Art Show - Contact Artists

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Once you have your paperwork ready and have established how to handle requests from artists, you can start inviting them. Even for the smallest shows, you want to start 3 months in advance. Sooner is better. Larger shows need more lead time. For most shows, six months before the show is a good time to start inviting artists.

There are many ways to invite artists. The most common are direct mail, e-mail, and the web.

Method Advantages Disadvantages
  • Fast, cheap, easy
  • You control who gets invited
  • Doesn't work for artists without email
  • Need email addresses, which expire quickly - high failure rate
  • Less control over forms (no duplex or colored paper)
direct mail
  • Works for everyone
  • You control who gets invited
  • Print things the way you want
  • Slower than email
  • High cost (printing and postage)
  • Labor intensive
  • Need addresses
  • Good way to find new artists
  • Low cost (if con already has web site)
  • Low effort
  • Won't work for artists wit no web access
  • No control who gets invited
  • Less control over forms (no duplex or colored paper)
  • Will miss many artists you want - they won't know your site came up.

I recommend using all three. The web can find new artists, which you want and need. The other two allow you to reach artists who have previously participated, or who you particularly want to invite.