Frequently Asked Questions about participating in Art in Public Places

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and topics that come up every year. If you have any further questions about the program you should call us!

The Arts and Culture Team can be contacted on 9932 2001 or email arts@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au

1. I don’t have professional photos of my work, are photos on my own digital camera acceptable?

In the first instance, when submitting your artist proposal registration, the photos should be a representative of the type of work that you are wishing to exhibit. This is just to give us the best idea on matching you with the venue. It is important that you provide the best quality images you can. These will be used for marketing purposes during the event.

When you need to submit your photo for marketing purposes, you must make sure that the image is between 2MB – 5MB so that it is print quality. Be aware, that the designer may crop images for the catalogue and any other marketing material. You need to be sure that you are happy with the image you submit, and it represents your exhibition style.

2. How many artworks do I need to produce for the exhibition?

The number of artworks is up to you. Each year we have artists who produce anywhere from three artworks up to 15 or 20. When you submit your proposal, you should indicate the approximate size and how many works you wish to exhibit, so an appropriate sized venue can be allocated to you. When you have accepted your venue you are able to change your number of works, keeping in mind that we are after best outcome.

In some instances, bigger venues, may be able to accommodate more than one artist. If this is the case we will pass on your contact details to the other artists. If you are sharing a venue it is ideal that you all liaise and approach the business together so that you are all on the same page.

When considering your proposal it is important that the same artwork was not exhibited in 2014 or locally within the past 12 months. This is to ensure that the program stays fresh and innovative. Exhibited work should also have a coherent theme, medium or other rationale.

3. How much should I price my artworks?

Council cannot advise you how much you should price your artworks at, however we are happy to discuss with you if you wish.

Remember, Art in Public Places offers a 20% commission to the business operator for each artwork sold. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t sell anything, some artists never sell work and some do. This year may be your year, if not it might be the next time. You are always developing and building your profile.

Council has recommended guidelines around selling your work, but you are encouraged to speak with your venue about the selling process, and ensure clear arrangements are in place. You can download our recommended guidelines here.

4. There are no hanging systems in my venue, how do I hang my work?

You must remember that the exhibition spaces are not galleries, they are local business; cafes, bookshops etc. Before accepting your venue, you should talk through hanging options with the business owner. Some businesses will be happy for small hooks to be placed into the wall, some may not. There are some good temporary options available.

Costs associated with curating and installing the exhibition are the responsibility of the artist. It is also the artists responsibility to install your artwork at the venue. If you are having trouble deciding on how to display your work, you should chat to us so we can provide advice or lead you in the right direction.

5. What should I do if my business suddenly changes hands or closes down?

Unfortunately, this does happen from time to time, and although there are good intentions from the business when accepting to be part of the program, circumstances may change. If you become aware of any changes, you should contact us ASAP so we can help troubleshoot. We will either help to liaise with the new business owners/ managers or attempt to find you another suitable venue to exhibit your work.

In some cases, alternatives are not possible. Please be patient with us while we work out a suitable solution.

6. The business owner/ manager isn’t returning my calls?

Firstly, make sure you are ringing the business at a convenient time. For most businesses, customers are their first priority, NOT exhibiting artists. If it is a busy café, avoid ringing during lunch time rush. Does the business operator have an email address? Perhaps this is an easier way to communicate as they can answer at a more convenient time. If you are still having trouble getting hold of them, give us a call ASAP. We want to sort out any communication problems early. Good communication is the key to a good relationship, and the better the relationship the better your Art in Public Places experience will be.

7. I want to have an exhibition launch, how do I go about this?

Council does not fund individual launch events for Art in Public Places. If you feel that you would like to have a launch for your exhibition, you should discuss with your business owner. Some businesses are very happy to help out with a launch and welcome the opportunity to have new people experience what they have to offer and some are not so keen.

As an alternative to a launch, artists in the past have chosen to have friends for dinner at the restaurant or café that they are exhibiting at, which brings a benefit to the business owner as well. You should discuss your launch plans with council. We can help promote the event in the arts community.

8. Apart from the general program marketing, I have been approached by the media to do a story on my exhibition.

Great!! This is a good outcome for you and the program. You must stipulate to the media when being interviewed that your exhibition is part of Art in Public Places program and for more information visit www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/artinpublicplaces or they can call Council for more information.

Make sure you use the opportunity to also promote your business. Remember, a happy business is a cooperative business.

9. Myself, or some of my friends have accessibility requirements, can I request a suitable venue?

Absolutely! Make sure you specify any special requirements for your exhibition in your registration form. Council will discuss these needs with you and attempt to find you a suitable venue. If you have already been offered a venue, make sure these requirements have been met before accepting the offer.

10. This is my first time exhibiting and I’m just not sure about the process.

Give us a call anytime! We are here to lend advice or point you in the right direction. Lots of artists are or have been in the same boat as you and we can guarantee your questions are not unique. Again, the happier you are, the better your Art in Public Places experience will be.

We are here to support the program as a whole – so what are you waiting for, pick up the phone and give us a call.

11. Insurance

Artists are responsible for the insurance of their artworks. The businesses and Hobsons Bay City Council are not liable for theft or damage to artworks, during the Art in Public Places timeframe. Insurance can be very costly and it is up to the artist to seek insurance if required.  In regard to public liability insurance, the business/gallery/venue will umbrella the artist through their own Public Liability Insurance.

12. How to write an artist statement

An artist statement is often required for grant submissions, exhibition proposals and for educational purposes. There are no given rules for how to write your artist statement although for Art in Public Places it is recommended that artists give a brief description of what the artwork is about, i.e., theme, concept, genre and medium. This brief statement assists the audience in understanding what the work is that you will be exhibiting, giving it a context. It is important to keep the artist statement brief and succinct.

Usually artist statements are written in the third person. With third person writing 'he', 'she', 'it' and 'they' is used. It is more formal than the first and second person and is often used in reports, policies and scholarly texts. It is important to consistently use either the first, second or third person when writing a artist statement and think about what you want to achieve. For Art in Public Places the artist statement will be included on the website and could be put up at your exhibition.

It is requested that artist statements be no longer than 100 words. Please note that artist statements longer than 100 words may be edited without consultation.

Some tips on writing your artist statement are to brainstorm the following points:

Theme: What is my theme, what does my work represent, is it abstract? Or are they landscapes or portraits etc?
eg. Organic abstract forms, nature and space.

Genre: Does my work fit within a traditional or a contemporary aesthetic? Is it sculptural or painting? eg. Sculptural

Scale: Are they large or small? eg.A series of large scale sculptures

Medium : Photographic, ceramic, watercolours? eg.Ceramic

Example of a brief artist statement for Art in Public Places:

The artworks in the exhibition consist of a series of large ceramic sculptures that explore organic forms and the natural world. For further information go to www.myart.com

13. Writing an artist CV

It is recommended to separate your arts practice and work experience on CVs. When you are applying for a job, the employer may not be that interested in where you have exhibited and in turn, when you are promoting yourself as an artist, information about your employment may become insignificant unless it is directly arts related. Often you will be requested to provide a one page CV. If you have a CV that is longer, you should focus on the highlights of your artistic career such as major exhibitions and grants or awards received. If you do not have an extensive CV, remember to include all of your exhibition experience and arts education. If this is the first time you are exhibiting, you do not need to provide a CV and there is no negative impact for you and your involvement with this project, you can officially start one up and add Art in Public Places to it for future purposes.

14. Promotional postcard

For 2017, each artist will have a promotional printed postcard (100 cards) included with their registration fee. Each artist will need to provide:

  • Print quality image of your work (2 MB)
  • Artist name
  • Exhibition title
  • Email, website, social media
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