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How I co organised my first art exhibition in Istanbul…

I always dreamt to be an artist, to have this creative part, not how we understand “being creative” now but the first meaning of it: making tangible things, should it be a jewelry, a painting or a picture.

And I am happy enough to always being surrendered by artistic personalities, helping them to develop their projects, to make their dreams come true.

ARTISTANBUL: 3 Women's stories exhibition
Illustration by Caroline Gaujour Illustratrice

In March took place the “ARTISTANBUL: 3 women’s stories” exhibition in Istanbul, at the Union Francaise.

During this event, three wonderful French artists showcased their works. The story behind this exhibition was to show Istanbul as a meeting point: they are all French but they met here in Istanbul.

It was also to show the power of life and that nothing is fixed forever. They all started with “traditional corporate” jobs to eventually end up living their true passion.

Discover the stories of Noémie the photographer, Caroline the illustrator story-teller and Daffa the art curator, who all met in Istanbul.

Noémie was living and working in France when she had a horse accident in 2011. Out of work for more than 5 months, she understood another kind of life was necessary. So she radically changed her life: she moved to Istanbul in 2013 to become a freelance photographer. She’s now living her dream life here, and creating beautiful everlasting memories thanks to photography.

Caroline used to work as an agricultural engineer. She lived in Mexico, then in the USA and moved to Istanbul in 2013. This is the beginning of her new career. Having a passion for drawing since her tender age, Caroline decided to make a major career change and since then focuses on illustration. She published her 1st book « My expat life - Destination Istanbul » in 2016.

Daffa was born and raised in Paris. Her parents being Malian and Senegalese, she is strongly attached to her African roots. That’s the reason why she worked for about 10 years for the growth of African countries. When she arrived in Istanbul in 2015, it seemed logic to her to keep on working for that matter, but she wanted to show Africa in a more positive way. That’s how « Kelen », dedicated to promote African Arts, came to life.

This exhibition was born under the guidance of Marie-Caroline, “Agile” approach certified coach, who guides, helps and support people in their organisation method to reach their objectives.

When I started my entrepreneurial adventure, I felt that I would need some organisation support to deal with all the tasks between my corporate job, my teaching activities and the birth of My Marketing Toolbox. This is how I integrated Marie-Caroline’s group and started to work with Noemie, Daffa and Caroline.

They already started working on this exhibition and I was proud and happy to bring my “marketing” eyes on this project.

So, how do you organise an art exhibition?

Well, as any other event. The most important thing is to be clear about the planning, the tasks’s slipping between each participant and the venue.

For an art event, the key element is the opening and usually you focus all your efforts on that day.

Here is a quick checklist:

  • create a retro planning from the D-Day

  • benchmark and confirm the venue

  • confirm the dates

  • list all the actions needed to be done and assign them

  • list all the documents needed to be brought

  • create a media list and a press release to be sent to journalists. Send this press release 2 to 3 weeks before the event

  • create a guests’ list

  • create a Save the date (to be sent 3 weeks before the event)

  • create an invitation (to be sent 2 weeks before the event with reminders 1 week before the event and 2 days before the event)

  • Optional: create a dedicated website

  • Optional: create a dedicated Facebook page

  • create a Facebook event and share it on your profile and on groups that can be interested in your event

  • if you have a dedicated Facebook page and/or website, make it alive by posting ideally daily information about the artists/items/artworks you will showcase during the event

  • announce the event on your website, Instagram account and any other platforms and groups where you are active

  • during the opening and then the event share regularly photos, insights on your social media

  • after the event, send and post a “Thank you” note

I love organising events. And I really enjoyed working on this exhibition with Noemie, Caroline, Daffa and Marie-Caroline.

And I was very proud to see the logo of My Marketing Toolbox on the event’s communication tools. It was merely 3 months after the launch of my baby and the arrival of my first clients.

It meant so much. First that everything is possible, you just have to seize the opportunities when they show up. And second that don’t just dream your dreams, make them happen: the reality will exceed any of your daydreams.

And enjoy some pictures from the exhibition opening :)

Illustration by Caroline Gaujour Illustratrice.

Photos by Thibaud Sevin, retouch by Noemie Deveaux Photographer

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