If you are an artist, amateur or professional, you will want people to see your work. You can do this by hawking your pictures around independent art galleries, and you can hold Open Studio events. These are all good ways of getting your work seen. You can also advertise and produce posters and prints, but these aren't the same for prospective buyers as actually seeing your work.
First, you will need to find a venue. You can look on-line, or ask around. There aren't many places that you can find gallery space advertised - you will just need to keep your ears open! Choose a space that is large enough, and is in a popular area. It's not good choosing one in the back of beyond, where no-one passes by!
Check out the price of the venue and see if you can afford it on your own. If so, you can book a solo show. If you can't afford it on your own, you will need to find some other artists to share the costs with you.
Next thing is to get the press on-side. Send out press releases to everyone you know telling them about it.
Choose a theme for your exhibition - it looks so much better than an eclectic mix of pieces.
You will need to have two sorts of insurance. Public Liability insurance, to protect visitors and insurance to cover your work in the event of a fire or theft.
You might want to have an exclusive private view for gallery owners on the first night. Provide nibbles and drinks, not forgetting soft drinks for those people who are driving. Advertise this well - remember that only about a third of people invited will actually be able to ( or want to!) come.
Leave plenty of time to hang your work. Make sure the light is good enough, and if not, provide more.You might need to rope in some friends to help you with the hanging. Set out a side table with leaflets and business cards on. Make sure that you have tucked all your rubbish away in a back room, or under the tablecloth.
Open with a bang - lots of publicity in the newspapers, and re-email everyone you know. Make sure that the exhibition is open when you say it is going to be. Keep a notebook to record all sales.
Keep a cash box ready and enjoy!