Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress

What Makes A Show A Success?


Show set-up

Show set-up

The days after a big art event always fill me with a  multitude of feelings. From elation to disappointment and everything in between I am left thinking about how to improve or build on my success and, even more importanty, what makes an event a successful one.

This past weekend’s Stinking Fish Fall Show was no different. In many respects it was a resounding success. A large and steady stream of visitors braved the cold weather to come visit and buy from our eclectic group of artists. The atmosphere was festive and cheerful. I met with many friends and aquaintances and had some wonderful chats with new visitors. The artists were overwhelmed with the turnout and most were very pleased with their earnings for the weekend.

At the end, though, many of us  had an abundance of stock to take home, myself included. While my earnings were more than expected, I still only sold a handful of artworks out of many dozens on display. Happily, I did sell a large number of my new photography books.

So I was left thinking about what makes a successful show. Is it more important to sell a lot of product or to sell fewer, but to people with whom your work has resonated deeply? Are the connections made and exposure had of even greater importance? What about the pleasure the work has given to those who have seen and admired it, even sighing deeply while viewing it?

One dear and repeat visitor to the tour was overwhelmed to see all of these people whose work she so admires under one roof, and needed to take a break and revisit the next day. Many connected strongly with the images of Italy in my 2015 planner with the resultant conversations beling full of joy and recounted memories. Being close to Christmas many were holiday shopping and it was very touching to know that my pieces were chosen to be given to cherished friends and family as gifts, some being sent to faraway places.

The artists themselves got tremendous pleasure in sharing the event with each other, visiting with each other during the few quiet moments, buying or trading each other’s work, sharing laughter, food and stories. One later said it was the most fun she’d had in a long time. All agreed they wanted to do it again next year.

So in the end, I would have to say that, yes, it was a successful event, however much was sold, for it brought a community of artists together, in the process giving them this opportunity to share with a larger community their passion, creativity and joy. Hard to beat that!

Below is my set-up.

My space

Photos courtesy of Nicole Valentine-Rimmer.

Wishing you all a wonderful, creative week of sharing!


Author: chiaink

World travelled yet never weary, eloquent and evocative, Chiarina's artworks sing with a sensitive and sensuous spirit.

10 thoughts on “What Makes A Show A Success?

  1. Interesting questions you raise about the success of the show — regarding the joy, connection and dollars. It makes me think of the word rich which could easily be defined in terms of money, but equally important is its definition –depth of meaning. Congratulations!

  2. I think for all the reasons you have mentioned Chiarina makes a show a success. I always try to remember that a show, an exhibition, a display for a special event or a studio visit are a series of events that should build and lead on from one to another. They are not an end result in themselves. Yes, we want to choose the right venue for our work, we want to have the variety that the potential buyers coming to that event may want and all that good stuff. But once these basics are done to the best of our ability then the rest is just part of our journey as artists. Those conversations with visitors, old friends, collectors and fellow artists seem to last much long than the revenue generated. But that is not to deny the importance of sales. They are significant but do not stand alone as the only measure of success.

    • So ture, Terrill! I can’t begin to list all the significant connections I have made through my art events, many far reaching, long lasting and so soul nourishing! In fact my partner is one such connection!

  3. Ah, Chia, you have hit upon one of my ongoing questions: defining success as an artist. I sense your ambivalence–both your deep gratitude and fulfillment from your fantastic connections and visitors’ appreciation, as well as your wish that more creations had been sold. I feel I have been in the same situation so many times. Ultimately, I ended up where you did: that, as Elysha so aptly notes, the richness of success that really matters is defined in terms of joy and connection. Congratulations on your success! xoxo

  4. my wife’s
    at a coquitlam show
    this weekend
    so true
    on so many levels …

  5. Amazing! Some of the feelings you mention post-show are some of the most intense I’ve experienced when putting on my own work in the past. Thank you for the insights, looking forward to reading more! 🙂

    • Thank you, appreciate the feedback. Post show highs and lows definitely come with the territory don’t they?

      • They do! I find that some of the best shows I’ve done often times are the ones, where I didn’t even make much money back! The reward perhaps was the social element and appreciation given by the supporters. 🙂 Interesting!

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