by Carolyn Edlund
Digital artist Carole Boyd planned and implemented a successful solo show in her community. Here’s how she did it.
Carole Boyd has been creating digital art for years, using the Microsoft Paint program. She’s no stranger to objections and disinterest from galleries and art buyers who didn’t believe digital art was a serious medium. Over time, digital art has become widely accepted and expanded into different techniques and styles.
Fortunately, there is no problem having digital art printed, and a wide number of substrates are available. Over the years, she has sold her work printed on notecards, canvas, glass, tiles and paper. She has a large portfolio and inventory of prints to sell.
Her major goal was not just to print and sell art, but to have a profitable solo exhibition of her work. The trick was how to make this happen on a local level.
An attorney by trade, Boyd lives and works for a firm on South Padre Island, Texas. The island has a tight community, and she worked with her network of contacts to make the show a reality.
Partnering with Local Business
First, she needed a show sponsor and a venue. Boyd approached Franke Realty to ask if they would support her show and help spread the word. They initially declined, but she convinced them to meet again, where she showed some of her art and pitched the idea of making the exhibition a fundraiser for the Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center. That closed the deal. The realty company was on board. They agreed to help publicize the event and send an email campaign to their list.
Next, she got in touch with The Inn at South Padre to ask for donated space to hold her one-day art sale and fundraiser. They agreed to permit the use of a conference room for the show. The conference room had enough space for artwork to be hung and tables to be placed in the center. Boyd used them for hors d’oeuvres (which she supplied) and also to hold sales collateral for attendees.
Before the big day, Boyd used social media and email marketing to publicize, but she also used traditional methods such as printing flyers, signs and notes advertising the show and sale for each occupied room of the Inn.
She also got in touch with the local newspaper Island Matters, which agreed to list her show and sale on their calendar of upcoming events. They also sent a reporter to preview the sale and take photos, then published a follow-up afterwards to continue publicity for the artist.
Running the Sale
Boyd hosted the sale, conversing with interested art lovers who attended to view the 50 paintings displayed. She had inventory to restock as needed. Each collector received a receipt for their purchase as a donation to use for tax purposes.
The results? Boyd sold three paintings, two framed prints and two custom prints. Additionally, the hotel reception desk placed a basket of notecards featuring her art for sale, which were sold during the event and afterwards. The inn has ordered more notecards to sell for their tourist trade.
The realty company and inn have already indicated their willingness to sponsor and host another art sale for Boyd. So far, she has grown local awareness for her art, gained collectors and built her mailing list. She also cemented solid business partnerships and raised money for a worthy charity. It was a win for all involved.
Pleased with the outcome, Boyd said, “Pairing a worthy cause donation with a show and sale was a double attraction for art collectors and the public. I am planning another event this fall—after hurricane season!”