The first thing that happened is that on November 1 I had an open house/art exhibit in my home. I send out invitations to all my friends, to people in a couple of groups that I belong to, and to my neighbors. I took down all the art in the living room, removed the clutter, and began hanging as many of my pieces as I could display. I borrowed a couple of large display stands from a friend and displayed the rest of the pieces there. We have an open studio tour twice a year in the area where I live, so I had learned a lot from visiting other artists.
With labels, business cards, a cash box, and cards made from prints of some of my work as well as some food and wine to serve, we were set to go. My husband served as cashier and I was free to talk with everyone. We were open from 2:30-5:30 on a Sunday afternoon, a perfect amount of time.
Did I mention that this was my first show? Oh, I've put a couple of things out in local places, but this was a big deal for me. The impetus was some very positive feedback that I had recently received from friends and I just decided to take the leap and go for it. I was a little nervous, but it was so much fun! Everyone was overwhelmingly supportive. I did sell a couple of things, but the main point for me was to get over my shyness and to get some feedback. Now I have some prints to order and some new projects underway, will put two pieces out in local shows, and have contacts for two organizations who may be interested in hosting a showing in the next year.
There are great internet resources that will help emerging artist learn how to photograph, mat, frame, hang, and price their work, and I encourage everyone to check them out!