Sunday, August 16, 2009


Intent of the Blog: This is my first time creating a blog. My intent is to be expressively informative. As a contemporary visual and media artist, I experience all the ups and downs of being a creative person and trying to "make ends meet". Ok, the creative part is that space in between where the ends don't meet. Its in this in-between space that most of us live. I've been giving workshops on the business of art for visual artists and contemporary visual art issues since 1999.

Background to the business of art workshops and textbook: I put the early versions of my workshop together after graduating with a B.F.A. (I already had a Masters in Environmental Studies from a previous career) and found myself asking the question "what now?". Having professional training and work experience in organizing and giving workshops on a variety of subjects, I applied these skills to answer my question. The result, a workshop called "The Business of Art of Visual Artists" and the subsequent user friendly textbook available at Wallack's in Ottawa and DeSerres in Ottawa and Toronto ($36.25). The Ottawa Entrepreneur Centre and downtown Ottawa Library have copies. Many artists use it in Halifax where I gave a series of workshops (VANS and NSAD).

While my own art practice and exhibitions and festivals career have developed, I've incorporated the learning from these experiences into my teaching and writing. Although I give lectures at the university on contemporary visual art issues, B.O.A.T. inc's workshop format for the business of art is artist centred involving hands-on exercises and feedback discussion. Its an interactive space where artists at a crossroads (aren't we all?) in their career, can come together and be inspired through exchanging feedback. Specialized training in developing adult education learning experiences combines well with first-hand business of art knowledge and that of other students to create a unique learning forum. Independently organized, either by B.O.A.T. inc or by an informal group wanting a customized workshop, allow an optimal small group size. While I recommend topic specific talks, the B.O.A.T. inc workshop approach allows a more comprehensive integration with one's individual art career.

On a personal note: Oh well, I guess this is a beginning. On a personal note, I just received news that I have been recommended for an Ontario Art Council Exhibition Assistance Grant, badly needed as I have 5 solo exhibitions in 2009, in addition to the Banff Residency I did in March, and a few international multimedia festivals and exhibition. Of course, this is just "assistance", still requiring supplementation from other sources. We'll talk about balancing supplemental activities with our creative practice... sometimes objectively, other times in a musing way.

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