Thursday, May 20, 2010

United Arts Council of Collier County: A Resource for SW Floridians

The United Arts Council is designated by the State of Florida as the official local arts agency for Collier County. The council provides arts education to at-risk students and outreach services to those who might now otherwise have access to the arts.

In connecting arts organizations, artists, galleries and arts educators with one another and local audiences and tourism-related businesses, the UAC is able to propel the arts community, provide valuable resources and spread art throughout the county.

The organization advocates for more arts education in schools, more funding for the arts, and more art in public places, providing assistance to arts organizations, galleries and artists.

In addition to state funding, the UAC relies on membership fees to function. Single memberships for "friends" and "artists" begin at $65 (while family, gallery, arts and cultural group, business or corporate partner memberships are higher). Click here to become a member and see how you can help the UAC succeed.

The UAC's "What's Happening" section of their website lists an extensive calendar of local events - ranging from activities at the Naples Botanical Garden to Performance Pieces at the Naples Ballet. Each week, there is also an up-to-date "Best Bets for the Weekend" listing.

Check out the site to see their various resources for artists, entertainers and teachers - including listings of auditions, jobs, volunteer positions and more.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fine Arts Graduate School: Tips and Stats

Each year US News and World Report publishes lists of the "best" colleges, universities, and graduate schools across the country. While the lists can seem overwhelming (and maybe even a little inaccurate, as they incorporate obscure criteria like "how much professors are paid" into determining the rankings), I recently read an insightful article associated with the magazine's Fine Arts Graduate School rankings that gives some useful advice.

Here's a summary of the article's helpful hints for MFA-bound students:

  • Consider how you'll be making a living after graduation (not just how you'll make your art) - take advantage of career resources before and during the admissions process and make the school's career center a part of your considerations
  • Look for schools that teach entrepreneurship, as many artists will go on to start their own galleries or arts non-profit organizations (especially during a recession, when jobs for artists are scarce).
  • Network, network, network
  • Vision is essential: because programs are highly competitive, many professors recommend that artists should establish themselves as working artists and build their portfolios (rather than going straight from undergrad to grad school)
  • Know what you're getting into (and be realistic) - While an MFA might make more jobs available to you as an artist, unfortunately, artists are currently unemployed at twice the rate of other professional workers and as always, artists typically don't make much money. However, in my opinion, if you're passionate enough about your talent and creating art, you'll find other ways to earn a living while doing what you love.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Art Consultants in NYC

The MFI Art Company, Inc., located in New York City, is an art consulting firm whose clients range from small businesses to major multinational corporations. Since its founding in California in 1977, MFI has provided artwork and services to over 2,200 clients (which include artists, galleries, publishers, and private art dealers).

Art consultants work in various ways and often offer a variety of art-related services. MFI's services include an initial assessment of space and evaluation of the client's needs, expert research in locating artwork, inventory and appraisal, commissions, framing and placement and installation.

For artists, working with art consultants could be an excellent way to sell work and gain exposure. Like most consulting firms, MFI is always looking for new artists to consider for future projects - and also works with art dealers, galleries, print publishers and artist representatives in obtaining new works.

Check out these other art consulting companies located in NYC and around the country

Read more about art consulting at NYFA's website

If you're just in the mood to enjoy NYC's art scene, click here to check out the current and upcoming events going on around the city

Monday, February 8, 2010

DARE to Educate

DARE (which stands for Digital Art Resources for Education) is an online education resource for contemporary international visual arts, which developed through the Digital Arts Education Research Initiative from 1998 to 2001.

The resource is aimed at a broad educational audience and is divided into four of areas:

Digital - This section includes a periodically changing selection of contemporary webart projects made specifically for the Internet.

Art - "Art" takes visitors to DARE's main resource area, where images and ideas of a diverse range of British and interntional contemporary artists are examined through themes of play, space + place and translation. The section also contains several ideas for project work and critical studies discussions as well as an image gallery of each artists' works, without contextualization.

Resource - Here, additional resources are listed. These resources include a compilation of related books, journals, CD-ROMS and education packs. Text and image resources' full bibliographies are included in this section, as is an extensive list of links to international contemporary artists organizations, galleries and education projects.

Education - The "Education" section has an overview of the approach to teaching and learning about contemporary art and critical studies used by DARE. There are also links to schools who have used DARE since its pilot phase.

DARE's unique in its mission to "ease the flow" between contemporary art practices and current art education. DARE aims to lessen the lack of teacher resources within formal education that teach critical and creative practices of contemporary artists from a diverse range of cultures. The website allows contextual issues to be considered while examining how artists have made their work. It also allows users to access and view work by artists who have not traditionally been looked at in the formal curriculum.

The School of Lifelong Learning and Education hosts DARE's website.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Art&Education, established in New York in 2006, reaches an international network of over 70,000 visual-art professionals and academics on a daily basis through its website and email list. The website posts announcements and distributes information on the world's most important contemporary art exhibitions, publications and symposia taking place within educational contexts and lists current academic employment opportunities in the visual arts.

The Arts University College at Bournemouth: The art institute has posted a call for applications for the post of Head of School of Design and Associate Dean.
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum: The Washington University's Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts' museum in Saint Louis presents "Allison Smith: Needle Work." The artist's works are critically engaging and convey popular forms of historical reenactment. Using sculpture, fabrics, ceramics and other traditional crafts, Smith seeks to "redo, re-stage and re-figure our sense of collective memory."

School of Visual Arts 2010: The school is calling for applicants for its Arts Abroad Programs. Limited space is available for programs in the following places: Barcelona, Florence, Milan, Rome, Puerto Rico, Southern France / Provence, Shanghai, Venice.

UC San Diego, Visual Arts Department: UC San Diego's Visual Arts Department is hosting a series of lectures and panels investigating contemporary theories, practices and debates in the making and reception of public culture as they move through the visual sphere.

Click here for news from art&education.

Click here for art&education's impressive archive of papers, essays, and articles

Click here to subscribe to art&education's newsletters

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Useful Resource for Chicago Artists

Chicago is one of America's largest cities and contains a thriving (and growing) art scene. From the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, there is so much to see and do, it's almost overwhelming. For Chicago-area artists, I suggest visiting the Chicago Artists Resource, an extensive website that offers useful links, articles, and advice for visual and performance artists and contains a plethora of information regarding business, careers, resources, education, opportunities, etc.

The resources section (under "Visual Arts") mentions relevant issues and current articles -divided by topic - related to artists. One such article (under the "Health / Wellness" topic) deals with health care, one of the nation (and world's) most pressing issues and something that affects everyone from politicians to housewives.

The article, titled "Artists United for Health Care," discusses the organization's partnership with the Center for Cultural Innovation and Leveraging Investments in Creativity and their collaborative launching of a united artists' health care reform website. As the article states, the website's goal is to give artists the chance to get directly involved in advocating for meaningful and real reform. To read the entire (important) article, click here.

Other topics included under the "Visual Arts" Resources section include suppliers and services (read how to use the Internet to Market Your Work), advocacy (find out more about the Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist Initiative) and networks (split up into sub-topics like neighborhood organizations, religious artists, artists with disabilities, and many more).

For a list of current and upcoming exhibitions and other art-related events in Chicago, click here.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago's art museums and galleries, click here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to Shoot a Jane Bown Portrait

Guardian Photographer, Eammonn McCabe gives a lesson on shooting the perfect portrait, Jane Bown style (in honor of Bown's November exhibition at Kings Place).

Click here to watch the video, describing how to make sure you:

  • Get the background right
  • Make sure you have good light in the eyes
  • Think about hands, do you need them?
  • Create a relaxed atmosphere
  • Try uprights as well as landscapes
  • Try different lenses
  • Think about black and white
  • Watch the light
  • AND FINALLY... never admit you don't know what you're doing!