A Group Exhibition

I start this as a fresh post, in the knowledge that 'exhibiting' is under discussion in Neil's current post, and Ross's event is opening shortly.

My understanding is that finding space to display is not that easy, and the costs of exhibiting as an individual are prohibitive. I was keen to discuss with the commentators to date the logistics of setting up a 'Group' exhibition and sharing the the costs.

The season, where we live in the Languedoc is about to start, own 'village' Le Cap D'Agde has a populous of 15000 or so which swells to 250000 in Season. In fairness most visitors are Kebab munching Flip Floppers... not hell bent on collecting 'art' as it's a sea-side place. But the surrounding areas are peppered with charming villages some which boast galleries, studios, workshops etc.

Would this work?

I, with the help of some others from the region, source a venue for a Summer Exhibition. Say in Cap D'Agde. The responsibility, however, to send and collect items by post or in person would be down to the individuals( be they North South East of West ).Venus and disbursement costs to be shared.

We have, between us, the skills to market the Exhibition electronically, and for the region I do a lot of 'promoting' already.

We live not far for example from the 'Naturiste' Centre, in which I play Guitar in the Season. So along with many other Cap D'Agde sites and FaceBook pages I maintain this site about the Naturiste Complex and other Tourist areas of interest.

The Village

Please note that although I had contemplated applying for Ad sense here, the site is purely a link harvesting device, which I hope will prove popular because of key words Such as Cap D'Agde Naturist etc. Try keyword search Johnnywokkers or Johnny Wokkers ( in images ) or Ron Birks or french med property or the secret blogger or thewebcircle etc

Also we have got to know many traders, officials and marketeersover the 8 years we have been here.

Were the quality of work in our group that of Village Fete quality, this would not be worth contemplating. But I think we would all agree that the Art Dept members offerings to date are of the highest standards.

The displays wouldn't need be all heavy pieces. Posters, prints, cards, etc. could even generate profit, as well as promote. I could see the venue as being a drop-in place for our Jelly Bloggers, nice holiday weekend or the photographers etc.

I would be interested to what you think.


not sure if we are at cross purposes Susan?

Firstly, if someone has a site on the World Wide Web, then by definition that is where there site will be seen.

Assuming increased exposure is desired ( can't understand why not ? ) then moving your site up the Google ( etc. ) rankings is crucial. What elevates the rankings so that you get onto the first couple of pages, is as a product of the web-bots/ web-crawlers/ web spiders. These little divils seek out, good/fresh content, keywords and well named Pics, PLUS links and back-links.

So, if one 'out-links' to an associate, and they link 'back' this is not only ideal, but encouraged.

As to 'finding each other'...I guess you mean Art Department members, well, those who have uploaded to the Gallery will still be there...and simply clicking on the 'Albums' in Photos on the FB Page ...we're all there too, stinking of turps and wine..like we do.

For those interested in underhand methods of gaining exposure this article has some hints...it's there for the taking....but won't be for long.

Do you have a FaceBook 'newsfeed'?

Ron Birks

Sorry I wrote that in a hurry - I don't think Ian would want to put lots of links on his website and that wasn't what I had in mind (tho re- reading what I've written it is what I said). I am however happy to 'like' peoples facebook pages as I am interested in seeing other peoples work and any exhibitions etc they are doing and my point was to try to make it easier for us all to find each other should others wish to do the same

@ Susan Palmer and everyone. Hi Susan, with reference to cross linking, we should take care, especially the developers amongst us. As carte blanche 'like' and 'link' swapping is probably not best practise, and if indiscriminate, could well been seen as Spamming, and also downgrade the sites in question.

We all know that likes and link-backs are available for a fee, but this does make a mockery of the 'concept', the truth is that many commercial Portals will 'buy' such facilities by the bucketload, raising their rankings but these are not a recommendations as such.

If we were to, with Admins' consent, open a Group...'Critics Corner', for instance, we could make it a criteria that artworks ( or whatever ) are genuinely reviewed and indeed commented on. The notion of 'clicking' for the sake of it seems vacuous. If such a group were launched, I feel it would need to be correctly administered, with a genuine 'message board' requesting 'reviews, and 'critiques'...Good and Bad...

However, as previously mentioned, I believe to comment on your own works, in the Art Departments FB Page including links is permissible.

Hi, Let me know how you get on with your request for the extra couple of hours - could do with that myself at the moment. The above looks good - keep me posted. Looking at your post below to Barbara, is there somewhere central where we can all put our links to websites, facebook pages etc then we can all start cross linking. On some facebook pages there is a header 'docs' and that would seem like a good place to me but I can't see that header on The Art Dept page. Dashing out but will have a think about it

@ All. My good Friend, Artist and Photographer ERIC OTTO ( you may remember the article on Con Man? ) has, for the last 6 months been resident in Pézenas Herault 34 utilising His Brother's House and attached Barns etc. as exhibition space to display his works.

Eric is French but is fluent in English and German. Last week he showed me round this sizeable 'complex', with parking and the potential, I found, was astounding. He had been, along with his art director/artist partner, working towards developing this artists' workshop/gallery enclosure, with a view to sub-letting the 'extra' space to designers, photographers and artists etc.

He informs me, however, that an unforeseen stumbling block, has put a break on progress. Sadly ( for me..he is a jamming buddy ) they have to return to Hamburg to try and resolve issues. It would be a great shame if this concept flounders, especially as the pair have become recognised, and well established in the Region, exhibiting at other Venues and gleaning commissions and sales.

Of course, being French, is quite a boon, not just for the language but to 'know the ropes' and get to grips with 'officialdom'. I am informed that the local Mairie, Tourist board etc have been extremely supportive.

I'm sure we all wish them well, I do hope it comes off!I would take 'space' myself....I haven't anything to show..it's just nice to have somewhere to sit, from time to time!

In the meantime we wish you guys and Ross all the best in Aude for the forthcoming 'Ouverture sur Ciel Blue' exhibition. ![](upload://7iHkgTlVYuOM1cIr9Z0gDsLp9rh.jpg)

Hi Susan, Yes, I have spoken to Ross, and I am in the throws of helping out with a bit of ancillary marketing, I hope to make it over during the show, but like most here I am swamped with work and other duties. ( I have approached the authorities to request at least 2 extra hours in the day ).

I went, today to check out the scene in Pézenas, and have made contact with a Lady who has just sold 4ks worth to a collector ( enthusiast ) there seems to be quite a network of arty types there. The Season proper starts at Easter as it does here, and activity all round is frenetic. Sadly a buddy, who had plans to set up a sizeable ( sublet ) atelier/workshop complex has had to return to Germany.

As a marketing come exhibiting vehicle, Neil and I have discussed the feasibility of an online Arts publication. The following is the original prep-work for a 'similar' independent mag 'Village-Online', which I had prepared 100 pages for... sadly I lost all apart from these two files, after a Hard Dive crash, which frankly, left me a bit fromaged!


Hi Barbara, I gather you are a member of the Art Department Group, you may be aware that you may Post your work directly to 'the gallery' there is a link in the right hand column on this page, I'll then 'copy them over to an album on the FB page..


I'm just off for a walk! will investigate Facebook and forge more links later!

Hi Barbara, I am meeting more and more Artists all the time, and now I have a semblance of sites, and FB Pages, to 'get the ball rolling'. I think it would do no harm for all Group Members, Gallery Owners-virtual and real to 'cross-link' their websites and blogs, and cross-like FaceBook pages etc. too....I get a great deal of feedback for example on The Art Department's FaceBook Page ...and more in my own 'feed' when I like certain items. I have several online Galleries, and have had 'art-prints-online.info as a URL for some time....just need to build the site! but sweeping up in the Art Dept FB gallery takes up all my time lol


As a summer resident of the Herault (and artist of course) I'm interested in how this develops, good luck.

Sounds good, and great to have some support as its tough times at the moment in the art world, and everywhere for that matter. Ian will be exhibiting some pieces next month at Ross' gallery so he will have the opportunity to meet some of the SFN people (unfortunately I'm in the UK). We are very lucky to have a gallery owner in the network..... and by the sounds of things lucky to have you and Neil too.

Hi Susan, Yes certainly a longer term plan, but I shall start gathering info, with a view to posting likely venues, costs etc. I'm hooking up today with a guy who has just formed an association for a folk club, so I shall pump him for info.

Also, I had an interesting chat with Ross McKewan who is exhibiting shortly and has his own Gallery not too far from here. I hope to discuss this sort of option with him, as he has had much experience in the Gallery Game.

Definately something to think about and I look forward to seeing other peoples thoughts on how it could shape up. Agree next year would be better than this year as it would probably take a bit of planning/ orgainising/ booking in advance etc. Sounds so much more lively where you are - might try to get away from the countryside for a long weekend there at some point

Hi Susan, even progressing this notion depends on the uptake of interest. The picture I had in mind was not to complicate the issue of insisting exhibitors 'staffed' the exhibits, unless they wanted to, but more so that I would organise, and be in attendance, along with some assistance from my local chums, perhaps some folk from the SFN Languedoc region, on some sort of roster.

As I thought perhaps 'prints, posters, and cards' might feature more...but sending items by post is what I had in mind. Should the idea take off, the task would be a mammoth undertaking, I realise 'dealing' with monies, too would present a problem if any 'sales' of smaller items were to be made. Please note I am not a trader, it may even be that an 'Association' has to be launched.

If we did go for something, say a 'secure' tent hire, one week either side of peak Season would probably be favourite, August is a nightmare, accommodation too, for holiday makers is normally booked in January. ( busy place )

Hope you don't mind if I await further comments before doing too much research. Please note I do not wish to profit from this...so collection of monies would have to be down to individuals, the only other way I guess would be an Association, bank account etc...also quite cumbersome to administer remotely. Perhaps it should be showcase / business card dispensers only, type of thing.

Any other comments or advice?

I have organised many events and exhibitions in the past in the UK, but most have been for fee payers and Multi-Nationals...although I once organised a massive charity event in 'Lechlade' which pulled in 2000 visitors, and raised thousands.

My gut-feel is that there won't be the interest this year, perhaps as the Art Department swells it may be for consideration for the future. So, I have not really done any research...but I do know that on the Port of Cap D'Agde artists may take space ( 400 euros per season ) to paint and sell in situ etc. Electricity is supplied, but I'm sure you have to resident. Municipal venues are in abundance such as 'Palais du Congress' and there any many outdoor tents available for groups and individuals. I have seen such plots housing kid's creche work, jewellers etc etc...so I guess the costs are not over the top.

It is quite likely that most available venues are already taken, and could be that one has to book well in advance.

Although the Tourist Office/Mairie of the 'Commune of Agde' here invest a great deal in events. The Harley 'Brescadou' Rally, Hot Hatches Expo, the Tour de France, International Tennis, Fete de Nautique, Fireworks displays....etc.

Further comments?

Hi Ron, I do think its a great idea to exhibit and so hopefully 'cash in' on the holiday season. My main thoughts would be how you would imagine it would be manned? If everyone was to be responsible for their own sales, it would be difficult for us as we have 2 young children whose school holidays last the whole of July and August and whose art appreciation is very short lived. Ian also has a lot of graphics work to do so would struggle to take any length of time away. Also a consideration would be the cost of accommodation - would the sales make it worth while. Ian will be exhibiting in Auvillar, a very touristy village in the Tarn et Garonne a short distance from us for 10 days at the end of July and we are sharing the responsibility for that with a local gallery. If we could pay someone a commission to sell on our behalf then that would worth thinking about. What sort of timescale would you be thinking of too...