I would like to exhibit my art – what are the options?

I am an amateur artist looking for events or venues where I can exhibit my work. Can you offer any advice? M.W.

28 March 2018
By Oliver Rowland

If you are seeking opportunities to show your work in your area there are plenty of ways to get started. Your mairie may be able to advise (larger ones will have a Direction de la culture) and it may have a municipal gallery where it displays local artists’ work. Consider approa­ching local community or cultural centres.

Here are some other suggestions to consider:

– Use social media to make a name for yourself. You could create a Facebook page for yourself as an artist. You could use your personal profile, but a separate ‘page’ can allow anyone to ‘like’ it to keep in touch with your news. Click on ‘Artist, band or public figure’ at this link: facebook.com/pages/create.php

Consider creating your own website. There are also websites which allow artists to show and/or sell work such as artmajeur.com, artactif.com artabus.com and galerie-com.com

– Look for art competitions to enter. Google concours art with the name of your department or region. The site spectable.com may give you some ideas: Click appels d’artistes then click your area on the map and look for arts plastiques under appels à artistes and concours.

– Apply to take part in a salon, foire, biennale or marché de l’art – there may be a selection process and a fee for taking part. (If you will be potentially selling your work you should seek advice on business set-up and tax issues.) Often selection will be made based on photos so you need good-quality ones of your work.

– Ask businesses if they would like to display your art – restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, hotels etc (however consider whether the business will reflect well on your work). You will need to indicate whether the work is for sale or not and you could ask to leave your contact details and/or a livre d’or where people can write comments.

– Offer to take part in a portes ouvertes d’ateliers d’artistes event where the public are invited to visit artists’ studios

– Join an association d’artistes. They sometimes organise their own competitions, exhibitions (expositions) and salons.

– Create an artist’s CV and a book d’artiste – a booklet showing your work and introducing yourself. Several online companies can help. A PDF version attached to an email is a common way for artists to present their work to local commercial galleries.

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