Tips for Exhibitors

 

 

For anyone who has never exhibited on the Green before here are a few ideas on displaying your photographs.

The space available will hang at least 15 to 20  large mounted prints depending on your arrangement and how you  like your “space”.

There is no right or wrong…. and moving them about / changing the look is all part of the fun.  I’ve often started with a particular group in mind but by the time I stopped fiddling about the arrangement was completely different.  So, the advice is: don’t sweat the small stuff… you made it!  You’re here, with your stuff, and your work stands equal to all the other exhibits.  Change it as often as you wish, something jarring or annoying …swap em out,  dull half-hour… move em around. It’s all up to you.

For simplicity, and to stop from ‘repeating’ myself I’ll break this into 4 parts.

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YOU!!

If you’re not comfy it’s a very long day to be standing around.

  • Dress warm in layers so if the sun shines we can pretend we’re in L.A. baby!  (btw, many of the smartest and experienced exhibitors specifically  request the east side of the Green ‘cos that’s where the sun shines best.  Very very pleasant spaces on a sunny day.
  • Comfy shoes and socks.
  • Your mobile phone, iPad, iTouch, Kindle, laptop etc ( but please be careful)
  • Make sure you’ve a rain jacket … just in case it rains  (never happens, …well almost never,     ok,ok,ok  maybe it has once or twice), some bring an umbrella
  • Bring your personal stuff,  glasses, a flask of coffee or tea for the initial morning set-up part if you wish, a paperback book, and while we would have a big problem with your hardwood patio set of table and 6  carver chairs, a small folding chair or stool (per person) is quite acceptable.
  • There are a number of good local Centra style shops along the stretch so most items (food, newspapers, take-away coffee, etc) can be readily enough purchased.
  • Toilets / bathrooms… many many facilities from Stephen Green Shopping Centre all the way down  to Doheny & Nesbits.

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The Space:

  • The spaces measure approx 8ft long by 6ft high  (2.4 mtr x 1.9mtr)
  • Again, the space available will hang at least 15 to 20  large mounted prints depending on how much openness you like between them. Less is often more!!!

As to the actual hanging there’s been many many ‘techniques over the years.  A lot of it’s down to things like resources, transport availability, simplicity, regular/ equally sized mounts or pictures

We’d a question in 2012  “How many prints can I fit in the space?”

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Preparing and Hanging your work:

Firstly ensure that you have all the materials you require, useful items to have on the weekend could include;

  • string
  • pegs, bulldog clips etc   (make sure they’re strong)  If it’s very gusty and the prints/mounts aren’t secure  I’ve seen exhibitors chase after work being blown along the path
  • masking tape,  (could never figure out that one)  
  • pen
  • plastic sheeting, to pull over your prints in case of rain….  heavy duty stuff can be bought in your local hardware as “builders plastic”  but there are also lighter types available as painting sheets etc
  • above all…

    ..prints (DO NOT forget the prints!…and yes, it has been done !!)

Hanging Methods:   … TAKE A LOOK AT THE GALLERIES…. See the different approaches that have been used in the past. Figure out what suits you!

The most common (and simplest of all) method to exhibit prints is to stretch string between the railings in two, three or more rows depending on your print height and width.

The prints can then be attached to the string with pegs.

Some exhibitors enclose their prints in professional acetate covers to protect them. These covers however can be expensive.

Editors Note: A long term method used by many is to go buy a roll of florists cellophane from your local florist  (don’t all rush) but you might need to give him/her a day or two’s notice. A roll lasts for years and will set you back between €15 – €25 euro depending on the width and length and your florist’s eye for profit.  ADVICE : HAGGLE !!! …or head down the flower markets some morning

My own personal (cheapskate that I am) preference is to:

    • buy A1 mount boards…
    • split them centrally into two A2 boards and then
    • mount A3 prints on each board with double sided sticky tape. … take care to position correctly.   (…entirely reasonable alternative  to mount A4 prints on A3 boards, or A5 on A4 etc…. whatever works for you)
    • cover the ‘finished’ board with the florists cellophane making sure to overlap and seal the back well.
    • Voila !!!  one protected, smudge, finger, scratch and rainproof , weather resistant  print ready for the exhibition

 

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Another mounting method is to use the green gardening netting used by gardeners. This can be tied to the railings and again the prints can be attached with pegs.

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Prints can also be strung vertically on a “hanging cord”  sort of arrangement prepared at home prior to the exhibition. This works well when all the mounts are the same width. The prints will sit between a long piece of string hooked over the railings with each print fixed to the string at each side at regular intervals. This is a quick and convenient method to hang the prints on the day.  Basically arrive, hang, sit.

To prepare:

  • Prepare a couple of mounted prints as per my cheapskate method above
  • Take  an existing picture mounted at about 6ft high at home off the wall.
  • Take long piece of string, hemp, rope  of your choice and colour  (watch out for materials that will “stretch”) and let it hang in two halves over the nail. Nylon garden sting not recommended as it’s ‘slippy’   Butchers twine is ideal… strong (and for perfectionists can even be dyed to disappear into the background)
  • Allow a generous length of string “drop” before adding the 1st mounted print.   You can adjust this height when the finished works are being hung on the railings at the Green
  • To mount: take a length of clear cellotape and neatly  “trap/wrap ” the hanging stringalong the side edge of the mounted print. The trick is to make sure you’ve good adhesion between both string and print… if not , the print will slide down the string and you’ll be tortured adjusting it on the day
  • Repeat for the other side.
  • Come down a measured length and add another print
  • Continue till you think its good for you.

Note: I watched in admiration one year as an exhibitor cycled to the exhibition with a shoulder satchel…. climbed off and locked bike, took prepared prints from satchel, hung over railings and tied off at bottom to stop them blowing about.  Stood back and admired. Set out little box of business cards.  Opened a little tri-leg stool and toddled off to get a coffee.  Time elapsed about 5 mins.    It’s all in the preparation!

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Prints could be attached to light board, which can then be hung on the railings with string.

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 Flyers, Advertising and Selling:

First… read this post from a previous exhibition.

We all like to promote our work.   Business cards and small info leaflets (in suitable discreet containers or dispensers to stop them from blowing about)   have always been fine.  

IF someone engages in conversation it is of course OK to offer them a card to enable them make future contact.  By all means IF someone inquires about a price for a picture… go for it and good luck !.   Some have put up a SMALL price list to give the public an indication of prices….  BUT the “offer” to purchase MUST come from the public.

What’s not OK is loose material … blowing about in the wind.

Handing out unsolicited fliers to the passing public  is regarded as touting and is completely verbotten…

It would be impossible to invite the public to enjoy a quarter mile of pavement with photographers pushing promotional material at them. How irritating would that be?  The behavior would be regarded as unacceptable, and  would result in the exhibitor being asked to cease,   if continued .. the exhibitor would be requested to withdraw from the exhibition.

 

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