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Some thoughts on self-promotion for Art Vancouver exhibitors

So, you have a spot in Art Vancouver. You know how you want to set up your walls and what work you will show. But what’s next? How do you drive to people to come see you and you work?

Marketing yourself can seem daunting, but there are things you can do to help your art stand out. It is a matter of taking the initiative to do something about it.

Skyla Wayrynen, managing director of Vancouver Visual Arts Foundation, says it ultimately falls to each individual artist to be their own promoter.

“You can’t expect anyone else to promote you even if you are signing up for a show,” Wayrynen says. “VVAF will market, but there’s only so much they can do because there’s eighty to a hundred people they have to market. So, if one person decides to take that on for themselves, they’ll get so much publicity about it.”

One of the easiest ways to do this is through a press release. Media already covers large events such as Art Vancouver, but by sending out your own press release, you are giving them a face and a story to promote the event through.

“All the media is on the Internet. It’s there for us to access. We can get their emails.”

VVAF has also put together a press release template for artists to fill in if the idea of writing about yourself is intimidating.

After this, social media is a quick way to reach a lot of people. It also allows people to engage with you and any work you post.

“Before a show, I’ll start posting about a month in advance about my work that I’m doing,” Wayrynen says. “So, it’s not just that one day before the show saying, ‘Hey, by the way, I’m in a show. Come see me.’ They’re very much engaged in the whole process of, start-to-finish, watching the process of artwork happen.”

As a final note, be yourself. People come to see you, the artist, just as much as they come to view the art at the exhibition. 

And while that can seem frightening, just remember, you are the expert in what you do.

“It’s really just having the courage to put yourself out there.”

By Nathan Durec


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