Providing a venue for local artists to showcase their works is a great way to not only enhance the environment of your location, but also to become a part of the local arts community. The opportunity can be as simple as displaying the piece(s) over a certain period time or you can also host an Art Opening evening to unveil the exclusive art exhibit at your location.
Displaying art in-store can present many challenges from space limitations to inappropriate “artistic expression” to the difficulty of displaying the works. However, the payoff could be tremendous.
Questions to Ask
Before you start down the path of displaying art in-store, you need to evaluate whether or not your location is able to display art. Consider the following three questions:
- Does your location have an “empty” wall area?
- If applicable – has your manager/parent company approved hanging art in-store?
- Are you and your team members prepared to monitor the art program on a daily basis?
If you answered YES to all three, you’re set to proceed to the next step.
As with in-store live music, the best way to source artists is to begin your search within your store. Solicit employees that may have art experience and / or works that they would like to display.
Other opportunities can be found at college art programs or high school art programs in your neighborhood. You may even want to contact a few local art galleries, as they may be looking for an opportunity to feature some of their works at your store.
Evaluating the Appropriateness of the Pieces
Art is a very subjective form of expression. There is no clear way to define what is “good” and “bad” art. However, certain criteria should be used when determining which pieces to display.
All art displayed in your location will be considered by your customers as a direct reflection of your business. As such, it is very important that any art in your store is tasteful and in line with the brand and atmosphere. When deciding on which artist to feature into your location, familiarize yourself with their work.
Be sure to avoid pieces that depict controversial subject matter. As a rule, also avoid any pieces that contain nude subjects. (On the other hand, maybe this type of art is *perfect* for your brand).
Have the local gallery, school, or artist be responsible for delivery and removal of all art work. Work with the art partner on appropriate installation that is sturdy and secure.
Have the artwork displayed with a business card and a small sign informing customers how to contact the artist for purchase (if the work is for sale).
We recommend your location not be responsible for the sale of the artwork. Rather, have customers work directly with the artist.
Art Exhibit Opening Gala
Host an opening night gala to unveil the artwork. You could make it a fun and enjoyable evening for all with live music, and sampling of your products/services throughout the night.
See also: In-Store Events: Art Opening
Additional Notes on Displaying Art In-Store
Please be upfront with the artist regarding these two disclaimers:
- Your business will not be responsible for any damage or theft to artwork.
- At any time you can remove artwork for whatever reason without compensation or explanation to the artist.
There should be no cost to you to display any artwork in-store.
Photo Source: flickr.com/photos/goincase/4579336926