JUST4U! I Made an Easy to Follow Exhibition Timeline

 Here's a draft outline for scheduling an exhibition. Maybe you're the artist, maybe you're the curator, maybe the installer, maybe a gallery sitter, maybe a press contact. Whatever your role is, it's good to know the full picture of how the exhibition happens. I think everyone involved needs to have a great deal of respect for the time sensitive nature for all of the roles. This the process I typically follow and the timeline I typically adopt but feel free to stretch or compress deadlines if that's what works for you! Of course there's also an infinite amount of add on stuff at the end: checking on shipments, condition reports, follow up marketing, etc.

It takes a lot before you get to this point!
Photo cred: Elizabeth Gianino at Montserrat College of Art


WHAT
WHEN
WHO
Select works / artists
1 year out
Curator
Write curators statement
1 year out
Curator
Confirm works and artists
9 months out
Curator
Receive images of works
9 months out
Curator
Confirm dates of exhibition
Confirm reception, midpoint and closing events
9 months out
Curator
Write press release
6 months out
Communications
Post draft to website
6 months out
Communications
Floor layout of gallery
6 months out
Designer / Photographer
Arrange shipping of works
3 months out
Curator
Design card, vinyl, other promos
3 months out
Designer / Photographer
New exhibition page goes live
Day after previous exhibition ends
Designer / Photographer
Change Facebook, Twitter banners
Day after previous exhibition ends
Communications
Deinstall previous exhibition
4 weeks out
Installer
Patch and paint gallery
4 weeks out
Installer
Build exhibition fixtures, shelves, pedestals, walls
Gather supplies for exhibition
4 weeks out
Installer
Order and pick up vinyl
4 weeks out
Designer / Photographer
Send out press release
Post calendar listings (see spreadsheet)
3 weeks out
Communications
Install works and light gallery
3 weeks out
Installer
Stop motion installation video (if desired)
3 weeks out
Designer / Photographer
Photograph and edit images
Edit stop motion (if desired), upload to Vimeo
2 weeks out
Designer / Photographer
Send images/info to VIPs, writers, curators, artists, directors, colleagues
2 weeks out
Communications
Create labels and wall text
Create opening / closing instructions for sitter
2 weeks out
Staff
Previews and VIP visits
1 - 2 weeks out
Curator / Artists
Send out email to list
1 week out
Communications
Purchase reception food/drinks
Week of
Staff
Continue social media for reception
Week of
Communications
Set up reception: Food/drinks, set out mailing list, works list, cards, put out signs,   
Day of
Staff
Reception, use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram during
Day of
Staff
Photograph and edit reception images
Day of
Designer / Photographer
Gallery sit
During
Staff
Email for mid-point event
5 weeks to close
Communications
Mid-point event
4 weeks to close
Staff
Schedule deinstall and return shipping
3 weeks to close
Installer
Email for closing event
1 weeks to close
Communications
Closing event
Close
Staff
Deinstallation and return shipping
Week after closing
Installer

You can also download and print the doc - here