Building An Outdoor Art Exhibition

PhilipSpelman_Shelter_Sculpture by the SeA,Bondi 2019

Outdoor art exhibitions serve a unique purpose in the midst of an urban landscape. They offer a moment of peace and cultural renewal that citizens can enjoy during their day-to-day routine. 

In 2021, countries all around the world organised outdoor art events to boost morale during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. New York inhabitants could enjoy the colourful sculpture by Kusama, set in the middle of the Botanical Garden. Giant dancing pumpkins and other bright and vibrant shapes came to life for the visitors. 

Porto, in Portugal, exposed Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, who is passionate about utilising nature as a medium through light, shade, air, and water involvement. 

Tokyo showcased a beautiful light installation creating dancing shapes around Takeo Hot Springs. Called “A forest where gods live”, the light show cast moving shapes and colours onto the natural elements. 

In Australia, huge inflated whale-shaped balloons took over the sky everywhere in the country, celebrating the role of fathers as caregivers.

Also, Sculpture by the Sea, the world’s largest free to public sculpture exhibition, will return to the Bondi to Tamarama Beach coastal walk. Over the course of three weeks, the spectacular coastal walk will be transformed into a 2km long sculpture park featuring 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and around the world.

Sculpture by the sea, Bondi Beach

There is a growing demand for outdoor art, and it is the perfect opportunity for artists to create temporary or permanent pieces that will inspire citizens. 

Can you turn outside art exhibitions into a business model?

It can be tricky to earn enough money through outdoor exhibitions only unless you can provide your services as an artist to different organisations. For instance, you can use your art to support a social movement or a charity company. Charity organisations need to raise awareness to attract funds. So, partnering with a charity for art can be a great way of giving a voice to your work. Alternatively, you can also work closely with a museum, as an artist in residence, for instance, to design seasonal exhibitions. 

It can also be a great opportunity to get yourself noticed and reach out to big clients. 

Planning for permanent or long-term exhibitions

Some outdoor exhibitions last only a few weeks or months. But others can remain for the best part of a year or longer. So, it makes sense to work closely with your client to set the stage for future visitors. For instance, why not look into precast concrete seats and benches, so visitors can sit and admire your creations? 

If you consider the addition of a picnic area, you will need to also bring bins to collect garbage. The main issue when it comes to bins is that they can distract from the art. So, a good way to reduce disruption is to dress the bins, using removable and sturdy sculptures that give full access to the garbage disposal and can be “opened” to empty the bin. 

You might also want to think about your social media presence during the exhibition. Now’s the best time to create a hashtag that will be used to describe the art. You can ensure your client gets the hashtag printed on the relevant signs around the exhibition site. Hashtags are likely to remain long after the exhibition is gone, so make sure you can create something buzz-worthy:

  • #ExhibitionName
  • #ArtInLocation
  • #ArtiCitation
  • #ArtistName

Unsplash – CC0 Licence

Are you ready to build an outdoor art exhibition that will inspire and move your audience? Unlike museums or art galleries, outdoor exhibitions can attract a wide audience group, including individuals who are not familiar with art. Use it both as a way to convey a message and make art more accessible to the masses. 


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Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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