Saturday, September 30, 2017

Case Study (RSMA): How to promote an annual exhibition and art for sale online

The Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists opens at the Mall Galleries on 5th October and continues until 14th October (open 10am - 5pm each day).

398 paintings and drawings will be on display various media. This is an open exhibition so works are by both members of the RSMA and those selected via the open entry.
You can view ALL the artwork in advance online 

Other art societies would do well to see how the RSMA and the Mall Galleries combined collaborate to:
  • increase the profile of the art society - RSMA 
  • promote their annual exhibition in various ways
  • promote and increase sales of the artwork online in advance of the exhibition
For example, the RSMA 2017 Annual Exhibition Catalogue has been published on Issuu
  • It includes a selection on members artwork.  
  • This catalogue is organised by the Mall Galleries marketing team.
  • The option to make it available for view on Issuu is available to all the member art societies of the Federation of British Artists who exhibit at the Mall Galleries.
However it's also something that any art society can do (more details of "how to publish" on Issuu)

Cover of the Catalogue for the RSMA Annual Exhibition 2017
A double page spread of a selection of members artwork.
The Royal Society of Marine Artists are also very organised with their own website:
  • the website has a page dedicated to the exhibition
  • On this page you can also see a sample of the paintings which will be on display - which includes the title, media and price as well as the artists name.

A sample of the paintings on display on the RSMA's dedicated 2017 exhibition page

Finally, the Mall Galleries website has images of ALL the artworks in the exhibition - because of course submission is now digital so artists need to produce images!

You just need to scroll down the "RSMA What's On" page and you can see the images across several pages.  These are:
  • in alphabetical order (surname)
  • include BOTH paintings by members and those selected from the open entry which will also be on display

A sample of the drawings and paintings selected from the Open Entry
for the 2017 Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists
What's more you can also buy them in advance of the exhibition opening!  If you click the title this will bring up an image of the painting and provide all of the detailed information about the media.
So - this is what the page looks like for David Wiseman's pencil drawing of Caswell Bay, Gower. You just need to complete the form on the right and complete the "I am not a robot" check to enquire about the painting or make an offer to buy it.

This is what the Sale Enquiry page looks like.
This display of artwork online with an enquiry link is time-consuming but allows visitors to the exhibition to consider buying a work both before and after a visit to the exhibition - and even if they are unable to visit!

These days it's the norm for art exhibitions run in a commercial professional way to have BOTH
  • a physical exhibition - which people can visit
  • a virtual online exhibition - accessible to those who have access to the internet via desktop, tablet or smartphone.
The number of sales which result from viewings via the internet increase year on year. In 2016, $3.75 billion of artwork and collectibles were sold online - which is an increase of 15% compared to 2015 - according to the 2017 Hiscox Online Art Trade Report.

Plus the Mall Galleries uses its social media accounts - both Facebook and Instagram - to highlight upcoming exhibitions by the FBA art societies and artists that use the galleries. 

As does the RSMA - choosing to feature groups of paintings by members on their Facebook Page

Exhibition Events

If I have one criticism of the upcoming RSMA exhibition, it's that there's not one page on either website which lists the events at the exhibition which can be booked in advance. (i.e. making it much easier for people to choose which day to attend)

The events are:

Tours Free

Demonstrations Free

Workshop (Paid) 10:30am to 4:30pm

Click the links to find out how to book a place at one of the workshops.

Special event - with an opportunity to draw

  • 14 October 2017 Sea Shanty Singing (and drawing) Sea Shanties and Folk Songs inspired by the sea in the surroundings of the Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition - with free drawing materials supplied by Windsor & Newton!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katherine, thanks very much for your promo and recommendation of how the RSMA runs its website and Facebook/Twitter pages - I operate the latter two! Actually, there are links to the events during the exhibition on both websites - on the RSMA website, if you click on

    'Exhibition and info'=

    and on the Mallgalleries website, if you click on

    and then on 'Related Events' in the black band in the middle - could be more prominent though, I must admit! I was going to thank you for your comments at the PV, but didn't get to see you. Thanks again anyway, Peter


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