Event Debrief: “Dark Matter” Art Show

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Dark Matter

Michael Norcross

May 2015

Indy Hall


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Overview

The show featured 10 poster designs featured in 3 formats. The poster designs were based off of Wikpedia articles. Each piece included an excerpt written by Adam Teterus. The excerpt was printed on a library card and included with every purchase. This was my first solo art show.

Variety of Formats

The Dark Matter show was a financial success largely due to the variety of price points. Framed posters were $200, unframed posters were $50 and test prints were $20. There were 10 designs  and were available at each price point.

Poster Wall


The test prints were displayed together on a single wall. Each poster was stapled onto the wall and layers. There were 80 posters total in 5 layers. People were excited to be able to tear down the poster off the wall. The posters were also double-sided, which resulted in a surprise bonus print. I had no expected this to be a successful as it was. These test prints were simply a byproduct of the printing process.

Infusion of Process

Designing and screen printing posters was a very involved process. A lot of people don’t know what is involved in screen printing. Sean created a video that combined screen captures of the design process and video of me screen printed. This allowed people to better understand the product and encouraged purchase.  The sign for the show was made using a silk screen to further infuse the printing process into the show itself.

Friends and Family

The majority of purchases from were friends and family. Of the 5 framed posters that I sold, 3 were to my immediate family. This is something to consider if I wanted to have another show shortly after this one. Friends and family might not be so eager to drop money again. So it’s important to make sure the show can help grow my audience.

Look and Feel

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All the posters were black and white, therefore the entire space  needed to reflect that. Five of the posters were printed on black paper, while the other 5 were printed on light grey. To reflect this concept, we painted the left side of the gallery black. The only beverage was a black stout beer, which was served in black cups. There was a live dj (DJ Haveboard) who only play from a curated playlist of sci-fi movie soundtracks and other dark ambient music, which matched the themes of the artwork.

Things I wish I did differently

I did not display my Instagram account prominently enough which resulted in little to no new followers. I only gathered 4 email addresses to add to my mailing list. This was because the sign up form was not prominently displayed.

Conclusion

Overall, the show was very successful. I plan to build my next show around the tear down poster wall. I will also include framed and loose prints.