Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Hey, It's Exposure

"Acadian Prince" 18x24 oil/canvas

Do I really want this $2800 painting hung over the buffet and subject to splashes of gravy?

"We'd love to hang your art in our restaurant."
"We'd love to hang your art in our corporate office."
"We'd love to hang your art in our hospital lobby."

Usually, these statements are followed by another:  "Of course, we can't pay you, but you'll get plenty of exposure."

What's the value of exposure?  Certainly, someone may see your artwork in one of these venues, but quite often, purchasing art is the last thing on that person's mind.  Seated in a restaurant, I'm more interested in the menu and my fellow guests.  If  I'm a worker in a corporate office, I'm usually looking at my computer screen or headed to the coffee machine.  If I'm waiting to see a doctor, I am focused on what ails me.  In each of these situations, I may see the decor and may even enjoy it, but I'm probably not buying it.

As a painter, of course, I have a professional interest.  If the painting looks interesting, I'll walk over to it, examine it more closely and maybe even check the signature and price, if there is a price tag.  (There should be, and with your contact information, if you want to sell it.)

If I'm asked by a business to hang my work for free, I would first ask if they have a decorating budget.  I'd make them a deal if they buy the work.  Failing that, I'd ask if they would be interested in renting the work.  Failing that, I would say "no."

Yes, sometimes hanging your painting for free in such a venue may sell it or entice a buyer to look at your other work.  But I think it's very rare.  I'd love to have you share your experiences in the comments section below.

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