Art Exhibitions+Restaurants & Cafes | Miabo Enyadike

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 Art Exhibitions in Restaurants & Cafes 

Life as a fine Artist has its twists and turns, and sometimes huge frustration on how to give our artworks the attention they need.

Most times the creative process of an artist is borne out of inspirations but the selling and exposure aspect is so difficult to comprehend. 

Art is something our society loves and lives with yet it is looked down on, in a certain way and originality is undervalued.

Most Artists, myself included spending time and money to create Art with the hope to sell and gain some kind of recognition and patronage going forward.

My personal experience as an artist with over 20 years in the business is one of the bumps and smooth rides. 

First I sold art for more than a decade, without seriously creating my own art, I sold art for other artists and the lesson I learned in the business then, was constant viewing of paintings tend to yield a sale result.

The reason I write this observation of mine is I ran a small cafe and an art concept store in the same space years back and most of the paintings on the Cafe wall, even without prices did well. 

What I found out then, that customers bought quite a lot of art on Saturday mornings during breakfast, they would inquire about the artwork and the artist from me or the waiters, then we would proceed to show them more artworks of the Artist in the store, whilst they waited for their breakfast being made.

These brief exchanges always led to some kind of purchase or commissioning of the artist whose paintings were on the Cafe wall.

As I later left the business of selling Art, fully into painting my own Art, it was easy for me to understand the dynamics of exhibiting in a living practical space as opposed to a gallery.

Approaching a restaurant to exhibit your Artwork is one thing that most Artists are yet to figure out how? 

The issue behind this, is not understanding how it is simple, because most artists consider restaurants as unconventional spaces for real art display, we tend to forget that our prospective buyers or collectors eat and they do so in fancy restaurants, neighborhood cafes, fast food joints, tea shops, etc and having a display of your artwork in these places creates huge potential to get noticed. 

Customers sipping wine and drinks waiting for food, tend to look at walls and check out the interior of a restaurant. If your art is on display at a local pub or joint, you will definitely be noticed. 

Artists always worry about the customers and their buying power in food joints, just because the Artists see themselves as customers of those place, and can't figure how a collector who buys a cheap pint of beer or a glass of wine, can afford an expensive Artwork.

The truth is we as Artists can never measure anyone's ability to pay for an Artwork or Art by what they drink, or what bar, or food place they patronize.

Art is strictly in the 'eyes of the beholder' and proper positioning and display of an Artwork will get the attention it deserves in any restaurant. 

The inspiration for me behind exhibiting in restaurants came after I attended a few exhibitions myself in restaurants, I was inspired by the idea and audacity of the Artists.

I was impressed by how they told the story of their first runway show which they held in a small fast food cafe and that was how they made their first appearance and have gone on to be a very successful brand.

Restaurants have a big role to play in my Art life, here in Johannesburg where I live most times of the year. I display my art on the walls and in turn, I get collectors, interviews, and mentions.

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 The Art of restaurant exhibition is simple and less complicated compared to galleries, speak to a local restaurant in your area, show them a good portfolio and physical art, explain to the owners why you think it is a perfect march for their clientele.


Pitch your Art exhibition idea to them, listen to their concerns offer solutions and benefits for such an event. Be precise and concise in your pitch, and allow them to be involved wholeheartedly by recognizing that you need them most, not the other way round.

Once there is a mutual agreement, then offer them a commission and mention in your flyers the restaurant and their offerings, add that also on your social media. Encourage the owners by paying ahead for food and drinks within your budget scope for your invited guest or proposed no of guests, you will be amazed at how much they are willing to support you.


Ask them kindly to inform their customers through their email or client list about your exhibition in the place, that way you are sure of more potential buyers viewing your work. The actual installation of your artwork might be tricky so you have to come up with creative ways to display your art around the space that is pleasing to you and the owner.

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With these kinds of collaboration between fine artists and restaurant owners, there are no restrictions on which customer is allowed, the beauty of it all is people who ordinarily will never enter an Art gallery because of all the fake nonsense going on there, will come to a restaurant and view your work and might be converted into patrons of your Art or collectors of your Art.

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My Art Exhibition in a Restaurant.
Artworks by Miabo Enyadike
Hombaze Restuarant,Sandton,
Johannesburg, South Africa.

Most owners I have dealt with, ask for the works to remain on display on their restaurant walls even after the exhibition has taken place and that opens more avenue and revenue for the Artists. Also, it enables potential customers to view your Art in a more practical way.

Art is meant to be viewed and enjoyed, let's get our work out there as Artists and explore all selling avenues............. Enjoy.

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