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How to find a space for an art project/exhibition?

The Meat Market started a bit weird. I first came across the disused butcher shop on Appear Here and asked for a viewing - the space felt perfect for summarising everything I built over the last two years. The idea for the project came later and still needed a few weeks of conversations with other curators and artists to take final shape. In fact, it's still in the making because ideas and reality are often very different.

So how do you find a place for a project or an exhibition? There are many options, and it all depends on what you want to achieve, what budget you have, how much time and style you have and how creative you are. Here is a list of 23 ways to find a space for an art project/exhibition:

1. Rent a place in a gallery - if you want to rent in London's city centre be prepared to pay around £300 per day but there are other galleries like RuptureXIBIT which are slightly further but charge less and will actually help you with your show

2. Rent a space that is not primary an exhibition space but you can still rent it for a few days

3. Use Appear Here to find unique spaces and more gallery spaces to rent

4. Search for a charity that finds empty retail spaces (or any other charity) and help artists

5. Search for an abandoned place yourself and find a landlord

6. Contact the developer and say you'd like to use one of their empty slots to create an exhibition - they'll then appear to support the arts and culture

7. Rent a space for a few months with other artists/curators - example: 6 curators rent a space for 6 months and each of them get the whole space for a month to put up a show

8. Look for open calls for exhibitions

9. Create a proposal and find companies whose goals/topic would fit your idea - example: if you're interested supporting artists from a specific country, contact embassy or find a charity that supports people of a particular nationality

10. Rent a skip and put up a show in there (but ask Skip Gallery first)

11. Find local cafe, flower or skin care shop, restaurants and ask if you could do an exhibition with them and offer them a percentage of the sale

12. Exhibit at church

13. At the entrance to the park

14. On a boat

15. Contact your local Council and ask if they have any free spaces

16. Organise an exhibition in the field or in a garden

17. Go even further and organise an exhibition in your bedroom/cabinet/fridge

18. Organise a show in the car

19. Use online spaces and galleries

21. Use your Instagram as an exhibition space

22. On a T-shirt

23. In a publication

And keep looking - learn where others exhibit, check Pinterest for inspirations, talk to curators. You don't need a lot of money to make something unique.

I recommend reading this article about unique spaces where art was exhibited. You can do it literally everywhere.


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