ANTSinLONDON was the fifth exhibition that we worked on with Lorraine Loots and Paintings for Ants. However, it was the first exhibition that was produced 100% by Artist Admin. This means we produced without a gallery/client/agency in the destination city to help with the exhibition.
Lorraine approached us with the dream of having the final exhibition of her 100 Paintings for Ants series in London in January 2019. We started working on a plan and budget six months before the show was set to happen. This gave us enough time to analyse all potential outcomes for the exhibition before setting off to make it a reality. We created a 3D rendering of the full space with all the artwork on the walls. This allowed us and Lorraine to visualize how the art would look at the actual event. We also digitally rendered the marketing material and printed vinyl so that we could see how they would look on the windows and walls.
For cost-effectiveness, all the exhibition pieces were printed in South Africa and shipped over to the UK for cost-effectiveness. We applied for visas for the full team, built an extensive Press Kit, and managed PR and press requests. We also built a sales system to process payment in a foreign country and manned the exhibition daily while it was running. Importantly, we managed all communication with 150+ clients regarding collection of their artwork purchases. Artwork that was not collected was eventually shipped from London directly to the clients.
This was the most comprehensive exhibition project that we have worked on. If we may say so, it rolled out perfectly. We charged the client a flat fee that was set out at the beginning of the project. This ended up equating to roughly 10% of the total sales over the exhibition time. Notably, this is significantly less than the 40-50% that galleries usually charge for the same services. We can, therefore, provide our clients with unmatched and extensive support for a fraction of what they’d normally pay.
For my first three solo shows - two in Cape Town and one in New York - it was DIY from beginning to end. If I compare those shows with the four that Artist Admin have managed (so far), there's just no going back to doing it alone. From negotiating (much!) better deals to making sure all the logistics, financial stuff and customer support is taken care of, their team just takes so much pressure off me and allows me to focus on what's most important to me: the work.
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