Artists on Instagram:
"Hallett Peak" by Erik Koeppel

Artists on Instagram: How I Curated an Epic Show Through Social Media

By Benny Sanders

In October 2017, I created an Instagram account (@landscape_today) to share contemporary landscape paintings from a catalogue of artists I have been following and gleaning information from to solve problems in my own work. I quickly built a following of landscape lovers and some of my favorite landscape painters.

I used a circular snippet of a painting from Peter Fiore to use as Landscape Today’s first profile avatar and he sent me a message requesting I credit him for the image. With that message, I was worried that I had offended one of my favorite painters by way of some sort of strange plagiarism. I soon realized that this was my entry to communicating and networking with some of the greatest landscape painters of today.

"First Snowfall" by Christine Lashley
“First Snowfall” by Christine Lashley

Artists on Instagram

The Instagram page gained traction quickly, and today we are approaching 50,000 followers with an average of 142 new followers per day.

As I would post work from these amazing painters, they would send me messages thanking me for showcasing their paintings. I could now chat with my favorite painters from all over the world without leaving my house. I was then inspired to organize a group show with 50 of these brilliant people by simply “sliding into their DMs.” (DM is short for “direct message” on Instagram)

"The Angelique" by CW Mundy
“The Angelique” by CW Mundy

I secured a large gallery for September 2019 at the Harrison Center in Indianapolis and was amazed at how enthusiastic all of the painters I had asked were to participate. I was even more amazed that a group of these painters wanted to travel to the exhibition’s opening, paint for the weekend, and visit the Eiteljorg’s “Quest for the West,” which runs at the same time as our show just down the street.

The inspiration to develop the Instagram page, and later curating an exhibition of landscape painters, came from following @paintguide. Paintguide does an incredible job of generating followers, curating group exhibitions of premier contemporary painters, and promoting art collections via social media.

"Quiet Evening" by Dan Schultz
“Quiet Evening” by Dan Schultz

My ambition is to host this first event to showcase these painters and my ability to curate and sell the best landscape paintings being made today. In the future I would like to create a hardback copy catalogue of these paintings that would be released annually. And to be completely open, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I am also using this opportunity as a shortcut to insert myself as a painter into a group that I deeply admire.

"St. Leonard Creek" by Alison Barry
“St. Leonard Creek” by Alison Barry

The first annual exhibition opens September 6 at the Harrison Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, and will feature 100 paintings from 50 of today’s best landscape painters. Learn more at www.harrisoncenter.org.

"Meadow Maestro" by Denise LaRue Mahlke
“Meadow Maestro” by Denise LaRue Mahlke

Artists Featured in “Landscape Today: First Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Painting”

C. W. Mundy – Hillary Scott – Marc Hanson – Aimee Erickson – Paul Batch – Alicia Zanoni – Jon Hayes – Deborah Paris – Timothy P. Wilson – Joe Gyurcsak – Brett Scheifflee – Kim VanDerHoek – Mikel Wintermantel – Danny Griego – Jake Gaedtke – Jill Tascher Basham – Peggy Ann Jones – Brian Sindler – Carol Jenkins – Shawn Krueger – Erik Koeppel – Richie Carter – Andrew Orr – Justin Vining – TJ Cunningham – Denise LaRue Mahlke – Josh Rush – Peter Fiore – Chris Bell – Kyle Ragsdale – Roy Boswell – Mary Ann Davis – Jerry Smith – Matthew J Cutter – Justin Worrell – Dan Schultz – Edward Sprafkin – Aaron Cordell Johnson – Dottie Leatherwood – Eleinne Basa – Tad Retz – Kim Casebeer – Dave Santillanes – Alison Barry – Kathy Anderson – Robert Wellings – Erin Spencer – Kami Mendlik – Lisa Lebofsky – Don Hamilton – Christine Lashley – Stephanie Paige Thomson – Beverly Bruntz – Julie Davis – Jennifer McChristian – Jane Hunt – Sean Witucki – Casey Roberts – Donna Shortt – Michael Godfrey – Paul Mortdesky

"Oak Tree" by Chris Bell
“Oak Tree” by Chris Bell

Stay tuned for an upcoming guest appearance from Benny Sanders on the PleinAir Podcast!


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