A Guide to Setting Up Your Solo Art Exhibition in the UK

Published on 1 September 2023 at 23:37

For artists, a solo art exhibition is not just a display of their work; it's a culmination of their artistic journey, a chance to connect with an audience, and a significant step towards recognition in the art world. The United Kingdom, with its thriving art scene, is a fantastic place to host a solo art exhibition. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps of setting up a solo art exhibition in the UK, from the initial concept to the final event.

1. Conceptualize Your Exhibition

The first step in setting up a solo art exhibition is conceptualizing your show. Consider the following:

  • Theme and Concept: Define the central theme or concept of your exhibition. What story or message do you want to convey through your art?

  • Artworks Selection: Decide which artworks you want to showcase. Ensure they align with your exhibition's theme and tell a coherent story.

  • Medium and Style: Determine the medium and style of your artworks. This will help you create a cohesive body of work.

  • 2. Secure a Venue

    Finding the right venue is crucial to the success of your exhibition. Consider the following factors:

    • Type of Venue: Research different types of venues, such as art galleries, cultural centers, or even unconventional spaces like warehouses or pop-up galleries.

    • Location: Choose a location that is easily accessible to your target audience and aligns with your exhibition's theme.

    • Budget: Determine your budget for renting the venue. Keep in mind that some venues may offer a commission on artwork sales.

    • Booking in Advance: Book your venue well in advance, as popular locations tend to get booked quickly.

    • 3. Create Your Artworks

      Once you've finalized your concept and venue, it's time to create your artworks. Here are some tips:

      • Work Schedule: Create a schedule for producing your artworks, ensuring you have enough time to complete them before the exhibition date.

      • Consistency: Maintain a consistent style and quality throughout your artworks to create a cohesive body of work.

      • Catalog: Keep a catalog of your artworks, including titles, dimensions, and prices, which will be essential for sales.

4. Plan Your Marketing Strategy

Effective marketing is crucial to draw an audience to your exhibition. Consider the following marketing strategies:

  • Online Presence: Create a website or portfolio showcasing your artworks. Utilize social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to share your progress and build anticipation.

  • Press Releases: Write and distribute press releases to art-related publications, blogs, and local newspapers.

  • Email Campaigns: Build an email list and send out invitations and updates about your exhibition.

  • Collaborations: Collaborate with local influencers or art communities to spread the word.

  • Promotional Materials: Design flyers, posters, and digital banners to promote your exhibition locally and online.

  • 5. Logistics and Planning


  • As the exhibition date approaches, it's essential to plan for logistics:

    • Transportation: Arrange for the safe transportation of your artworks to the venue.

    • Hanging and Display: Work with the venue to plan the hanging and display of your artworks. Ensure proper lighting and arrangement.

    • Catalog and Price List: Prepare a catalog or price list to provide visitors with information about your artworks.

    6. Opening Night

    The opening night of your exhibition is a significant event. Here's how to make it memorable:

    • Invitations: Send out formal invitations to friends, family, collectors, and art enthusiasts.

    • Refreshments: Arrange for refreshments, such as wine and snacks, to create a welcoming atmosphere.

    • Artist Talk: Consider giving an artist talk or presentation to engage with your audience and share the inspiration behind your works.

    • Sales Strategy: Have a clear strategy for handling sales, including payment methods and any commissions for the venue.

    • 7. Engage with Your Audience

      Throughout your exhibition, engage with your audience:

      • Gallery Hours: Ensure the gallery is open during specified hours for visitors to view your works.

      • Feedback: Encourage visitors to leave feedback or sign a guestbook.

      • Networking: Use the opportunity to network with fellow artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts.

      8. Post-Exhibition Follow-Up

      After your exhibition ends, continue your efforts:

      • Thank You Notes: Send thank-you notes to everyone who attended or supported your exhibition.

      • Sales and Shipping: Finalize any remaining sales and arrange for the shipping of sold artworks.

      • Feedback: Review feedback and assess what worked well and what can be improved for your next exhibition.

Setting up a solo art exhibition in the UK is a rewarding endeavour that can elevate your artistic career. It requires careful planning, dedication, and a strong marketing strategy. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a memorable exhibition that not only showcases your talent but also connects with a broader audience, leaving a lasting impact in the art world.