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I was wondering if anyone could help answer some of my questions:

 

How many different subject types are appropriate to sell at a show? I have tried to research this, I found a few posts saying that you should stick to one subject matter or niche. But my only problem with this is that... I love to paint an array of things! Is there a way that I can put my eclectic collection together that won't look tacky? (I like to paint everything from flowers, to classic cars, to closeup pieces of old wine bottles, etc) And if this would be impossible to do : ( how do I choose which work to bring? Are there certain subject matters that are more appealing to customers and may sell better than others? It's not only my first art show, but it's also my city's first show as well! I am very excited (and nervous of course) and want to make a good impression on both the judges and the community. Thank you for any advice you can give, I truly appreciate it!

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Can only speak for my own shows and those in which I exhibit, but most artists I know have a variety of subjects in their displays. Some exhibitors stick to one theme or subject, others, like you and like me, have quite a range. I have one limited edition digital collage print entitled "Secret Life of Laundromats" that I display with "Crocus," "Einstein," and "My Cool Sneakers," among others. They all sell. Personally, I am bored silly unless my imagination is allowed to run wild. One of my favorite artists, who sells up a storm wherever he goes, paints everything from landscapes to portraits of humans and animals, to still life, all equally well.

This is not to say that some subjects do not sell better than others. "Toe Shoes" has sold far better than "Tsunami" and is near the end of its public life. If it is professionally presented, appropriately framed and finished and of high quality, the public will appreciate your art and no one will think it looks "tacky." I would choose those pieces that best represent your unique talents and with which you are the most comfortable sharing with your buyers. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.
I think that your style is what should show a cohesive body of work, not necessarily the subject matter.
Thank you so much Barbara! (You've made me feel SO much better!) I've been driving myself mad about having to force myself to pick a niche when I truly feel that my niche is just painting all the things that interest me! Now, if I may ask you, how do you and the gentleman you referred to, set up your booths? Should I divide my "matching" works together, intermix them all, etc? Any tips or tricks aside from the framing and finish, perhaps about setting them up? Thank you again Barbara! You have no idea how much this hads helped to ease my mind!

Art on the Lawn: Barbara Berney said:
Can only speak for my own shows and those in which I exhibit, but most artists I know have a variety of subjects in their displays. Some exhibitors stick to one theme or subject, others, like you and like me, have quite a range. I have one limited edition digital collage print entitled "Secret Life of Laundromats" that I display with "Crocus," "Einstein," and "My Cool Sneakers," among others. They all sell. Personally, I am bored silly unless my imagination is allowed to run wild. One of my favorite artists, who sells up a storm wherever he goes, paints everything from landscapes to portraits of humans and animals, to still life, all equally well.

This is not to say that some subjects do not sell better than others. "Toe Shoes" has sold far better than "Tsunami" and is near the end of its public life. If it is professionally presented, appropriately framed and finished and of high quality, the public will appreciate your art and no one will think it looks "tacky." I would choose those pieces that best represent your unique talents and with which you are the most comfortable sharing with your buyers. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.
Because my digital work is visually complex with vivid colors, I try to arrange by predominant colors. I display in a grid format since all are framed 12" x 12", and if I had to describe it, I'd say from a distance it might resemble the graphic representation of the color spectrum. I have been in exhibits where the arrangement was totally random, put up by someone other than me, and it's even a bit much for me to take it all in. They rhythm of the grid also helps to bring order to the flow.

On occasion, I do group by similar subject, but it's tough to group "Secret Life of Laundromats" with anything else! I use either red or black frames, so the red frames are generally in one area because the content is also in the red spectrum.

My friend hangs everything gallery height. Since most of his work is larger, he limits the number of pieces he hangs at one time, but brings additional pieces to fill in when something is purchased, or if he feels the mix isn't working well.

I agree with Karin that a style is more important than subject matter. When people view my work, they are immediately aware that each piece is done with a particular process that is unique to me, which is how, amazingly, I've acquired a couple of collectors. :)

Keep in mind, though, that I'm just one person and what works for me may not work for others. You can view my art at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Berney-Design-Consultants/205498731832#!/album.php?aid=157771&id=205498731832 to get an idea of what I do.

Michele Aluisia said:
Thank you so much Barbara! (You've made me feel SO much better!) I've been driving myself mad about having to force myself to pick a niche when I truly feel that my niche is just painting all the things that interest me! Now, if I may ask you, how do you and the gentleman you referred to, set up your booths? Should I divide my "matching" works together, intermix them all, etc? Any tips or tricks aside from the framing and finish, perhaps about setting them up? Thank you again Barbara! You have no idea how much this hads helped to ease my mind!

Art on the Lawn: Barbara Berney said:
Can only speak for my own shows and those in which I exhibit, but most artists I know have a variety of subjects in their displays. Some exhibitors stick to one theme or subject, others, like you and like me, have quite a range. I have one limited edition digital collage print entitled "Secret Life of Laundromats" that I display with "Crocus," "Einstein," and "My Cool Sneakers," among others. They all sell. Personally, I am bored silly unless my imagination is allowed to run wild. One of my favorite artists, who sells up a storm wherever he goes, paints everything from landscapes to portraits of humans and animals, to still life, all equally well.

This is not to say that some subjects do not sell better than others. "Toe Shoes" has sold far better than "Tsunami" and is near the end of its public life. If it is professionally presented, appropriately framed and finished and of high quality, the public will appreciate your art and no one will think it looks "tacky." I would choose those pieces that best represent your unique talents and with which you are the most comfortable sharing with your buyers. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.

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