Course outline: This course examines the ways in which artists can assess the market, promote their work ensure exposure of their work and price it appropriately. Through a combination of theory and practice, students will be introduced to the basic principles of arts marketing including; the role of public exhibition; channels of arts distribution; media promotion and the role of critics; the marketing plan; identification of market trends; produce pricing and retail principles. Students learn the value of effectively representing themselves through the development of a professional business image. This course focuses on the practical concerns of marketing using appropriate case studies and examples.
Our last week, I cannot believe it. We are done throwing, we are firing our last pieces and we are in the classroom for the whole week. This is very different then before but we have to get used to it, next week we won’t have wheels, kilns or clay anymore because we will all be on our way home.
Monica has an incredible amount of knowledge about marketing, has seen hundreds of portfolios and has been on numerous juries. Our assignment is to put together a portfolio that includes a cover letter, a bio, slides or photographs, business card design and a c.v. This is difficult. She has brought some as examples and they do help, but it is a bit overwhelming and soon I feel discouraged. Not for long because happily she crosses out some lines on my letter, adds some words and tells me to try it again. It takes me 5 times, but by then I have a beautiful artist statement, something I would’ve never dreamt to have. She shows patience and gives hints, makes us do class exercises and shares stories about partnership, business disasters and legal advise.
Her focus is mainly on Ontario which is fine by me for most of the time, but when it comes to grants and scholarships I wished she had some more of Canada in general.
She tells us about galleries, their strategies and their needs. Then we visit a gallery and ask questions about the just learned commission, breakage, payment, supply and display. That was a very nice opportunity/experience, and the woman in the store was very helpful and gave us a lot of her free time .
Our week is over and even though it was a lot of hours in a classroom, the time flew by and it was a good experience that we needed to finish this course of properly. Now I feel like I can go home and not feel totally lost when I want to try and market my pieces. I now know to make an appointment with the gallery before I drop off my portfolio that includes a cover letter, bio, artist statement, photographs and store cards. If desired I will bring some pieces to show the store owner. I have already decided on the amount I would like to receive and I know that I have to read carefully through the contract. Now I know what to do when I want to apply for a grant, scholarship or residencie. And I will need practice and lots of it.
But thanks to Monica, I know what to practice.