A Guide For Organising Art Exhibitions

This is a rough guide to help you know what is expected when organising art exhibitions. Remember that constant clear communication between the team is important, so everyone is on the same page at all times.

Jobs for the team

graphic design (poster)
poster distribution
writing the press release
writing the inauguration invitation
compiling the before and after blogs
compiling the newsletter
facebook event
online advertising/promotion
curation and hanging team
title labels
running the bar
event photography
invigilation rota
taking down the show and making good the venue afterward


Provide realistic deadlines for the artists to adhere to. Be aware that, whatever you say/do, many artists will flout the deadlines. Therefore, the deadlines need to be well in advance of what you require (i.e. a week).

  • Book the venue and notify artists 3 months prior to the opening night
  • Confirm who is exhibiting – 2 months prior
  • Ask for artwork for publicity – 2 months prior
  • Create poster – to be finished 5 weeks prior to the opening night
  • Create a press release to send out – 4 weeks prior to the opening night
  • Submit the descriptions and photographs of their artworks. This should contain the title, artist’s name, materials used and dimensions to be used for the title labels – 1 month prior to opening
  • Write a blog 3 weeks prior to the opening night
  • Send poster to printers 3 weeks prior to opening night
  • Send out the newsletter 2 weeks prior to the opening night
  • Make FB event page and share poster online – 2 weeks prior to opening night
  • Put up the posters 2 weeks prior to the opening night
  • Artwork delivery date, 4 working days before the opening night.
  • Invigilation rota to be filled in when art is delivered
  • Blog about the opening night ASAP
  • Artwork collection dates after the show.


Make sure you have the email and phone numbers of each of the artists.

Set up a closed group on Facebook or WhatsApp for communicating with the participants, as well as using group emails.

Publicity Material


Start by asking the participating artists for a strong image that can be used on the poster and events pages. Submit all suggestions to the committee. The poster needs to state clearly it is an art exhibition, in the primary text. It needs all the relevant logos in good quality. Inauguration dates, opening dates and times, location and a web address for further information. Ensure that the poster has a bleed before you print it! Make an email-friendly flyer.

Press release

The complete information for the press release/marketing communications should include the title of the exhibition, theme, dates, opening times, launch event details. The press release needs to contain the spokesperson’s quote. This should be prepared around the same time that the poster is being designed. The two should be ready together. It is usual to add 3 images of art max and any others can be put on the media library (download page).

Set up a Facebook event page

Ensure it is set to be a public event. Make the relevant bodies the co-hosts. Use the press release to create the description. Make a header image from the poster artwork (1920 x 1080 pixels).

Social media

Share the poster on Twitter, Instagram, make sure that only one person is sharing the poster and event page on Facebook groups, to avoid duplicate posts.


This needs a 560 pixels wide image of the poster and a written invitation to the opening night. Times and dates to be written out.


  1. The poster (1024 pixels in the longest dimension). 6 images of art from the show. The invitation text and more descriptive text about the show. Times and dates to be written out.
  2. A photo gallery of the exhibits. A review of the opening night.

How To Set Up an Art Exhibition


Lad­der (the venue may have one).
Spi­rit level, strong fishing line, wire, scissors, tape measure, hooks, red dots, drill, dustpan and brush. Ask permission before drilling holes in walls.

Delivery of Art

Make sure each of the artworks delivered has the relevant hanging system in place.

Make sure artists take away all their packaging.


Curate the show, so the work flows with colour, theme and content. If it is a group show, make sure that there is some equal representation of each artist. Have a team on hand for handling the artwork and placing it. Throw any rubbish away, and sweep the floor before the opening.


Label each artwork with a card printed with:

  • ar­tists name
  • tit­le
  • ma­te­ri­als
  • dimensions
  • date
  • pri­ce


  • Give translators plenty of time, at least 3 days.
  • Give the printers plenty of time, at least 1 week.
  • Organise music for the opening.
  • Set up a small table for business cards, leaflets and a guest book for comments.
  • Enable visitors to sign up for the ANA newsletter.
  • Designate an area for greeting cards and prints.
  • Arrange for someone to set up the bar and serve drinks.
  • Arrange for a few people to stay late and help clear up after the opening.
  • Fill all holes and patch paint after the show.

Terms and Conditions for Artists

Badly-presented or badly-framed art may be rejected.
Artworks might not be hung if too many pieces are submitted, or if a piece doesn’t match the rest of the pieces submitted.
Artists will accept gratefully the positioning given to their artwork by the curator.
Special wishes re artwork display must be discussed with the curator before the event.
Artists are invited to view the show with the curator the day before the opening for final checks re their exhibits. Artists are reminded that they are not to take it upon themselves to move their or anyone else’s work – this is solely the job of the curator. It is unacceptable to move artwork that has already been curated and hung.
Artists are asked to provide photographs of their artwork for the show ASAP, as images are required for publicity purposes. The photos must not contain watermarks. The photos will be displayed/shared only for the direct purpose of promoting the event.
Information to accompany each submitted artwork must be sent to the exhibition coordinator 4 weeks before the opening night. This must comprise:

  • artists name:
  • title:
  • materials:
  • dimensions:
  • date:
  • price:

The work must be delivered to the gallery 4 working days prior to the opening.
Artists will accept, in good grace, the design and appearance all publicity material and will assist in its distribution.
Artists who require insurance for their submitted artworks will arrange private insurance or will ensure the artworks are covered by their house insurance. The venue and exhibition organisers are not responsible for breakages or theft.
Artists will be helpful to members of the public and will fully engage in creating a smooth and enjoyable event. This includes volunteering to help with the serving of hospitality drinks and snacks.
Artists are to sign up for invigilation shifts.


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