Possible non-profit exhibition
I am considering putting together an exhibition of analog photography, and am seeking discussion and suggestions. I have some experience at mounting both group and solo shows of photography, as well as paintings. There are local venues that can be hired or “borrowed” (no cost) for exhibitions, so that is not a problem.
For a few years before I retired, I thought that once retired, I would put together a group show of several photographers. This has been done by other groups associated with APUG. Notably, I have seen a long thread about our friends in Ireland that put together a show of this sort. There have been others, al well. I would hope to have 35mm, roll and sheet film represented, as well as prints from silver, platinum, platinum/palladium, etc all represented; as well as some alternative techniques.
I am in the Dallas area, and I think limiting this to Texas photographers would give it some appeal, both to the galleries and to any potential audience. (There is no reason this could not be done in other areas, but I’m here.) I can get the venues arranged. I would like to mount the show in Dallas and Ft. Worth, as well as Houston, and either San Antonio or Austin.
I think this can done on a non-profit basis, and I am not looking to make any money. However, I am not looking for it to cost me anything other than time. I have seen other groups on this forum do this by having each photographer cover their share of the costs. That could be done either directly (everybody pays their own framing, shipping, etc., or by a flat fee that would cover some shared costs, if any.
For the content, I could go a number of ways. My first thought was an “invitational”; i.e., I would invite several photographers to submit x number of prints. I also thought of just soliciting open entries, although in either case, there would have to be a selection process to ensure quality and balance.
Other things to consider: Content; i.e. nudes or not. Standards as to print size, and presentation, or simply leave that open. Sales and how to handle them. Etc.
This is just the brief, opening salvo. Please feel free to ask any questions, or offer any constructive comments. Please refrain from telling me this can’t be done, because I know it can. I just want to get it planned well in advance. Part of the planning will be to look at any potential “speedbumps”, as well as making sure I have identified all the potential costs. The shows I have mounted have been paid for without regard to how much it totaled, but I can’t do that with this one, or I’ll end up spending my money to hang other peoples’ prints.
Yup. I think it likely that will happen. I am both dismayed by, and in awe of, your altruism – the words I live by (yet sadly have yet to observe) being, "No good deed goes unpunished".
Originally Posted by David Brown
I would make your first show invitational only so you can peg costs and reduce the expectations of untested exhibitors. You select, you curate. Solicit anticipated costs (including sales costs) + margin up front, with a promise to return any unused funds amongst the "artists" (keeping books ). To keep it ultra simple, make each artist responsible for their own sales. The transacting of money from sales and artists will be sticky legally, non-profit and all. I would get legal advice on how to handle that from a good TX business attorney (any old Enron ones lying around? ), because that may be the only way to collect and process money from sales.
Be sure to include hanging and display (paint, lights?) costs. Experience tells me many artists simply do not understand "ready to hang". Provide them with a checklist of your requirements, including frame style and size. Do not accept work that has not is not "ready to hang". Make a professional looking (self-published) book ($$) with artist contacts for the show.
I think analog only is less important to the viewing public than the subject and style. Analog can certainly be your requirement, I just wouldn't make that the primary design criteria for the exhibition. I wouldn't restrict the sizes of work on the first go–around from different artists, particularly if the general idea is to showcase analog. Maybe later as you continue you fine tune your shows.
BTW, I designed and operated a gallery once upon a time, I don't live in TX, and no longer show – so I don't have a dog in this fight.
Best of Luck (...and I think you should have your head examined)
"So I am turning over a new leaf but the page is stuck". Diane Arbus