Preparing Your Work for the Student Show

VAS owner, Barbara, goes over tips on how to prepare your work for the Student Art Show.

Some other things to consider:

Your work does not have to be for sale for this show, you can put NFS instead of putting a price on your work. You can also make prints of your piece to sell if you want to. Let us know before the show and we will have you fill out some consignment paperwork. Vancouver Art Space does take a 30% commission if your piece sells, so keep that in mind when pricing your piece.

We will be posting the artwork online to get more eyes on your work. Having art shows during a global pandemic has slowed down our attendance, but we are still able to show and sell art online. If you have any questions, feel free to ask Barbara or Krystle or email us at


For the art show, what we are expecting for the entries is:

Barbara: If you have your art on a canvas, that would be acrylic paint or oil paint. You want to have it framed in a nice frame. This is what the back of your frame should look like. Should have a dust cover over it, a wire which is positioned one third down from the top of the frame. You should use D-rings and twisted wire. Don’t use eye-hooks because they stick out from the frame and that makes your piece hang funny on the wall. If it’s a large piece, you want to use large D-rings (they make them in all different sizes). This one has little bumpers on the bottom, that helps position it on the wall so that it stays straight better and it won’t migrate. But you don’t have to have those. The paper and the wire is a must. Don’t use saw-tooth hooks, which I don’t have an example of, but they’re the hooks with the little saw-tooth on them. That’s it for canvases.

Any Questions?

  • There’s a bunch of canvas art behind you and none of it is framed.

Barbara: So in that case, these pieces that are behind here are all self-framed. They have a finished edge around them. They have a thickness to them, they’re made thicker. So they have this thickness on them, the canvas is wrapped around the back, and they have D-rings and wire. This is properly done. It could have a dust cover, but it doesn’t have to if it’s not framed. But the edges are all clean, the corners are all clean, they’re all nicely finished and painted. This can be done one of two ways. Pam’s got hers painted black, but she could have painted her image all the way around the edge and have a finished edge that way too.

This one is a frame with glass and if you have a drawing or a watercolor, or anything that is done on paper: you want to have glass over it for several different reasons. Usually things like canvases, oil paints, acrylic paint, you can actually take a duster and just dust them off. The oil paint is pretty permanent and it won’t really affect it. But if you have something on paper like a mixed media piece, or a watercolor, or this is a charcoal drawing, you can’t do that. So you don’t want your work to be exposed to the elements because they’ll get damaged. So you want to have glass and on the back it’s going to be pretty much the same exact thing: the dust cover, the wire, the D-rings, that’s standard. This one has a double mat, you can do it with a single mat, but I like double mats because it gives that much more space between the glass and the artwork. You don’t want your artwork to be right up against the glass because it will eventually damage the artwork. The glass will actually, over time, pick up your image and the color. Anyway, you want to protect your surface with glass. In this case, you wouldn’t be able to have something like the canvases without a frame because you can’t protect the surface without a frame.

  • The canvases framed, are they sometimes thin or canvas panels?

Barbara: It doesn’t really matter if it’s a canvas panel or even if it’s like one of the wood panels that we have. Those can be framed or not, but the edges have to be finished. Like this kind of panel here, this is a plywood panel, all woods work, and then it has frame work around it, but you want to finish these edges.

  • Can I do alcohol ink and tie-dye? Like a dress?

Barbara: If you have a way of displaying it because we don’t (on-site). If we can properly display it, we can do that. Bring it in and we’ll see what happens.

  • Should all the information be on the back?

Barbara: Normally I label all my work especially if it’s been in a show before. I keep the label on so that there’s a prominence of accumulated shows. You want to put your name, title, the size, the medium, you can put the price if you want. You don’t have to put the price on the piece since we put the price on the tag. It’s good for your own accounting, for your own records to always have the title on the back and your name. When you’re having it in a show, whether it’s here or someplace else, then it’s always easily identified. If you just do that automatically when you frame it then you never have to worry about forgetting or losing it.

  • Do we need to have all our items on EntryThingy for the show?

Barbara: I would like you to have all of them on EntryThingy before the show.

Krystle: I want everyone to go through that process. I have gotten feedback from other artists that it’s a little buggy, so I’m hoping I can help get us through it. I am able to get in there and add other things too, but it really keeps everything nice and organized on our end. I wanted to have everyone do that even if it’s a little bit of a pain in the butt.

Barbara: Part of the reason we wanted  to set it up this way this time is because we get a lot of people walking through here saying that, their daughter, their granddaughter, their brother or sister, themselves, whoever are fabulous artists. We want to get our stuff in, how do we enter your show? There’s so many people that have no clue. So we want to put you guys through the paces of doing this so you have the experience of doing it. Which gives you the confidence to go out on your own and do it again and maybe enter another show someplace else and gain more exposure. Who knows what will happen, you might find a really cool niche and make a lot of money.

Krystle: And I just wanted people to understand that if they had any questions to be able to ask. Because if other people sent in stuff and they don’t follow the rules, their stuff doesn’t go on the wall. We send it back.

Barbara: We shave a really specific process. All of our shows that we show in the front have very specific guidelines. And if the artists don’t follow them we just send their stuff back.

Pam: Those guidelines are industry standards. So it’s not like it won’t happen at other galleries too.

Barbara: Exactly, so it’s not just us being snooty or picky or anything. It’s the way that this art industry works. If you were running a gallery or if this was just a gallery, we would be dealing with a lot more artists and the more stuff you get coming through and everyone’s doing it higgly piggly on their own with whatever they make up, then it makes the gallery crazy. You have to have those standards in order for the whole thing to work. Otherwise everyone has a special circumstance, everyone needs something special, and Krystle would be running around like a crazy person.

  • Shipping standards?

Barbara: For this show we don’t really need to go into because they’re all local so they’ll be brought in and taken away. But there is the shipping as well, because that’s on the artist too. When you enter a show that’s in another state it’s on you to pay for the shipping and pay for the return.

Pam: And ship properly.

Barbara: Yep, you got to have good boxes, you got to pack them properly. It’s almost a full time job entering shows and doing that part of it, doing the gallery part of it, not to mention making the art itself.