Last year we decided that it was time to start expanding the ways we embrace the creativity of Draw team members. How? By getting everyone to draw-paint-create-play-illustrate something and share it as widely as possible with our friends, colleagues and clients.
After spending some time deciding what that would look like, we decided to create the Draw Gallery: an evening where we’d professionally hang everybody’s art and invite people to a reception where they could bid for it, with the proceeds going to charity.
Setting it up
Firstly, we needed a theme. For this, we sent out a survey to everyone to vote for one out of five themes. The winning theme, “Transformation” (alternatives included Angus The Office Dog), was then shared with the team with a deadline to send us completed artwork. We would accept submissions in any medium or form.
We then booked out one of our biggest meeting rooms (called ‘Blueprint’) for the 31st May, a date that avoided clashes with the important meetings and workshops that usually take place there. Then we waited for responses.
We were delighted that 11 of our talented colleagues submitted work:
- John Sheard
- Adam Taylor
- David Stead
- Gary Wadsworth
- Candy Theophile
- Emily Brown
- Virena Georgieva
- Sean Roberts
- James Nichols
- Sean Woods
- Kent Valentine
Once we’d collected all of the work, we started the framing process. We hired a wonderful company called Pure and Applied Conservation Framing LLP for professional framing (I promise they haven’t paid me to mention them). We then booked caterers and publicised the event to our friends and colleagues.
With everything in place, we were ready to host the very first Draw Gallery Exhibition.
On the 31st of May we opened the gallery to guests from Draw, Oliver Wyman, 8works and elsewhere. After an introductory speech, we informed the guests that all the artwork could be purchased and the money would be donated to charity organisation called Oliver Wyman’s Charity of the Year, Resurgo Spear.
The auction process
We decided on a simple two-round open auction using post-it notes. Everybody was able to go around the room at their own pace, sticking up a note with the price they would be willing to pay for a specific piece of art. Someone else could then go back to the same artwork and outbid him by sticking up a note with a higher price. There was an hour for each of the two auctions. Once the clock hit 8pm we all gathered together and announced the winners for each artwork.
I’m happy to report that we managed to raise a total of £614 from the auction, and that the event was a hugely enjoyable celebration of Draw employees’ skill and creativity.
The next stage
This is was a huge success for Draw as a first attempt to showcase our true talents. It gave everyone an opportunity to exercise their creative juices and get real-time feedback.
Our plan is to do this twice a year. This will allow everyone to have enough time to prepare and think about the theme and how would they best present it in the shape of art.
Our next Draw Gallery Exhibition is planned for beginning of October 2018.
If you want to know more about the gallery, ask any questions or share any ideas, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Putting on your own gallery: a shopping list
Want to put on your own Gallery? Here’s a little list of ideas to get you started.
- Creative people producing art
- A big empty studio
- Access to framers
- A copywriter to help writing summary notes for each artwork (credit to Sam Anderson)
- A designer to help with printing everything in the right size/shape/paper/shade (credit to Adam Taylor)
- Great team helping with the hanging (credit to Steve Blackman & Fred Brown)
- Food & drinks (credit to Ewa Wilkinson)