Our first exhibition, a lot of legwork involved here!
Firstly a group meeting to get us started, what do we need to do ? How can it be done? Who should do what? So many questions! The first meetings board notes are recorded here :
Exhibition Prep – Initial breakdown of tasks and requirements
In the initial venue discussion, the Works Gallery, Jubilee Centre, Birmingham, was put forward as a serious consideration, a small group of us went away to see if they could find anything that would beat its offer of price, locality and size, but alas it was not to be. We chose the gallery and continued our preparations.
We set up a Facebook group, private to those added so we had privacy, overall it was the easiest form of communication between the tutors,ourselves and the Yr twos, who were cohosting the exhibition. We named the group FdA CAP exhibition planning and Kali, created the page and the Vote for the exhibition title went live.
This being a handful of designs, The first one shown above, is one of my own design. The final design was chosen while I was off sick, but personally I really liked the striking I in the geometric patterns and the cream one with the rainbow stamp!
The above is the final poster design that was chosen, the notes show the required changes and the team designated for the graphic design parts of this quest, were sent away to complete the task. Here is the final Poster:
In hindsight, there were several mistakes on this poster/flier. For one, there is a very odd mix of CAPS and lower case lettering, the biggest mistake, it was assumed the dates 6-12th were inclusive, but it transpired that in fact, it was weekdays only. However, it is still a very striking poster and I received nothing but praise on its design from the people I handed it out to.
Bournville College Marketing , had another design which they used in their own advertising campaign:
For advertising purposes, the flier came very late in the day, just one week before the exhibition opening! This was a technology glitch that set us back an age with getting the exhibition noticed, as many of us who could took a pile each, and personally took them to doctors surgeries, dentists, libraries – pretty much anywhere public people would have the time to look and feel invited! It also was sent out on an email as a private viewing invitation for the evening before opening, Thursday 5th June 6-9pm. Thankfully Catherine in marketing had begun the advertising through the college much earlier with their own design 🙂 A huge thanks goes out to them, they really have been so supporting of our endeavour!
After design of the logo & poster were complete, the next task was to be sure we had the funds to cover the exhibition costs, we considered a fun run to raise some extra cash, but in the timescale we had, and with myself and several others being off sick or absent, it never got off the ground. We opted, instead, to just split the costs equally amongst the students allowing a little extra for emergency causes.
So, we have advertising, marketing assistance, exhibition space, security, refreshments and security – Next job; risk assessment : Health and Safety – With thanks to Natalia for its completion, whilst everyone ran round like headless chickens in the last few days before the exhibition!
Final Phase: Working together as a team, both the year ones and twos helped load all the artwork into the gallery space, we started setting up on Tuesday 4th June,once we got everything in the next task was to chose where each piece would go, curation yay!
Some work required a power supply so first priority was given to those who needed electricity and they were placed accordingly, likewise two people required hanging space from a ceiling for suspension of work, this had to be sensibly located so as not to create a danger to people who might otherwise walk into it! After allowing a set corner for an installation, we then proceeded to place all of the remaining art into suitable locations:
After the layout had been selected, the cleaning/painting/hanging began and we all did our share to ensure we had a welcoming, clean and safe gallery space for anyone visiting.
A quick flit to catering at the 11th hour, and I got us the loan of an ice bucket and drinks jug without too much bother, I was concerned personally at the state of the floor, and did actually telephone United Carpets in B31 Northfield to ask if they would consider donating a few offcuts to the cause of hiding the floor and us making a better impression, they very kindly offered donation of a 5m x 4m beige carpet, free of charge if we could collect – Upon discussing with the tutors I was advised to reconsider the carpet, for several reasons;
- The disposal of it after the event,
- Damage to it during the event,
- Health and safety – It may create a trip hazard.
For these reasons we did not take the offer, but I was very grateful for the kindness that we had been shown especially at such a late hour.
The Private view:
We had an exceptionally good turnout to the event, it was relaxed, friendly and we all had a fantastic time. The comments I received on my work were very pleasant and overall I got a really great response from the public and staff who attended, not only myself though, there were many many compliments on all of the work on show, sadly a few people were missing, but we did get a group picture on the night:
Jasmine from Bournville College marketing, came along too, our press release in the making!facebook.com/bournvillecollege latest news.
My work & Artists statement, and me with my work! Scary picture, but I am sure I am not 100% responsible for your therapy needs 😀
The last hard job: a rota – to ensure the space is manned, by two people at all times during opening hours, I volunteered to create one as I have experience in creating staff rotas from serveral previous jobs :
ROTA – EACH DAY IS FOR COVER BETWEEN 10-4PM, AS LONG AS LUNCH IS COVERED WE CAN WORK WITHIN THAT SCALE SO THAT 2 PEOPLE ARE AVAILABLE IN GALLERY SPACE AT ANY GIVEN POINT.
DAVE, ZAK, LAURA , JAMES
STEPH, TATE, DARCY and ZAHRA ARE UNAVAILABLE, AND JULIETH IS EXCUSED AS SHES HEAVILY PREGNANT, ANY ISSUES PLEASE CONTACT ME DIRECTLY. THANK YOU AND HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
All in, yes we made mistakes, as pointed out on the flier earlier, we really should have checked the dates were inclusive of the weekend. Given the exhibition is open 10-4 weekdays only, we really cut our visitor numbers without realising.
It was also a last minute race to get advertising going, and we are still plugging it! We are utilising social media, I myself have an artists page set up and used it to create an event so as to get a wider level of interest, with the ability to tag co-hosts its gone out to an even wider audience still 🙂
The only other consideration I would have for the future, is that whilst the gallery is very centrally located, it’s still a bit of a mission to get to, its pretty much in the back streets of town. The building itself is an old building and on set up day the lift was not in working order, being on the 3rd, and top, floor, this meant we had to trek up 6 flights of stairs to get to the space, if this happened on opening night, it could be a disaster.
Other faults were that there was no real clue as to what was going on the building from the outside nor, when you actually entered the lobby – We took posters and stuck them on the walls and doors within the building to help further our reach.
Also the security alarm on the door perpetually went off, rather shrilly, every single time the outer, and inner, lobby doors were opened 😦 The poor security guard had a very harsh night being situated between both! We should have asked for the alarms to be muted. For the while I was in the lobby, I did placate a few visitors by telling them we were providing ‘audio art’ as well, this at least put a smile back on peoples faces 🙂
I am looking forward to my shift in the gallery and really do hope people enjoy visiting as much as we enjoyed putting it together.