Considerations When Working with a Small Business or Public Space

Advice for artists and hosts

Advised by Yellow Door

When installing artwork or creating a project with or for a small business, as an artist, there should be consensus and transparency around the project, expectations, timing, and space with the owner/proprietor. 

Talking through the below points will ensure a business owner, their staff, and the artist are on the same page. Using this as a checklist or guide is recommended!


  • What is the business or space‚Äôs audience/patron-base? 
  • What does a successful project look like and feel like to the business/space and to the artist?
  • Who will make sure the art is kept safe?
  • What if something needs to be fixed or repaired within the installation due to damage? Who would cover that?
  • Is there a budget available for my time/work? 
  • Is there a split of commission/proceeds from the work?
  • What signage will the space or artist be responsible for?

SPACE: Identify what space(s) is ideal for activation.

  • What areas and existing things (electrical, walls, wifi, ceiling, etc) can be accessed and used?
  • What is off limits? 
  • What can or cannot be added, altered or removed?
  • How does the space look in day vs. night?
  • How do guests interact with the space?
  • Are there sun, temperature, or other exposure issues near the space?


  • What merchandise or theme could be highlighted?
  • Are any business-specific materials available that can be integrated into the design?
  • Does the space provide any materials, a stipend for materials or tools for use (ladder, garbage, Wi-Fi while installing, lights, extension cords, etc.)?


  • How long are things expected to stay in place? For example, direct sunlight will fade a lot of colors and materials and may need to be replaced. 
  • When are you available to complete this project and how long do you think it will take to create and install?
  • Will the space be available for installation/access outside of normal operating hours?

Courtesy of Yellow Door Gallery