How to Self-Fund an Arts Exhibition – Part 2

The age-old problem that artists have faced is how to sell their art to make a living out of painting. The first answer that comes to mind is to exhibit the work to the public, and art exhibitions have proven to be the best way to do this.

If you are currently looking at hosting an exhibition you are probably wondering how you can raise the funds to either fund your own exhibition or to attend an art fair. We have already looked at crowdsourcing but there are two other options open to you for raising cash, and they are sponsorship and self-funding.


Some artists are very lucky and have found benefactors that want to sponsor their art. People do this for many different reasons, some because they genuinely love art and want to help budding artists, some do it for the fame and for their peers to know that they are patrons of the arts. And some people do it as an investment, hoping that the artist will one day become famous and they can reap some of the profits.

If you cannot find some rich benefactor, then there are also government and non-profit organizations that allocate funds to help art projects. Private companies also can be a route to gain funding as often they can write off art donations as a tax-exempt investment. The idea behind these private companies and local government initiatives is to promote and encourage the arts.

The funds can be in a form of fiscal sponsorship which works by the sponsor lending a tax-exempt sum to the artist. In return the artist gives back a small percentage of the amount raised during the exhibition. One such company is Fractured Atlas who fund a large number of artists in a wide variety of projects, and they actually issue arts grants.

The big advantage of fiscal sponsorship is that it allows a tax deduction of any non-profit donation, so sponsors can contact the main fiscal sponsor who is a non-profit company stating that their donation is for your campaign. They will receive a letter stating their tax deductible contribution to a non-profit organization.


Finally, the last option open to you to host your own art exhibition is that of self-funding. Fledgling artists often find they cannot raise external funds so end up raising the cash themselves out of their own pockets. If you are one of these then you have to be smart with your money.

If you are funding your own exhibition on credit, then shop around for the best possible interest rates and take advantage of any balance transfer offers they may be being hawked around with lower interest rates. There are also incentives such as reward programs that you can build up reward points on your credit cards to spend in art shops and the like.

But perhaps the best way is to approach family and friends for a low interest loan, perhaps to be paid back with cash and some of your work. Whichever route you decide to take always have your business-head on when trying to raise funding for your exhibition, too many artists take the very first deal they are offered and often this is one of the worst.