In spite of the many online options available, artists and local business owners still face the hard task to see their products stand out from the competition.
The off-line cooperation between both can result into mutual benefits that can extend into the future.
Of course that this cooperation should not necessarily be restricted to local businesses and artists, but usually it will be easier for both parties to negociate and more practical in terms of logistics and transportation.
The approach should be made in a clear and objective manner and eventual deals and contracts will depend upon the relation between the artist and the business owner.
After things are settled, the expenses are expected to be easily supported by both parties, especially for the artist since like mentioned before, the fact of exhibiting at a local place won't carry huge transport expenses or travelling time.
Both the artist and the business owner should be aware of their obligations to make things work and therefore be able to benefit from the best possible results.
The artist should mention the event on the website or blog, send a newsletter to subscribers and an e-mail to his contacts (don't spam).
A press release can also be sent to local newspapers and flyers or brochures can be printed (you can even get a printing company to sponsor them in exchange of some advertising)
The artwork should be ready for exhibiting, together with the proper information about the works and the artist's contact, if possible with a cellphone number and not just an e-mail.
It's very important for the artist to be present at the inauguration in order to render any assistance and to provide the all needed answers to the public. Don't forget that is usually during the reception that an exhibition gets more visitors.
As for the business owner responsabilities, these should include mentioning the exhibition on the company's website, sending a press release, providing a space with good visibility, keeping the artwork in good condition and be present at the reception, or nominate a representative.
Arragements about the reception that should be kept simple and comparticipation expenses should be agreed in advance, not forgeting that people should be interested in the art and not about the food and drink.
Now it's time to talk about the best part: benefits for both sides.
The artist will gain exposure without having to pay gallery comissions (a percentage of the sold artworks for the business owner can be previously agreed) or renting a space.
The eventual association with a renowned brand can prove quite beneficial for the artist's recognition in the community and in the media, resulting in invitations for future exhibitions or being more easily accepted to exhibit in other venues.
Considerable are also the benefits for the business owner, namely in terms of brand-building and recognition by the artists, community and media.
Due to it's reference on the internet and local media, the business will receive more public which will stay more time and eventually acquire a product or service.
Most artists are not professionals and have a full-time job or at least another occupation, which if related to your business can result in a future comercial relation.
In the future it's quite possible that your website will receive more visits from people and media looking for future exhbitions.
As you can conclude, the cooperation between arts and businesses can result into positive benefits for both sides without demanding a huge investment.
If you have any doubts, you can post them at the Wetcanvas General Art Business Forum where artists and art related people will be happy to help you.