Curationism – A Word (or Two) of Advice
First of all, happy new year! We haven’t seen each other yet this year, so, while it’s already a bit dicey for many, let’s stand together in stitch!
It was a bit crazy to think I could put up a show, take pics at the opening, come home and write a post to put up by 9am UK time. So, next month you’re going to get all about curating Stitch Fetish 5 and pictures of the opening, but to tide you over, her’s a list of dos and don’ts for participating in a group show, along with some install shots to tease you!

– [ ] Do ask the curator to discuss pricing w you if you’re unsure.
– [ ] Don’t raise your price once your work has been accepted.

starting installation

– [ ] Don’t ask what the highest price piece in the show is to try and up your price. Different artists are priced differently based on size, experience, salability… Many factors, and that’s a question that makes a curator think you’re going to be difficult from the get go, and potentially regret accepting your work.
– [ ] Do familiarize yourself w the gallery your submitting to as well as the show.
– [ ] Don’t say to the curator, “Well i don’t know the gallery,” when discussing prices and such. It says you didn’t do your homework and you don’t care about the show as much as you do being in the show. Even if that’s true, don’t let the curator know.
– [ ] Don’t set wacky prices eg: $670, why? make them $650 or $700.

unpacking and figuring out what’s what.

– [ ] Do respond to emails from the curator. If the curator loves your work, but wants to negotiate the price, because of the gallery, or perhaps you haven’t shown a lot and the curator knows they can’t get that price, or they just don’t show work over a certain price, don’t take it personally. Do respond, even if it’s to politely decline the change.
– [ ] When I curated my second show I worked with an artist whose work is fabulous, but attitude stinks. I asked the gallery owner, “What do you do when you have an artist who’s super talented but super difficult?” He said,”I don’t work with them again; there’s plenty of talent.” That’s great advice; don’t be difficult, be easy!!
– [ ] When the curator/gallery sends you info about dates and shipping and such, read it carefully. Try not to ask questions that have been answered already.

getting art hung!

– [ ] Try not to send the curator multiples of the same email (like 9).
– [ ] Don’t message the curator two weeks after submissions have ended asking when the submission period is. If they do make an exception for you, get them the images and info ASAP.
– [ ] When the curator makes an error, and they will spelling a name or with a title or such, just message them once. You don’t need to post a message on their wall, email them, and message them on social media. Once is enough, unless they don’t fix it in a timely manner.
– [ ] Don’t treat the curator like a social director, unless they’re your bestie and you’re staying w them. Don’t ask for suggestions of what to do in town, where to stay, if they can help get tickets to things. They’re the curator not the concierge.
– [ ] If the curator has sent out shipping instructions follow them. Do not use peanuts if you’ve been asked not to. Include return shipping if asked to. Make sure your art will arrive when it’s supposed to, not the day of the show.

See Also

Getting close!

– [ ] Don’t contact the curator the day before work is due/day of to see if yours has arrived, or to let them know it’s coming late. If it’s going to be late, let them know ahead of time. If your not sure it’s been received, track it yourself before contacting the curator. Be aware of where your work is.
– [ ] Remember, the curator is dealing with many people and parts. Your work is very important, but so is 50 other people’s.

If you’re reading this, and you’ve been in one of my shows, and you think, “Oh crap! She’s talking about me!” odds are, I’m not. I promise.
See you after the show, and if you’re in LA, come to the Hive Gallery, tomorrow night from 8-11 and meet many of your favorite stitchers and see their fantastic works in person!

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