Building up to the Horsebridge

The Gallery's next exhibition will be at the Horsebridge Gallery in Whitstable, Kent in England starting on April 11th. There's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to create that kind of event.

We're starting our image selection process now. We'll be printing in a range of sizes so we'll need time for people to print, mount and frame the artworks. The curation of an exhibition (the selection of the artworks) is generally the most time consuming activity. You're not just looking for good quality artworks, you're looking for a group of images that will work together as a whole. The flow is important and should lead the visitor through the story you're setting out. The images need to come together to make a coherent whole. 

With the images chosen, we'll then start the challenging task of coming up with interesting captions; you definitely want to wait for a day when you're "in the zone" if you want to produce anything even remotely decent. We'll also be working on the welcome text that will greet our visitors as they enter the gallery. And while we're in the writing zone, we'll be preparing public relations text and press releases for local and regional press.

The next step is to produce a catalogue for the exhibition so people have something to take away with them. We'll also be designing marketing flyers and posters to place in strategic locations in and around Whitstable. We'll need some "On Your Doorstep" information too. Oh, and enough business card!

Networking activities are important so we'll spend a fair amount of time reaching out to local groups and institutions. The exhibition isn't just about selling art, it's about carrying the message behind everything we do: using art to inspire the protection of nature.

There is a whole stream of small logistical activities that need to take place: confirming the booking, making sure we understand how the images need to be hing, double checking our proposed layout, checking frames to make sure they're not damaged, booking accommodation, making sitting arrangements for the dogs, ensuring we have enough packing material available and that the image boxes are still in good condition. You get the general idea.

The logistics become the centre of our attention a couple of days before we leave for the exhibition location. We make packing lists to make sure we haven't forgotten anything in the rush of departure day. We start packing the images and making sure our "box of everything" does indeed have everything we need. We pack our bags (pretty quick) and everything we need for the dogs (that takes longer!). At the venue the hard work of hanging everything begins. The spirit level comes out along with its friend the measuring tape. Tempers shorten, backs weaken and by the time it's done we're ready for beers and hot baths.

And then, suddenly it's exhibition Day 1...