Photo Courtesy Of Flint Institute Of Arts


General. The success of an exhibition can be attributed to more than great imagery. It can also be attributed in large part to the careful planning, effective coordination between the hosting agency and the artist/photographer, and a dedicated marketing and promotional effort. The popularity of exhibitions by Jerry Taliaferro may also be attributed to one of the particularly unique feature; the inclusion of portraits of people from the hosting communities. This feature has been used to great effects to heighten community interest and participation. What follows are suggestions for the agencies hosting the WOMEN OF A NEW TRIBE and SONS, SEEING THE MODERN AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE exhibitions. This information includes guidelines, press clippings, tips, and examples of material used in previous exhibitions. By providing the hosting agencies with this information we hope to facilitate their efforts to make their exhibition an incredible and memorable event.

Basic Suggestions

The most successful exhibitions have had two characteristics; detailed timely planning and dedicated marketing and promotions. It should be intuitively obvious that detailed planning is the foundation of any successful effort. Presenters should give consideration to the critical tasks listed below:

1) Establishing the dates of the exhibition.

2) Completing the exhibition agreement between the hosting agency and the artist/ photographer.This is very important as the opening date is set and the commitment of all parties involved is established.

3) Selection Of Images From Core Collection. From a collection of hundreds of images the curator makes the final selection of the images to be displayed. The curator is provided with a numbered pictorial listing of the available images . This listing includes the caption to accompany the image. Most of the pieces are 11 x 14 in. images in 16 x 20 in. black metal frames with white matting.

4)Decide upon the option to include images of local women in the exhibition. This option has been exercised in most of the community that have hosted this exhibition. This option allows the hosting agency to add an incredible new dimension to the project which can be used to increase local interest. To develop this "exhibit within an exhibit" a sub theme is developed (such as "Women Contributing To The Arts" or "Men Making A Difference In Their Communities"), and individuals are selected. The hosting agency should consider how the women would be selected. One method of selecting individuals for an exhibition is to allow the hosting communities to make nominations. This was done in Charlotte NC. The Afro-American Cultural Center Of Charlotte set criteria for the local women to be featured in the exhibition and sought nominations. Seeking nominations from the hosting community had the added benefit of publicizing the exhibition. Photographing local women requires 3 to 6 days depending upon the number of women being including in the exhibition. Photography should take place at least two months prior to the opening date. This provides sufficient time for preparing the images for presentation (editing, printing, matting and framing).

a. Selection and Notification Of Local Subjects. These actions should be completed at least a month prior to photography. This is very important because it allows sufficient time for setting up a shooting schedule and for the subjects to plan and prepare to be photographed.

b. Photographing the local subjects. To ensure that the portraits of the local women are available for the opening of the exhibition, the hosting agency should arrange for the artist/photographer to photographs the subjects at least two months prior to the opening. This will allow sufficient time to prepare the images for exhibition. It would also make it possible to use images of local women in promotional and marketing material. As part of the process, the local subjects should be informed about the project. As a minimum they should be directed to the exhibition website at The artist/photographer will coordinate with the hosting agency to schedule photo sessions. Also the local women should be provided with information on how to prepare for their photo sessions. Example 1 below is a simple flyer sent to local participants for several past exhibition.

c. Pre-shoot Preparation. In order to prepare for the photography sessions, information about the subjects ( photos and bios ) should be provided to the photographer. This will facilitate the effort to design images specific to each subject. Ideally an image would communicate something special about the subject.

d. Sample Press Releases. The importance of an effective press release should be obvious. It is an important tool for generating interest and media coverage. For your review we have enclosed a release from the recent exhibition at the Flint Institution Of Arts. (See example below) .

Click On Image

5)Plan Supporting Events and Activities. Hosting the exhibition presents the hosting agency with an excellent opportunity to conduct events and activities that would be of special interest to women in their community. The August Wilson Center For African American Culture in Pittsburgh conducted several events in conjunction with their hosting of the exhibition. During the run of the exhibition, The August Wilson Center held a community forum to address “the hopes and complexities of African American Women”. The Cleveland Public Library conducted the Soul Of The Village Women's Worksop (see example below).

6) Marketing and Promotions. It goes without saying that the success of any exhibition is very dependent upon "getting the word out". Developing and maintaining the interest of the media and the public requires a dedicated effort by the presenter. As stated several times before, interest in the exhibition has been particularly high in hosting communities where the presenter has exercised the option to have local women photographed and their images included in exhibition. The number of local women so honored has varied between 12 and 50 individuals. Many of the women chosen to participant in the exhibition have been featured in the media (note the pieces from various publications in example 5). The selection process for local women is a news-worthy item in itself. By publicizing the process of selection you are in turn publicizing and promoting the exhibition. The same is true if nominations are sought from the community. Having a dedicated “Media Partner” would be very helpful.

a. Supporting The Promotional/Marketing Efforts. We are prepared to support the promotional and marketing efforts of hosting agencies within our capabilities. These capabilities include the design of promotional material, artist statements and bios, photography, videos and interviews with the media.

b. Posters and Promotional Pieces. We often support the marketing and promotional efforts of hosting agencies by designing promotional pieces. Through the use of striking images and graphics, we design unique pieces for each venue. These are intended to be used to promote the exhibition and are suitable for use as printed pieces and on the internet. Below are several pieces from several past venues.

c. Promotional DVDs. We also have the capabilities to produce broadcast-quality DVD's which are ideal for TV and radio spots and on websites.

7. Contact Information. We are ready to assist the hosting agencies in any way we can. For assistance and advice please contact us at phone, 980.236.7171 or email

Copyright © 2017 Jerry Taliaferro