Preparing for Your SOLO Exhibit at Artexpo New York 2014

[SOLO] exhibitors: take note! Artexpo New York 2012 Exhibitor Karen Kohtz is a seasoned exhibitor with excellent advice to share. This is her first guest blog for Artexpo.

Artist, 2010 exhibitor & guest blogger Karen Kohtz

So, you’ve made the decision to be a [SOLO] exhibitor at Artexpo. Congratulations! Your action has already set you apart from the majority of other artists. Taking this step tells me you believe in your creative voice, and you are confident in your talent.

[SOLO] is a tremendous opportunity to “show who you are” as an artist, and take it to another level. Being clear about your vision is the most important thing. Next, you have to ask yourself: how are you going to show that vision to the world?


As a well-seasoned artist, you likely have an array of expertise. All of these skills have brought you to this point in your artistic career. One of them should stand out above all others. This is what you should focus on.

Let’s use Picasso as an example. In work from his early career, you often find pen and ink drawings of nudes and landscapes—but this is not what we think about when we think of Picasso as an artist. We recognize him for his Cubist style. This is where he made his mark. As you prepare your booth, you want your collection of work to portray one theme that best represents you.

Bring only your best original work. When making this selection, ask yourself: do my pieces complement, rather then compete, with each other? If your art studio looks anything like mine (creative madness) the discerning eye of another may be helpful. Find a fellow artist or person you respect in the industry to bounce ideas off of. In the end, you will make the final decisions, but an objective outsider may help in making the right ones.

Don’t make the mistake of hanging too much in your booth. Allow adequate spacing between each piece so it can be viewed properly. Artexpo has been kind enough to provided storage space close by for your additional work. Feel free to bring extras for back up; just don’t hang it all at the same time.

Here is another example for you: Neiman Marcus vs. a lower-end department store. At Neiman Marcus, high-end designers have an area in the store for display. The clothes are spaced generously between each other on the racks for viewing, and a stunningly dressed mannequin is always an eye-catcher. The presentation is extremely appealing.

In lower-end department stores, however, the experience is very different. You often see tons of clothes packed together on round racks. The racks themselves are placed so close together it is hard at times to even maneuver around them. In their attempt to show you everything, you can’t find anything!

By the way, which of these two stores do you think is justified in commanding the higher price?

Artexpo is now just a few months away, and I am sure you are in the heart of your creative process. You have “stepped up” with passion for this event, and I admire anyone who has the courage to put themselves out there for all the world to see!

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