Serious about Art Marketing – Part 2

by Carolyn Edlund

Artist Leslie Kell put together a digital press kit and catalog, and then planned out a marketing strategy to promote her exhibition. Here’s how she did it.


Artist Leslie Kell's digital photo collage shown in situ.

Artist Leslie Kell’s digital photo collage shown in situ.


To learn more about how Leslie Kell put together her press kit and catalog, read Serious about Art Marketing – Part 1. Once she had her images and information ready to go, she planned ahead to promote her “Mindscapes” exhibition, opening at Austin’s Dougherty Arts Center in November, 2015.

She knew that she would be using social media and email marketing, as well as direct mail to reach out to her followers and her list several times before the event began. Armed with images of artwork, pieces in situ and other photos, she started to build interest in the show.


Press release for Leslie Kell's Mindscapes show

Press release for Leslie Kell’s Mindscapes exhibition


“About six weeks in advance, I created graphics and submitted an array of online postings on event sites and sent out press releases via email,” she says.

Using MailChimp, she planned an email marketing campaign to remind her list about the event, too. “I created emails starting two months out with a ‘Save the Date’ message,” she reports, “followed by two more emails: a general newsletter with the show as the feature about two weeks before the opening, and an invitation to the reception one day before.”

After these initial rounds of emails, she plans to send another message to her list which will continue to promote. “I’ll finish with an email inviting people to my artist talk, which takes place one month into the six-week show. This will also serve to remind them that it is still up and showing until Jan 2nd.”


Kell's email invitation to the opening reception offers 20% off to early purchasers.

Kell’s email invitation to the opening reception offers 20% off to early purchasers, and has a link to her downloadable catalog.


She also sent large color postcards to her mailing list as a physical reminder of her work with a stunning image and message that invited collectors to attend. These were sent to collectors, galleries, interior designers, and others. The postcard mailing went out about two weeks prior to the opening.


Postcards announce the Mindscapes exhibition.

Postcards announce the Mindscapes exhibition


Kell’s social media strategy included creating a Facebook event with a teaser image showing her work displayed on gallery walls:


Facebook Event page for Mindscapes exhibition.

Facebook Event page for Mindscapes exhibition


But one of the most effective uses of social media was her approach to sharing on Instagram. She posted an image of bare walls, showing the gallery before her work was hung. She used hashtags including #terrified and #inspired, inviting response and building excitement for the finished display:


Leslie Kell's Instagram post

Leslie Kell’s Instagram post


This compelling image generated lots of comments, shares and likes. A week later, Kell posted the space with art as a reply to the original post, which led to another round of shares and comments:


Mindscapes exhibition hung at the Dougherty Arts Center

Mindscapes exhibition hung at the Dougherty Arts Center


Her multi-faceted approach to marketing took time, effort and long-term planning. Promotion and marketing activities are not for the faint of heart, but they can do an excellent job to spread the word, drive interest, conversation and attendance at events.

Leslie Kell’s hard work is paying off. What marketing strategies have you used to gain publicity and promote your artwork to potential collectors?


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  1. Fantastic job, Leslie!

  2. Thank you for sharing all this information!

  3. Wonderful Leslie! Thank you!

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