It takes guts to choose the arts as a profession. There is no roadmap, no dedicated school of professional practice, and no common understanding of how to do it right.
Navigating the curves in the road out of art school (or wherever else that you’ve come from) is made more daunting by the fact that all of the rules seem like a secret, kept among a very few ‘in the know’.
I have been an artist, an educator, a curator, and a gallerist. For more than 20 years, my career has been focused on helping artists to answer some pressing questions to create their own roadmap;
Why do you make art? What are your aspirations with the product of your work?
What choices to you have? Where do you think that you belong? How do you get there?
For an hour of presentation, and an hour of questions, we’ll be delving into the strata of the artworld. Some of the key things that I hope to talk about are:
-what are the different segments of the artworld, professional, commercial, and academic?
-how do you decide where you want to belong, or if you want to belong at all?
-what are the expectations of you if you want to make this a full-time profession?
-what do you need to know?
-what do you need to have done?
-what can you expect from others in the profession to assist you, paid and unpaid?
-applying for grants
-working within academia
-finding an agent or patron
-selling your own work
-how can you expect to live as a full time artist producing work for sale, public art work, work by commission, installation or concept work, and academic work?
It’s a lot. We’ll talk about as much as possible, and pick it up in a second conversation if necessary!
*Cheryl Baxter is the owner of several professional art galleries, and has represented mid-career artists for 20+ years. She is the owner of Mortar & Brick Arts in Lethbridge, opening in September.
Cheryl completed a B Ed at University of Calgary, and a BFA at Alberta College of Art and Design. She went on to apprentice as a goldsmith, and practiced her craft for 10 years in her own business. Cheryl has a depth of experience as a gallerist and curator, as well as with public gallery governance. She has written policy for public art programming, and sat on several art acquisition juries.