Sunday, April 19, 2009


Most artists don't know anything about the business side of art. I AM AN ARTIST: Professional Development Weekend for Artists is a workshop designed to fill that void, and provide essential resources, funding opportunities, peer-to peer evaluation, networking and hands-on feedback for artists.

So you make art? Now what? How do you showcase your work? How do you present your portfolio? How do you write a successful grant proposal? How do you most effectively write an artist's statement? Do galleries still require slides or has everything gone digital? How big are your jpegs? How does your resume look? Sure you know Cadmium red and your Cobalt blue, but what about fiscal sponsorship? Taxes? What about money?

Artists are comfortable making art--that's what we do--but less comfortable conducting the business of art which we've often learned by trial and error, willy nilly, haphazardly. "That's left brain stuff," we joke, burrowing into our work. The business of art is rarely touched upon in art school, which many artists don't attend anyway, and once you're "out in the world" you improvise and play catch as catch can, hoping for the best and trying to make art with your fingers crossed. Other professions have vast support networks and encourage (if not require) continuing education, but artists tend to fumble along alone.

I'm just halfway through this workshop but I've already stuffed my brain (both sides) with valuable information about grant writing and portfolio presentation and galleries and resumes and the labyrinth of taxes and 501c3s and fiscal sponsorship. Lots of good tips. All that, and sharing notes with fellow artists from various backgrounds and experiences. I highly recommend I Am an Artist.

The workshop is offered by Artist Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the arts community in Washington state. Artist Trust was founded in 1987 by a group of arts patrons and artists who were concerned about the lack of support for individual artists. Artist Trust is guided by the leadership of a Board of Trustees and a professional staff.

"Artist Trust provides artists the time and resources necessary to prosper. We deliver vital professional development information to thousands of artists each year, and have distributed over $3.4 million in direct support to more than 1,675 of Washington State’s most promising and respected artists of all disciplines."

Visit Artist Trust

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