Information for Exhibitors & Venues
The timeline may be subject to slight changes as we get nearer the dates but does give you an idea of timescale:
- Call for artists, organising venues: from now onwards
- Registration: 1st January to 11th February
- Children and young people’s images deadline 6th February
- All booklet info, adverts, young people’s competition final deadline 28th February
- Amendments to text: up to 11th March
- Final proofreading and printing: 15th March
- Delivery to distributors 1st to 8th April
- Distribution: 8th April onwards. Booklets in place by Easter Saturday 20th April
- Launch Event Saturday 11th May
Open For Art Launch
The launch of Open for Art will take place at Sculpture by the Lakes.
Saturday 11th May 10.00am – 5.00pm
We are hoping to have lots of visitors that day and the entry price is reduced to £7.50 (normally £10.00) to encourage people to attend.
Artists named in the brochure have free entry.
We would like to make this an interesting and interactive event with lots of OFA artists attending. Artists named in the brochure are welcome to:-
- Paint en plein air around the park
- Exhibit your work (please bring your own table/chair/gazebo)
- Demonstrate your techniques. You are welcome to do this anywhere in the park but there will be a limited number of spaces in The Retreat. If you would like a space in The Retreat, please let us know what you propose so we can select the artists
- Wander around aimlessly and enjoy the day
Please email office @ sculpturebythelakes.co.uk if you would like to:-
- Visit Sculpture by the Lakes on 11th May FOC (artists named in the brochure only) so we can compile a guest list
- Exhibit your work (artist to bring own table/gazebo etc.)
- Demonstrate your techniques in The Retreat – we have a limited number of spaces for this so please let us know what you propose so we can select the artists
- Would like to paint En Plein Air around the park
- Any other proposals
Please let us know so we can plan the day and provide the relevant details and promote you in our social media campaign.
En Plein Air Exhibition
As part of the OFA venue programme Bennetts Water Gardens will be hosting a mixed exhibition of works influenced by their lovely setting. You as participants are invited to attend en plein air painting days scheduled on 3rd and 17th April to capture the magic of these surroundings which once finished, dried and framed you can then submit for hanging during the show. Alternatively you could exhibit complementary types of work such as botanic or water studies to reflect this environment. This is a great opportunity to show in another venue and also to signpost where your main venue is as well as meeting and working alongside other artists. There will be no charge for submission of works – however, depending on uptake, we cannot guarantee everything will get hung.
Liz Bowers will be organising the painting days, which will be from 10-4pm and cost £5 (half normal entry price) and submission and hanging of the work so please register with her if you wish to take part: liz @ lizbowers.co.uk
Domvs are again sponsoring the event and will be putting up a 100 road side banners throughout the area.
Sculpture by the Lakes and Artwey are also sponsors.
Our grant request was successful with Weymouth Bid and we pleased to announce West Dorst District Council are also a sponsor of Open for Art.
Most recently we have valued the support given by The Duchy of Cornwall.
Promotion & Brochures
We would ask each venue to help to distribute our 20,000 OFA brochures from Easter onwards. Distributing in your locality is your first priority leaving them, with the owner’s permission, around local libraries, cafes, restaurants, shops, hairdressers, waiting rooms and anywhere else you can think of.
Getting everything out there is important.
For the twenty brochures you have left and never bothered to hand out, that could have been twenty more people in your venue.
In addition to the first distribution cycle it is important to keep all those places topped up. In addition to your locality, we would encourage you to take them with you when you go out anywhere – not just Dorset, but Somerset, Devon, Hampshire and further still. These brochures do not just publicise our two week event but continue to advertise you and your work whilst they remain in situ for people to pick up and read.
Your Exhibition Space
It’s fun, enjoy it! – You get to meet all sorts of people running a studio and often people contact you from brochures long after the event so bear this in mind when you are talking to the visitors. Make them as welcome as possible and remember, they have chosen to see your art in this way because they are interested in knowing how you work. For some this is an important part of their day out.
Try, if possible, to frame it in a sympathetic way. If you are with other artists, discuss this and plan together. If you show alone try to frame work in a similar way. This is difficult to give advice as each venue is so different but if you try to keep it as professional as possible you can’t really do any better.
Float and Sales
If you sell any small price items, such as cards or anything under £50, you may well want to hold a float. We usually find fifty pounds in change & notes works well. Don’t leave large sums in your studio if away from the house and accessible. For the payment of larger sums, if you have internet access the easiest way is to use PayPal and if the purchaser also has a PayPal account they can just email the sum direct from their account to yours. There are fees involved so you might want to take these into account when pricing. You can take a cheque and offer to deliver to the visitor’s home after the event, which is another way. Otherwise make sure you know where the nearest cash machine is. However, once the customer has left, they can change their minds and not come back.
Competition and Feedback
OFA will hold a competition for visitors to collect six signatures from at least two different areas to enter into a draw. This will be on the back page of the brochure. Do encourage visitors to enter this competition which helps drive them round several other venues. You will be asked to sign and put in the venue number on the back of the brochure and may have the completed form left with you, which you will need to give to an organiser or post to the address on the form.
During conversation, it is helpful to ascertain how they found out about Open for Art – and have a head count on how many people have been through your venue. It is useful to have a visitors’ book where you can collect positive feedback from your visitors which you can use for future publicity.
We will have a feedback form for you to complete during or after OFA. We will need this information about numbers of visitors and where they are from in order to justify the grants we have been given by West Dorset District Council and Weymouth Bid. It will also help us in our future planning.
It’s really important that you are present when you say you are open in the brochure. The flow of people can be very inconsistent so don’t be tempted to for instance close early. You can have no one until the last hour and then lots turn up.
If you have an emergency, then try to find someone else to take over the stewarding or, if not possible, alert studios near you so that any visitors are warned in advance.
If you are exhibiting in your own home, it’s wise to notify your household insurers. If you don’t have public liability insurance then you can contact a specialist company dealing with the arts, such as Hencilla Canworth or another from the internet. Some artists decide to join a-n.co.uk, the artists’ network and, should you join for the year, your annual sub covers basic public liability insurance. Please read everything carefully and should you want liability against theft you will need to contact the company direct and sort out the right fit for your needs.
You may wish to use this disclaimer or your own version to display in your venue:
The organisers of Open For Art 2019 and the Artists at Venue ***, cannot be held responsible for any loss, damage or injury sustained by members of the public, when visiting this venue, howsoever caused.
All and any damages to artwork by visitors must be paid for, howsoever caused.
Children must be kept under adult supervision at all times and not be allowed to wander around on their own.
Dogs must be kept on leads at all times.