New Alternative Spaces: Beyond the Coffee Shop Show

New Alternative Spaces: Beyond the Coffee Shop Show

When you think of exhibiting art in alternative spaces, the first thing that comes to mind is a coffee shop show. Artists looking to get more out of the alternative space exhibition need to start branching away from your typical coffee shop and into other spaces. Finding and locating spaces that your art speaks to can make a more powerful message. This article will give you some alternative space ideas and help you begin to make the connection between your work and other possible spaces you can utilize to bring your work to a wider audience.

Hotels and Hospitals: Some of these spaces commission work for permanent installation and others have rotating galleries. Look around the next time you are at the clinic or staying at a hotel and see what they have for artwork.

Offices: Why not propose an exhibition of your work in the space? How about the art that is in your office? Are you sick of looking at that corporate piece of art that was purchased to adorn the walls? Why not ask to be in charge of a rotating gallery in the hallway, a conference room, or the reception area.

Spiritual Spaces: Consider churches or other spiritual spaces if your type of art fits that location. There are multiple calls for art in the Twin Cities for a variety of churches. Consider the type of work that you make and if it has a spiritual theme to it, or is appropriate for those spaces.

Restaurants: Expanding from the typical coffee shop show, restaurants are now exhibiting small exhibitions in their space.

Brewery: Breweries and distilleries are now utilizing the vibrant art community for small exhibitions, branding, and more. Murals can design, contests, and rotating artists are all seen in these spaces. The Growler magazine publishes an artist page in their publication. Beer and art have a strong tie in the Twin Cities. If you are looking for a space to exhibit work, consider one of the breweries!

Retail: Local retailers are another great place to exhibit art or even consign work. However, what store you choose to display your work in and the content of your work however must link. Think of what shops you typically go to, would they be a space that would hold art on the walls?

Look around at the spaces you use and visit daily or weekly, these are excellent places to start! There are plenty of alternative spaces that are already using their walls for exhibiting and a lot more that have not found a gallery space as a possible solution to their bare walls. Feel free to reach out, ask questions, and suggest them hanging your art. 

During these alternative gallery shows, especially if you are working with a space that has not hung art or had a gallery space before, you will have to do most if not all of the grunt work. This means hauling, placing, installing, tagging, and more. Everything a gallery space would do for you is now your responsibility. What’s great about this is, however, that you get to choose how your art is exhibited. You are in control of your own work and how it’s shown.  

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