GAME ON!  The opening for Manufractured is tonight!


What is Craft Forward?


Roll the dice, advance your piece,
miss one turn,
or 2 steps back?

Introvert in my heart, extrovert from the START,
openings are no time to be shy and retiring.

Here are my helpful tips for art openings to get started on this game. Please add your own "tips" contributions in the comments.


1) Make your own name tag.  Make it look like your work. Some openings forget to provide name tags. How can other people know who the artist are? Attendees want to talk with you!

2) Artists are the stars. Shine bright. Keep a pleasant face and be positive.

3) Stand near your work, if possible.  Ask people what they think. Learn from the response.

4) Engage people in conversation. Don't be shy or retiring. The first time you say "hello" may seem very difficult for an introvert like me (or you), but you never know who you will meet!

5) Meet the other artists.  Look for them and introduce yourself. It's amazing how you will see the same people two years and 3,000 miles later. Take my word for it!  Next time, it makes the art opening so much better.

6) Dress like an artist -- whether wild, wacky, fun loving or professional. People want to talk with you. You are part of the entertainment. Make it easy for people to find the artist.

7) Stay for the entire opening! Arrive early and stay late. It shows respect for the exhibition curator or gallery owner and all the other artists. Plus, who knows who you might meet?

8)Bring you business cards or postcards. Give people something to take home to look at your web site!

Do you have you a favorite tip for art openings? Please share in the discussion.  It would be good to share ideas.  How do you overcome the introvert in your heart? 

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Replies to This Discussion

Spot on advice. Merci. I am very much introvert, like nothing better then to sit in hidingg but when I go to a large event I make a vow to myself to talk up at least 2 new people which I have never met before and do not know from anywhere. It is a very big effort for me but really really worth it. I usually look to talk to someone who sits there alone (like I) or I talk to someone who looks "fun", has an unusual dress or unusual hair. That is a great way to start talking. Most of the time the people I talk to are thankful that someone is starting the conversation with them and then I end up having real good time, better than I thought. Julie.
And for those of us who are jewelers, definitely wear your show stopper pieces! If you can, wear work that relates to the pieces in the show or utilize the same materials--this is a great visual cue that you are the artist (in case you forget your nametag at home....), not to mention being icebreakers for conversation. While you may be a bit self conscious of speaking to the public, they are usually more intimidated of the artists unless we give them a good reason to spark conversation!
These are great tips! I'm an introvert too and gallery opening always intimidate me. But I discovered that if you break the ice early you end up having a lot of fun. Thanks for posting this. Btw, I love your name tag!

Thank you for the smart tips! I have great difficulty introducing myself to people at gallery openings and especially advertising my pieces. How silly is that after eighteen years of being a university professor and lecturing both in Greek and English to large audiences?

Wearing your own art is a wonderful suggestion for those of us who are introverts. What Maria pointed out is right: the times I forgot to be silent and reticent, I did have a wonderful time interacting with other artists!


I have no tips. I do have a theory that many jewelers/metalsmiths tend to be introverts and thus more able to express their self working in the personal or domestic scale. Jewelry is associated with ostentation/bling factor- but it remains modest compared to architectural size art works which make no pose to 'function' or connection to daily life. I'm thinking about this lately- my thoughts have to do with experience teaching as well as seeing common factors in students in craft based media/format versus the painters,sculptors, etc. I'm starting to think I need to be an activist for the introverts- this might be difficult for an introvert...


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