Proposal Winner Announced: August 18, 2014

Project Review: September 2014

Project Completion: October 1, 2014


Proposals submitted to:

Randy Williams, Advancement Office

Kansas City Art Institute

4415 Warwick Blvd.

Kansas City, Mo  64111


phone: 816-802-3527


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Job Postings for July 2014


HMK Hallmark has a part-time opening for a Graphic Artist – Service Specialists. They are responsible for the stores graphic design, laser engraving, dye sublimation, embroidery, and high speed printing/book binding. Submit resume to or contact Leslie Anderson, Store Manager 816-931-4555 for more info.

KCAI has an opening for an academic and career advisor.

Townsend communications, Inc. has an opening for Corporate Art Director / Graphic Designer. The Art Director  formulates concepts, designs and production of layouts for magazines, advertisements, other related publications and company sales /promotional aids. Applicants should contact Alice Chandler:

Bitterman Family Confections  has an opening for a Creative Designer. This position makes custom labels for customers using their logo and adding a creative spin. Product flyers, catalogs, signs, candy bar wrappers, etc as needed. Submit a resume and link to your portfolio to HR@BITTERMANCANDY.COM

Murray’s Ice Creams & Cookies seeks a people person to fill a Soda Jerk position. Contact Murray Nixon at

The University of Missouri Extension in Lexington, MO has an opening for a Community Arts Regional Specialist

The Kansas City Ballet currently has a receptionist position open.

Full time Graphic web Designer and Product Manager Position in Overland Park focusing on building wordpress sites.

Framer position in westport.

CR Promotions is currently hiring a part-time Graphic Design Artist for the Kansas City area.

DeCloud Studios, an Overland Park, KS based School Yearbook & Senior Photography Company is currently accepting applications from talented, responsible and highly motivated individuals to join our team as a Seasonal Photo Editor.

Phoenix Gallery is opening a second gallery in the Plaza and would like to hire a KCAI student or alumni for a part-time position. Send your resume and contact info to Susan Shea at

Division-D in Columbia, MO has an opening for a Digital Creative Associate. They are responsible for internal branding, developing and designing creative units for current and future clients. Send your resume, contact info and portfolio to

Kansas City Web Design® seeks a Full Time Web & Graphic Designer / Project Manager. To apply go to for more info contact Phil Singleton

University of Missouri in Columbia has several opening available:  and at their extension school


Interact Center is a non-profit arts organization offering full time creative practice at the professional level for adults with disabilities. We are a state-licensed adult day care center offering both theatrical and visual arts daily artistic programming. Mission-driven and creative, we are looking for the right candidate to join our team.

Curator: Utah State University’s Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art (NEHMA) seeks a visionary Curator specializing in modern and contemporary art with a particular emphasis on art and artists of the western United States.

Various job opportunities at the Guggenheim Museum: NYC.

Current available positions at The Museum of Modern Art, MOMA.

Current available positions at The Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC.
SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) current Opportunities. San Francisco, USA.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago job opportunities. Chicago.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Current Full-time Faculty Positions. Chicago, USA.

Cincinnati Artswave current Job Opportunities.

Association of Midwest Museums current Job Opportunities.

The Art + Design Department at Columbia College Chicago is accepting applications .

Gold Coast boutique in Chicago seeks dynamic individual, must have general sales & office work experience in addition to product photography & photo editing skills.

Kompleks Creative, a graphic design and digital marketing agency based in Downtown Durham, NC, is searching for a graphic designer to join their team. To apply visit: or


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Job Posting for June 2014


Lifeform studios  is looking for two part-time 3D Modelers. Primarily 3D modeling and editing to prepare scanned geometry and textures of people for 3D printing. Also opportunities to operate a high-end 3D printer and post-process 3D prints. Contact Lisa Menninger at 913-387-9451 or for more info or to apply.

DeCloud Studios, an Overland Park, KS based School Yearbook & Senior Photography company is currently accepting applications from talented, responsible and highly motivated individuals to join our team as a Seasonal Staff Photographer. Contact Leilah Kouri at or 913 – 956 – 7312 for more info.

Avila University needs to staff 3 classes in the Art+Design Department  for this fall semester 2014  Master’s Degree preferred but not required.  Stipend commensurate with education and experience.  Please send inquiries and resumes to Janine Urness at
The classes are:

BEGINNING DRAWING      Monday/Wednesday, 9 – 11:40 am
BEGINNING PAINTING   Monday/Wednesday 2 – 4:40 pm
3-DIMENSIONAL DESIGN  Tuesday Thursday  9 – 11:40 am

COS has an opening for the Artmaker’s Studio  Coordinator. See the job description here. Apply by sending a resume to  Jeanne Beeves

Unbound seeks a graphic designer with a BFA for a Visual Communications Specialist.

Notre Dame de Sion School seeks a K-8 art instructor.

Lexmark is seeking a design-conscious, enthusiastic, detail-oriented and organized illustrator and Multimedia Designer to join the creative wing of its global marketing team.  Applicants should contact: Sherri Lockridge at

The  InterUrban ArtHouse has an Administrative Assistant position opening

Studio Dan Meiners seeks a Floral Designer & Team Leader. Please email:
– Resume
– Photos of your floral designs
– Cover letter explaining how you are a good fit for this
to Rory Welsh at or call  816.843-7244 if you have questions.

UMKC Innovation Center Artist Inc. Programming, is seeking an Associate Director Program/Project Operations. This position is the chief administrator of the suite of Artist INC.programs and is responsible for the program’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives.

LOFT at Oak Park Mall is seeking passionate, highly motivated, fashion forward leaders!

EPIC Clay Studio is a small non-profit ceramics studio in the heart of Strawberry Hill. It is a program of Accessible Arts in collaboration with CHWC. They have a paid residency position open.

Part-time position at a printing co. in production and customer service.

The Museum of Prairie Fire in Overland Park seeks a Volunteer Coordinator. The Volunteer Coordinator will play a central role in recruiting, training and managing volunteers for the Museum.



Chinati in Marfa, TX is seeking part-time (20 hours/week) visitor services associates as well as a full-time development manager. The full job descriptions and application instructions are posted here:

Program Assistant Position at the Getty Foundation: Works with senior staff in all areas of grant making, including undergraduate and graduate internship programs, art conservation, art museums, and academic art history. Responsibilities may include managing a small internship program at the Getty.

The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is currently seeking an Admissions Counselor for the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance.

Bilingual Spanish Emerson School in Austin, TX seeks an elementary art teacher.;span%20style=color:#363636;Orbus,%20in%20Woodridge,%20IL,%20 a%20leading%20and%20highly%20successful%20tradeshow%20builder%20and%20designer%20of%20hardware%20and%20graphics%20to%20the%20exhibit%20and%20display%20industry,%20is%20seeking%20a%20Jr.%20Exhibit%20Designer%20to%20join%20our%20dynamic%20Design%20team.a%20href=

QUINN FABLE ADVERTISING in NYC has an opening for a Junior Art Director.

VISUAL INGENUITY in St Louis seeks a Graphic Design Associate.

The Art Institute of Austin is currently identifying qualified candidates for the position of Program Coordinator to lead the Fashion program. This position does require a teaching load in addition to overall management of the program.


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Residency Deadlines | June + July 2014

Upcoming residency deadlines follow. Happy searching!


AIR Studio Paducah (Paducah, Kentucky, United States)


ArtCenter/South Florida Studio Residency Program (Miami, Florida, United States)


AZULE (Hot Springs , North Carolina United States)

Elsewhere Studios (Paonia, Colorado United States)


Mesa Refuge (Point Reyes Station, California United States)

The Banff Centre | Interdisciplinary programs (Banff, Alberta Canada)

Thurber House | John E. Nance Writer-in-Residence (Columbus, Ohio United States)


Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, California United States)


Caldera (Sisters, Oregon United States)

HUB-BUB (Spartanburg, South Carolina United States)

Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, Vermont United States)


AHHA Visual Art Residency | Hardesty Arts Center (Tulsa, Oklahoma United States)

Lanesboro Residency Program (Lanesboro, Minnesota United States)


Kala Art Institute (Berkeley, California United States)

The Rensing Center (Pickens, South Carolina United States)

Weir Farm Art Center (Wilton, Connecticut United States)


Willapa Bay AiR (Oysterville, Washington United States)


Job Postings for May 2014


Full-time and part-time art handler positions are open!

KCAI CPS is seeking a part-time Services Assistant on weekends.

KCAI is looking for visiting professors in animation and graphic design.

Children’s Mercy Hospital is seeking an illustrator/ graphic designer. Contact Susan Abdel-Rahman at for more info.

Murphy Hoffman Company would like to hire a KCAI alumni for a full-time graphic design position ASAP.

Vance Publishing, an industry leader in b2b media communications, is seeking an Assistant Art Director to join our Creative Services team in our Lenexa, Kansas office.

Portraits Today Studios is a retail, same day portrait studio and is looking for an experienced photographer not afraid of the challenge of retail photography.

Fast growing sign company needs a vinyl production team leader and print production person.

GameStop, a Fortune 300 Company is searching for management and PT Supervisors (Sr. Game Advisor) candidates for our Kansas City area stores. Send resumes to

Lowe’s is hiring. Contact for more info.

Exhibit company looking for a full time fabrication assistant and all around enthusiastic worker with a great attitude and a willingness to grow.

LogoKC currently has an immediate opening for a full time Graphic Artist.

Lifestyle Publications is one of the fastest growing companies in Kansas City and has an immediate opening for the position of Graphic Designer/Art Editor.

The Museum at Prairiefire (MAP) was established in 2010 based on a pioneering content partnership with the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and is scheduled to open in May 2014 in Overland Park, KS. The Museum is looking for talented and motivated candidates to join the team as Visitor Services Coordinators.

Paper Source is a premier paperie and online retailer offering a unique selection of fine and artisanal papers, invitations and announcements, personalized and distinctive gifts, quirky greeting cards, gift wrap, and custom stamps, envelopes and cards. They are looking to hire a KCAI affiliate for an Assistant Manager Position. in the Plaza and Leawood store, along with several other positions. Applicants should contact: or apply online



Professional post production company in the St. Louis metro area is seeking full time photo editors to perform color correction and artistic editing on primarily wedding and portrait images using Adobe Lightroom.

DCM Art Services provides transportation, installation, packing / crating, storage and specialty work for Houston and the surrounding areas. We currently have an Art Handler Position available.

The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, TX seeks a part-time Gallery Educator.

Austin based art’s non profit seeks Director of Operations and Accounts

The Metropolitan Museum of Art seeks a visitor services assistant.

Established East Coast Gallery with four locations is seeking a professional, proactive, detail oriented individual to assist in the receipt, cataloging and shipment of artworks to both our domestic and international clients, as well as to our other gallery locations.

Grapefruit Moon Gallery in the twin cities seeks a gallery sales specialist.


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AACS Inaugural Internship Fair Thursday, April 24 from Noon-1:30 in Epperson

Please join us next week for the office of Academic Advising and Career Services first Internship Fair on Thursday, April 24 from noon-1:30pm.

internship flyer[6]


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Jobs Posting for April 2014


Murray’s Ice Creams & Cookies has an opening for a part-time Murray’s Soda Jerk. Contact Murray at, call 8169315646 or visit their Westport location and slip a sheet of paper with your contact info and availability through the mail slot.

Artist & Craftsman Supply at 229 Southwest Boulevard is hiring full-time staff. Must have knowledge in a variety of mediums. Contact Nicholas Naughton at   816-221-5454 or to apply.

Dan Needham of Needham Floral seeks a part time floral assistant. Contact INFO@NEEDHAMFLORAL.COM for more info.

Universal Construction Company, Inc. seeks a full-time Marketing / Project Assistant. Contact Patti Sadler or Steve Smith for more info.

KCAI is seeking applications for the full-time position of executive administrative assistant to the president.

The City of KCMO has several art related positions open.

Lexmark is seeking a design-conscious, enthusiastic, detail-oriented and organized illustrator with a strong background in conceptual and corporate illustration and graphic design to join the creative wing of its global marketing team.  Applicants should contact: Sherri Lockridge at

Midtown Self Storage Need a weekend only person to help with UHaul, pulling trucks up, cleaning, returning, running of our storage elevator. This position is part-time and pays an $9 hour. Contact Jolie Vorce at

The Kansas City Apparel Store is looking for a photographer/video engineer (current student) that will work within our urban,religious, and popular segments.  The photographer will be exposed to the business,design,and manufacturing process. Contact Chris Rogers for more info.
Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph seeks a Graphic and Web Designer. This is a full-time position with a $34k salary. Contact Tara McGranahan for more info.
Decision Counsel, a SF Bay Area based Agency is expanding its operation to Kansas City and is looking for talented designers. Contact Todd Soligo for more information:
ACE Gallery Beverly Hills, an established and internationally recognized art gallery has several openings. Those postings and others in the LA area can be found here:
David Zwirner LLC seeks a full-time Assistant Registrar for immediate hire for our secondary market gallery, located at 537 West 20th street in NYC. The ideal candidate must have 2-3 years of related experience at a commercial gallery.
THE MISSION | Houston seeks a motivated Gallery Assistant to provide administrative, secretarial and clerical support to the gallery staff including answering incoming phone calls, handling incoming and outgoing mail, providing scheduling support, making travel arrangements, filing, maintaining supplies and data entry.
Robert R. McCormick Museum at Cantigny Park, IL has an opening for a museum educator.
Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN seeks an exhibition and collections coordinator.
Several openings for Summer Camp Jobs at Oregon College of Art and Craft.
The Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation (in the Portland area)  seeks an assistant collections registrar.

Altered Esthetics in Minneapolis has an opening for Exhibitions & Gallery Manager.


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So you want to have a show? By Melaney Mitchell (painting ’13)

So You Want To Have A Show? : Do’s and Don’ts from a Curator’s Perspective

Okay, so a few departments on campus require students to have an off campus show, those that don’t require it may encourage students to show while in school. So if you’re reading this, you obviously want to have a show. I’ve been a curatorial assistant for 3 years and just recently took over the Subterranean Gallery as director. A whole lot more goes into putting on an exhibition than people think, here are your do’s and don’ts.


1. Set a realistic budget – With any gallery opening, it’s going to cost you a lot of time, and quite a bit of money. Just to make the space at Subterranean Gallery exhibition ready costs a few hundred dollars. Research galleries and find out what they will provide for you. Some spaces have wonderful gallery preparators who will hang your work on pristine walls and handle it with care. Other spaces, like most small alternative spaces have a curator/preparator/director who wears all of the hats like me. Plan for around $200 to have an opening.

Here’s an example breakdown:

  •       Work framed/mounted – $100-$800 (optional, but suggested)
  •       Hanging devices – $10 – $20 (yes, you provide these)
  •       Postcards/Print Media – $70-$150
  •       Opening Night Refreshments – $50-$70 (you typically also provide these!)
  •       Paint, Patch and Paint, Rollers, Addtl Hardware – $25
  •       Vinyl Wall Decal – $15 -$20

So for a local exhibition, on the low end without factoring in the cost of framing your show would cost $170! Some galleries will split this cost, other spaces it is up to the artist.


2. Be prepared – Know that often times, things will go wrong and you will be working on getting the show ready up until the last few minutes before it opens. Most gallery directors have shows in mind and begin preparing 6 months in advance before a show. If you need a spring exhibition, pitch in the fall or early winter, and when you do pitch be professional.


Appropriate Exhibition Proposal Needs:

o   Resume

o   Cover Letter

o   Examples of Work – Specifically the work you are planning to make/ have made for the exhibition.

A meaty paragraph with details as to how you plan to use the space, why you want to show there, what your work is doing etc.

The proposal should set up a context for your work so that the gallery owner can understand how it would interact with their space/curatorial practice.

Please, do not ever approach a gallery owner at an opening with a bunch of ideas. If other galleries are like me, we have many things balancing at once and your pitch will be forgotten. Email us and set up a meeting, I’ll give my email to just about anybody. I would happily meet someone for coffee and listen to exhibition ideas, but have something realistic in mind for the space first (make a proposal!). Be considerate of my time and I will be considerate of yours.


3. Set Deadlines– Some artists hate deadlines, but when it comes to making an exhibition happen they are a necessity. You need deadlines for every stage of the exhibition. Here are my guidelines for a show:

  •       6 Months before– set up a meeting and pitch a show
  •       3 Months before – try to have a studio visit or touch base with the director about the exhibition
  •       1 Month before – Exhibition plans due, get a floor plan of the gallery space and plan what is going where. If you’re an installation artist – great! – however you need to have a secure plan of what you want to happen at this point so that gallery owners can schedule time for you to set up your installation properly in the space. Once the plans are approved, order postcards. (gotprint has them SUPER cheap)


  •       3 Weeks before – Media press release.
  •       2 Weeks before – go to the hardware store and get whatever you need to hang, light, and install your work in the space. Have this all completely set before you start installing.
  •       1.5 Weeks before– Facebook/ social media posts
  •       1 Week before – walls prepared(if you are doing this), work COMPLETE. Send out email blasts to friends, collectors, mentors, etc.
  • 5 Days before – begin installing. If you have work that is more simple to hang, start no later than 3 days before.
  • 2 Days before – Shop for refreshments and light the exhibition. I cannot stress enough how long lighting a show takes. Especially for installations and sculptural pieces. Playing with color temperature and light direction will take at least an entire day, if you don’t give yourself this time you will regret it.
  •    1 Day before– apply lettering, number tacks and/or labels, and paint over any areas where the work had to be moved.
  •       Day of the show – print out press releases, print gallery maps, set out refreshments, clean up and prepare for the opening! If you follow this plan, you’ll have plenty of time to eat, shower, and relax for a few minutes before your opening. After all this work, that 2 hours or so of quiet time is really well deserved.

Sticking to this schedule will allow for you to not only have a smooth opening, but a develop a relationship with a curator/gallery director who will trust you! That trust is important. If you show up two days before an opening with wet paintings completely disorganized, they have the power to turn the ship around and call the whole thing off, be considerate.

4. Know Who and What you’re dealing with – Try to meet the gallery owner before you start planning an exhibition, or at the very least visit the space. The end goal may be to have an exhibition, but you need to remember to protect your art. A lot of spaces will ignore common gallery policies like loan forms and may or may not have a professional preparator hanging your work. Meet these people, talk to them and ask a ton of questions. If they aren’t willing to answer things like What if my art gets damaged? or Who will be installing the exhibition? don’t walk- run.


Also choose your helpful friends wisely. Art school is a busy place and having people you can rely on will lead to less headaches in the long run.

5. Don’t expect  to sell work – This is a biggie, but if that’s your intention with having an art opening, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Selling work is a beautiful pleasant surprise if it does happen in undergrad, but your work is going to change and mature. Don’t let selling one type of thing effect the type of work you make and ideas you want to explore unless your ultimate goal is to be Jeff Koons with a workshop doing everything for you.  If you show at a commercial gallery, they are going to take a significant cut from the overall sale. Plus, many galleries that are considered alternative spaces, like mine, can’t sell work! As an undergrad student it is better for you to find galleries willing to offer social capital rather than a paycheck.

Social capital can be in the form of networking, brand building, marketing, programming etc. With each exhibition I am currently working on, I’m planning gallery programming specifically related to the artist’s ideas and practice with the hope of encouraging the community to develop a more enhanced dialogue with the artist. This is also a plus because it gives artist’s the freedom to sell their work out of their studios for 100% of the profit and potentially get exhibitions at bigger galleries that have mailing lists full of collectors specifically looking to buy work they care about! Building and refining your network is the most important thing you can do while in school to keep from feeling completely lost once you graduate and beyond. The internet is doing quite a bit to change how the art world works so don’t underestimate the power of social capital.


6. Last but not least, communicate– Check your email, your phone, and respond. If I set a due date for Exhibition plans or the press release and just don’t hear from you, I won’t order postcards and I’ll push the show back until I do. Keep communication as professional as possible, and be upfront with me if something happens. Remember that when you plan to have a show in a space, it needs to stay on par with the expectations the community has for the caliber of the work in the space. Not only is your artistic reputation at stake with the exhibition, so is the reputation of the gallery.

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