art show

Promote Yourself! 5 quick tips for artists

Recently I have had the opportunity to share my tips and tricks with local artists on the best way to promote yourself as an artist. Over the past 3 years ArtSee has worked with over a dozen local, emerging and established artists on how to best market their work.  Here I have compiled 5 steps to marketing yourself as an artist.
1.     Make a Plan:  
For every artist having a plan and goals is necessary. Most of the artists that we work with are those that have a plan and they work with ArtSee to help execute that plan. Know what you are trying to achieve and how you hope to do this. A “plan” in this case could start as easily as setting a goal for yourself "I want to be in 2 group shows this year." Then, once you have set these goals, make a plan of how you want to execute them. What goes in to being a part of two group shows? Submissions, installation, marketing, news coverage, etc. We recommend that every artist have a plan for getting the greatest exposure possible for their artwork and any show. May your plan is a little more person and you just want to “create 1 cohesive body of work with 12 strong pieces.” Who are you going to get to critique your work? What is your concept? 

2.     Show, Show, Show: 
This doesn't mean that every artist will have a solo show in the first 5 minutes (or even 5 years) of their career, but try! You would be surprised how many artists just think that the opportunity for the public to see their work will come to them. They're wrong! Showing your work is THE POINT of creating it! Wether it is a group show, a solo show, a fair, a competition, or hanging in a restaurant, your work is being seen; and that's the point. If you don't get these opportunities, then create them for yourself! Find a space, select a body of work and create your own show. The more people that see your the more feedback, sales and inquiries you will receive. 

3.     Don’t Go Green Yet:
When it comes to marketing social media, websites, e-blasts etc. are great (don't worry we'll get there), but don't under estimate a good old fashion print piece. For every show that I have done with ArtSee or my of our clients, we still produce a printed version of the artists information and works list. Why? Because this is a tangible item that someone who might be interested can take with them to remember you by. So, while the rest of the world goes green, focus on putting together a nice postcard, works list, catalogue or flier. 

4.     The Internet is Your Friend:
In a time when everyone is online 24/7 the internet is a real time, real way, to promote your artwork. Through your own website, general art auction and purchasing sites and social media, the opportunities are endless. However, CAUTION, do not over use the internet. You don’t want people to get tired of seeing your work. Your website should really be a portfolio, the best of your work, and information that people need to understand you as an artist. In most instances, this is the first that people will see of you. As for social media (stay tuned for a future post on this), but don’t post every 5 minutes on every platform, that doesn’t do anything! Post things that are relevant and new information. Using the internet is the fastest way to share information and images of your - it is your friend! 

5.     Communication:
Communication is the key! Be sure to send regular invitations to all buyers and potential buyers on your database. Notify them of all events in which you are taking part and any new releases that might be of interest to them. Don’t have buyers? Update people that you know that are interested in your work. Let people know when are where they can see your work, what has changed in your studio practice and invite them to see the work in person. I often work with artists to create simple e-newsletters to share information with buyers, family and friends about everything going on the immediate past and future in their art world. This is a great way to stay in touch without bombarding people with information constantly. Use in person and email communication equally. Some people don’t have the time to make it to artist studios but they still might be interested in seeing your work from time to time - take advantage of that! Communication is KEY!! 

Stay tuned for tips and thoughts about how to best share your artwork with the WORLD! 

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 


The [Home] District

The Hemphill Fine Arts on 14th Street recently had an exhibit titled “Artist-Citizen, Washington DC.” This exhibition explored how artist interact with our nations capitol, a city that they regard as home. Wandering through the third floor gallery space the walls were not covered with images of the monuments as I expected, rather faces. These faces are what make up the city: it is not the buildings that create the political powerhouse that is D.C., but it is the individuals who have become passionate about the government and state of our nation. D.C. is a beautifully diverse city filled with unique personalities.

Within the first room was an entire wall filled with photographs of individuals dressed in what can only be described as the power suit. I remember my first visit to D.C. what truly captivated me wasn’t the monuments, or the historical sites, not even the museums and galleries (don’t get me wrong, these things are amazing), it was the people. I remember sitting on the metro around 9:00 am and watching all the men and women dressed in suits, caring brief cases and looking so purposeful as if today and every single day in the District was the opportunity to change the world. All these sophisticated people on the metro, during rush hour, were going to do just that. Their lives had purpose. I wanted to walk into the world that intentionally, determined, and purposeful. So here I am, living in D.C., looking at this piece on the wall of a small local gallery, and it was able to connect me to that initial emotion that drew me into the city.

In the Hemphill’s exhibit, each artist did an impeccable job capturing and expressing the essence of Washington D.C, an aesthetic that may be foreign to those who have not lived and loved this city. By shifting the focus of the art onto the people and landscape rather than objects so often featured when discussing Washington D.C. “Artist-Citizen” was able to reach the viewer on a more human level. Reminding all citizens that we are surrounded by the diversity and beauty of politics, arts, and history: being woven together to form a home.

In the press release for the exhibit, Hemphill states: “As we mark HEMPHILL’s 20th year, we are encouraged to think about the gallery’s investment in Washington—investment not only in the art community, but in the city at large…Through these visually rich and provocative art experiences, we hope to demonstrate how the Artist-Citizen engages us in the conditions of our community, revealing our connectedness, and enhancing our well being.” As a D.C. resident, and more importantly, someone who has found a home in this big city, “Artist-Citizen was one of the most impacting exhibitions I have seen, portraying the true emotions of Washington D.C. 



 Abby Green

D's Nails: Proving Manicures can be Art

            If you are in search of a funky unique atmosphere that is sure to engage, then you must check out the Fridge Art Gallery. It’s one of a kind, tucked in a back alley way near Eastern Market. On Saturday, November third, local artist Decoy had her show D’s Nails opened at the gallery.

            Walking into the gallery space, the vibe was energetic and youthful. Decoy’s art is a mixture of medias and has a technique that is one-of-a-kind. Upon the walls were large painting and gel transfers on wood. The wood was layered to create the silhouettes. There were four different designs on the walls; two were the silhouettes of women, another two hands spelling D.C., and lastly ten fingernails. The style has a cartoon aspect, yet it is also very whimsical.

When coming through the door into the Fridge, one wall was covered with large pieces of wood cut to the shape of human nails, each nail was roughly a foot wide and painted with one of Decoy’s personal nail designs. In front of this piece, a small table is set up with two chairs. Decoy plans on painting nails for anyone interested in having a spunky and never before seen manicure. Each Saturday of November Decoy will be at the fridge painting nails from 11-4 p.m. for $30.

Nail art is not something that is often seen in galleries. So, I was curious and asked Decoy what inspired her to do manicures. She discussed how up until recently she had a nail biting issue. She doubted that she would ever be able to stop biting her nails, and therefore she’d never get to have her nails painted in bright colors. However, one day she decided to stop her bad habit. Decoy says the confidences of successfully ending this habit gave her confidence in other areas of her life.

 Not just is there art related to nail art, Decoy includes depictions of herself as well as a girl that she works with in a community center in Sursum Corda, one of D.C.’s most underprivileged neighborhoods. Talking with Decoy about the work she does, is such a joy. She is an inspirational woman who works hard to influence the world. The girl depicted in one of Decoy’s large wooden silhouettes, is someone that it is apparent that Decoy cares deeply about. Recently, she started making hair bows with the children at the center, the children seem to love the projects. Decoy smiled as she reminisced on how one of the children refers to it as “the bow company.” Decoy is helping revive D.C. and inspire the youth with art. In fact, you can find some of these bows on sale at the gallery.

So, if you find yourself near Eastern Market or in search of a personalized manicure, D’s Nail is the show to check out at the Fridge. Decoy’s work will leave you with a sense of whimsy and optimism. For more information and schedule of events click here.

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 


Brian Petro Kicks Off his Next Show at Coldwell Banker this Thursday

This weekend marks the Third Annual 17th Street Festival, a celebration that brings the community together over food, art, music and entertainment.

With a major focus on local art, the 17th Street Festival will host an Art Show on Saturday, September 22, which covers two street blocks and features the work of 50-plus local artists. 

One artist participating in the festival’s activities is Brian Petro, who will exhibit his work on Saturday’s festival and also help kick-off the 17th Street Festival with an opening reception for his latest show on Thursday, September 20 at Coldwell Banker (1606 17th Street NW) from 5 until 8 pm.


This show presents many styles by the artist, and serves as a mini-retrospective of his 16 professional years as an artist.

Petro’s mini-retrospective includes works inspired by street hustlers and the urban sale of flesh; hand-built, wooden wall sculptures inspired by paint spattered clothing he purchased off the body of a city alley muralist; tranquil abstracts made with soft watercolor washes and molten beeswax; and festive and exuberant images of produce and retro styled price markings. 

In addition to these unique pieces, Petro will feature his Supermarket Series, a collection of work that was inspired by his time living in New York City. 

The 17th Street Festival take place on Saturday, September 22 from noon until 6 pm. Petro will be onsite to welcome guests and show his work at Coldwell Banker on the day of the festival.


Brian Petro’s show at Coldwell Banker will be open for viewing during the regular business hours of Coldwell Banker. You can also schedule a free personal tour of Brian’s studio anytime by calling the artist directly at (202) 270-7352,, or for more information please check or search Google or YouTube with “Brian Petro Artist” to see his documentary.

Bringing the Art in DC to You,

Rachel Nania