Behind the Scenes: Setting Up an Art Exhibition

Pixabay – CC0 Licence

As you step into an art exhibition, you’re greeted by a serene atmosphere filled with quiet contemplation. Soft, illuminating lights cast shadows on thought-provoking pieces, and visitors move gracefully from one artwork to another, lost in their interpretations. This tranquil ambiance, however, masks the flurry of activity, planning, and hard work that has gone on behind the scenes. The polished spectacle of an art exhibition is the culmination of a process rife with chaos, sweat, and meticulous details. This article takes you backstage, revealing the often overlooked complexities involved in setting up an art exhibition.

Conceptualization and planning

Every art exhibition starts as a concept, a creative spark that forms the foundation for all ensuing decisions. This concept might be a theme, a particular artistic period, or centred around a specific artist. Once the concept is defined, curators start the process of selecting the pieces to be displayed, ensuring each contributes to the overall narrative and theme of the exhibition.

The layout of the exhibition is another crucial aspect of planning. The positioning of the artworks, the flow of the visitor’s journey, and even the color of the walls are thoughtfully designed to complement the art and enhance the viewer’s experience. All these elements require meticulous planning and orchestration. Even the lighting is carefully planned to highlight the art and create the desired mood and atmosphere. This careful orchestration transforms a simple gallery space into an immersive, engaging, and educational experience.

Logistical considerations

With the concept, pieces, and layout planned, focus shifts to the often-underappreciated logistical aspects of setting up an art exhibition. The transportation of artworks, especially large sculptures or installations, can pose unique challenges. They need to be moved from studios, storage facilities, or even international locations, to the exhibition space with utmost care to avoid any damage.

Arranging the artworks within the gallery is another critical logistical task. Larger exhibitions often require heavy-duty equipment to handle oversized or hefty pieces. Here, the services of a forklift hire come into play. Forklifts can maneuver heavy items safely, ensuring they’re placed exactly where the curators envision, without risk to the artwork or the installation team. Whether it’s a colossal metal sculpture or an intricate installation piece, the proper equipment makes its installation possible and safe.

These logistical considerations, often hidden from the public eye, play an essential role in bringing the exhibition to life, ensuring every piece of art is presented in the best possible way.

Installation, Display, and Maintenance

Once artworks are in the gallery, the installation process commences. Each piece is carefully positioned, considering lighting, viewing angles, and visitor movement. The goal is to create an engaging narrative and aesthetic continuity that resonates with the exhibition’s theme.

Maintaining this environment is equally important. Artworks, especially delicate ones, need a controlled atmosphere, with specific temperature and humidity levels. Moreover, high-end security measures ensure the art pieces’ safety, while regular cleaning keeps the exhibition in pristine condition. Each element, from installation to maintenance, contributes to creating a harmonious, secure, and immersive art exhibition experience.


From conceptualization to maintenance, setting up an art exhibition is a delicate blend of creativity, meticulous planning, and logistical precision. Behind the tranquil visitor experience lies a symphony of hard work and attention to detail, all dedicated to showcasing the transformative power of art.

Want to learn more?

  1. Find out more
  2. Launch Pad + Accelerator Expressions of Interest
  3. Selling and Licensing Your Art & Designs Around the World with ArtSHINE.

We’re here to help you to take action, just like we’ve helped thousands of other entrepreneurs, business owners, and creative professionals all around the globe.

Now is the time to let your passion SHINE.

Now is the time to Make Tomorrow Today!

To your success, Vinh Van Lam and Stuart Horrex Cofounders

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.