Returning to In-Person Exhibitions: Considerations for Artists

If you’re an artist contemplating returning to in-person exhibitions, this post is for you. Read on for eight considerations to make if you’re torn between getting back to exhibitions in person and continuing them solely online.

Prioritize Your Holistic Health

First, consider how you feel. As much as you want to get back to face-to-face interactions with visitors and fans, it may not be the best decision right now. Consider the impact on your physical and mental health and how they might be affected if you return to in-person exhibitions today.

Make an Informed Decision About Getting Vaccinated

Prioritizing your holistic health also means making an informed decision about getting vaccinated. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of scary news and misinformation online about COVID-19 vaccines. But you must always keep in mind these vaccines are proven to be safe and effective by scientists and medical professionals.

Before returning to in-person exhibitions, learn as much as possible about getting vaccinated. Consult your doctor. Follow the Center for Disease Control. Listen to what medical professionals are saying and suggesting for others.

Then, make your decision about getting vaccinated.

Keep “Zoom Only” Exhibitions If They’re Best for You

If “Zoom only” exhibitions are still the best choice, continue offering them until you’re ready to branch out. There’s nothing wrong with putting off in-person exhibitions until you’re mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared to give them your all.

If you haven’t already, dedicate a space in your home to create, view, share, and appreciate art yourself, with fans and visitors. Be sure your area has a professional background with good lighting, background colors, and accessories.

You could also rent out an event space or another room to set up your exhibition and make it available online.

Hold Private Showings or Small Groups

Consider doing private showings if you’re leaning more toward in-person exhibitions but want to start small. Don’t feel like you have to fill your exhibition to capacity because you can open your doors to the public again.

Instead, find your comfort level with in-person interactions. If it’s private showings by appointment only, do that. If it’s small groups, go for it. If you want to open your doors weekends-only or on specific weekdays, that’s an excellent way to phase into in-person exhibitions too.

Ask Visitors to Wear Masks

Even if you do private showings or only allow small groups into your exhibition at a time, you can ask visitors to wear masks. Although many places are lifting mask mandates, you have a right to choose what’s best for your exhibition.

Make It Easy for People to Be Safe and Healthy

Doing the following can reassure visitors that health and safety are the main priorities:

• Provide masks
• Enforce the “no touching” policy
• Make hand sanitizer readily available
• Require visitors to remain six feet apart
• Clean restrooms regularly and thoroughly stock them
Hire a cleaning crew to take care of your entire space

Doing the above will secure a safe, healthy exhibition experience for your visitors. As a result, they can fully immerse themselves in the long-awaited in-person art experience.

Consider a Hybrid Approach

A hybrid approach to exhibitions is also plausible. For instance, you could make your online viewing room available throughout the week and put on an exclusive in-person exhibition a couple of times a month. Or, you could do the opposite. Make your in-person exhibition available to the public but put on an online-only event every month for fans worldwide.

Be Ready to Pivot

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that everything can change in a few moments. So, think about what you would do if in-person exhibitions were shut down again. How would you rebuild? How would you continue to showcase your work? What would you do to continuously connect with fans if you can’t do it in person? How will you keep health and safety at the forefront of everything you do? Whether you go back to in-person exhibitions full-time, remain online, or try a hybrid approach, be ready to pivot at all times.