How to promote your online art exhibition: marketing made for artists

Some free ways to promote your art show

This article will offer advice on how to promote an online art exhibition. A lot of the tips are equally relevant to bricks and mortar shows. I’ll cover different ways to promote your online art exhibition, tips for creating a buzz beforehand and why evergreen content is vital for your marketing. An exhibition is an opportunity to strengthen your practice, your connections and your focus. The most important thing is to celebrate this success and enjoy promoting your hard work!

mailing list logo and text share online art exhibition details on mailing list

Launch time and date build up

You’re jubilant that you have a show coming up and are literally counting the days to launch. Feeling Excited? Share it with the world! Plan out a 6 week strategy to build a buzz around the launch date.

See post here for a six week strategy

Your mailing list is the backbone to any promotion. Create a campaign leading up to the show (maybe a month or so before) with some teaser content then reveal more about the works as you get closer to the launch date. Make a big deal out of this show. Part of the magic of online exhibitions is that they are as accessible to your collectors abroad as well as your near neighbours. It’s a perfect opportunity to include the subscribers who cannot attend the physical shows.

online art exhibition volunteer to help organisers with content and events

Approaching the organisers

Always have pre-prepared content on hand to send in to the organisers for promotional purposes. If the organisers don’t request this, put the offer out there. A professional style studio photo plus behind the scenes photos or video makes it easier for them to promote you via their social media and website. Ask in advance if there’s anything you can prepare that they would be happy to share, for example a blog article about the works.

Bravery is rewarded and the more you put yourself out there as a professional artist the greater the rewards.

Check if there are virtual events planned to compliment the show. If not, volunteer to do an Instagram takeover, live talk or artist interview.

You can see my interview with artist Oliver Lovley here.

online art exhibition text sponsor brand collaboration or sponsorship can work well as promotion

Sponsors / Brand Collab

Depending on the nature of the online exhibition there may be an opportunity for sponsorship. An example of this would be if the show is entirely produced in one medium, for example acrylic paint. Approaching a paint sponsor with a clear strategy for reaching and engaging with paint-buyers could lead to a great collaboration.

Connect with other artists in the show

Check who else it is in the show. The longer you’ve been a working artist the more chance you’ll start to recognise names on the exhibiters lists. If you have a connection to another artist involved already talk to them about a joint social media campaign. If you don’t know the other artists here’s a chance to build connections. Art is an openhearted world and every show is a chance to connect with radiant creatives. In my own experience of reaching out to collaborate with other artists the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Some who couldn’t collaborate at the time I’ve worked with years later. Share the love, if it’s a group show explore the pieces that truly delight you and talk about them. When you genuinely engage with another artist’s work the connection is more effortless and you can support one another.

Charlie Kirkham Zophiel Webb collaboration Lee and Nancy mixed media collage image
‘Lee & Nancy’ collaborative artwork by Charlie Kirkham and Zophiel Webb 2022, mixed media on wood.

Here’s an example of a collaboration I did with artist Zophiel Webb, after connecting on Instagram, it was entirely online (we have never met or spoken on the phone) and it was an absolute joy to do.

E flyers and email lists

To re-iterate my earlier statement, your email list is the backbone of every publicity campaign you run. We’ve all recently felt the dangers of social media platforms changing their algorithms. Your mailing list is your way to communicate directly with people who want to hear from you.

People love to hear the secrets behind artwork. It’s fascinating. Hearing the untold story creates a sense of reward for your loyal supporters. It’s a great (free) way to share your artistic vision and promote your online art exhibition to your supporters.

E-Flyers as part of a launch campaign can work well. In an E-Flyer you can include all the details a physical flyer would have, exhibition title, dates running and artists listed. You can also include a few images and save in PDF format.

Email icon in envelope online art exhibition promoted via email and e-flyers

Social media

It’s remarkable who you can connect with online. Many artist accounts with large followings are still run by the artist so don’t be nervous about reaching out to comment on their posts. If you love one of the pieces they have in the show share with them why it captured your imagination. You can tag other artists and (with permission) feature their works in promotional content for the show.

One of the hard things about online art exhibitions is that there are no glossy installation shots. To combat this, take some great photos of the work in your studio. Use this alongside a clear screen grab to promote the show. You could even experiment with different backgrounds, like taking the work outside to photograph (be prepared for passer by comments!).

Charlie Kirkham pencil drawing anglo-saxon princess with dragon against a daffodil and woodland backdrop Watt Gallery
Here’s a photo of my ‘Anglo Saxon Princess and a Dragon’ drawing that showed at Watts Gallery in 2022. The glazed front meant photos in the studio showed too much reflection, so I found a pretty tree to use as the backdrop.

Pluck up the courage to share the story behind the artwork in the exhibition. Invite new people into your artist process. A small, highly engaged following on social media has more power than a large disengaged one.  

Live virtual events

Most often the organisers will have some virtual launch event planned. If not, it’s amazing how easy it is to access online communities. You could do a simple Instagram or Facebook live. Or you could go for a spectacular Zoom live where each artist speaks in front of their works and shares something with the group. Brownie points for dressing up as if it’s a Private View.

Lady on zoom to colleagues online art exhibition  launch could be via zoom or live on laptops
Pretty sure an artist Zoom would be way more fun than this!

Video Content

There are so many uses for video content! Social Media is wonderful for short videos to grab viewer attention. Longer videos work well for evergreen content. An incredible plus of video is that long after the online exhibition ends people can still find the YouTube or Vimeo links and learn more about your work.

You can Vlog about what you’ve created too. Videos on your website are really useful when applying for future opportunities.

Blog about it

Similar to video content, blog articles have an evergreen quality. Once the online exhibition ends the blog content will remain accessible. Here’s a great chance to share more in depth process stories.

Have faith that people are tuning in. We all get disheartened stat checking and wondering if anyone other than our mother (Hi Mum!) is reading what we write. Remember that the right person is still only one person. The more you show your achievements the more likely that you’ll be invited to opportunities in the future.

golden box online art exhibition can have added extra content for buyers or fans

Value Added Content

Digital exhibitions offer a unique chance to share special content alongside the artwork. You could sell NFTs alongside physical work, like this amazing digital creation from artist Jason Seife, ‘The New Flying Carpet’. Perhaps you’ll create process videos for subscribers, or maybe offer prints on demand of your art.

If you’re selling works online think about what you can offer alongside the artwork, can the buyer gain instant access to a high resolution download before the work is shipped? Do you want to share a personalised video with them thanking them for their purchase? Check with the organisers about what’s possible and be audacious with your ideas.

If you reach out to other artists who are involved you can empower the whole artist community. They will be happy to be promoted and you will have access to their contacts via the co-working process.

We’ve covered some ways to promote your online art exhibition, ways to connect to other artists you’re working with and building a mix of evergreen and transient content. I’d love to hear about your online exhibitions and how you promote them in the comments below or you can catch me on Instagram.

teal envelope with confetti online art exhibition celebration of successful promotion and marketing
sharing artwork can be as fun as making it


SGFA YouTube Artist Talks

Artist — JASON SEIFE (

The New Flying Carpet | Nifty Gateway (Jason Seife NFT work)

DRAWING TOGETHER ONLINE – Society of Graphic Fine Art (

Artist- Oliver Lovley

Charlie Kirkham talks to Oliver Lovley

Artist Print Room – not a print on demand service but offer small batches and excellent quality –

Zophiel Webb


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