Photographer and consultant Andrew Darlow gives a step-by-step guide based
on the production of his own photo show, GRANDmarks—NYC.
Updated from the original article, which ran in the 2011WPPI Show Guide.
By Andrew Darlow
Producing an exhibition of work to fill a large space is no easy feat. But it’s definitely worth the effort as long as you have at least one specific goal for having the show. The initial
planning to the technical aspects of printing, framing (or stretching) and hanging the work, to promotion, packing and moving the
work when the show ends can be intimidating, but here are some
tips I picked up during the creation of GRANDmarks—NYC.
Step #1: Choose a Theme and Show Title
Most art exhibitions have a theme, or some common feature
that is shared by all the works shown. For the last 20 years I’ve
been fascinated by the architecture of New York City, which gave
me the idea to do a show featuring large-scale, black-and-white
photographs of New York City landmarks, printed on canvas
and stretched to sizes up to 38x70 inches. As for a title, I blended
the words “Landmark” and “Grand” and came up with GRAND-
marks—NYC. I planned to use the GRANDmarks title with other
places in the future, which is something to consider when creating
a “brand” for multiple groups of images. The show was first exhib-
ited in 2009, in New Brunswick, NJ, and then more recently in the
summer of 2011 at The Calumet Gallery in New York City.
Step #2: Determine Your Print Type(s) and Sizes
There is no right or wrong print type or size to choose for a photo
exhibition. Stamp-sized photographs can be incredibly beautiful as
can be photographs the size of an airplane hanger. In addition to
the large prints on canvas, about half of my exhibition prints were
made on inkjet-compatible acid-free papers up to 17 x22 inches in
size. As a test, I also produced a group of metal prints, produced by
a company in Concord, CA, named Magna Chrome. Below are a