Thursday, July 01, 2004

Success as an Artist Seminar offered on August 8, 2004.

Almost as soon as we opened our first gallery in Georgetown in 1996, artists began pouring in seeking representation. This continues to this day, and between visits, emails, packages in the mail, etc. we generally receive around 600-800 inquiries a year.

Because we obviously cannot represent or sell the work of such a huge number of artists, a lot of good, talented artists are turned away, after we have recommended follow on steps on what to do. However, in our first few months, Catriona soon discovered that she was spending most of her of time with emerging artists discussing many of the same things over and over, which generally consisted of giving out career advice about such things as gallery representation, contracts, grants, competitions, resumes, etc.

This was not only time consuming with scheduled appointments, but many unscheduled visits caused her to spend several hours a day just meeting with artists and essentially passing out the same information, over and over.

Then her mother came out with a brilliant idea: Why not come up with a structured, formal seminar for emerging artists to pass out this information as well as other important information. Not theory, not review of artwork, but practical advice, usable handouts and a forum to answer questions all at once.

We held our first seminar in 1999 – it was supposed to run for four hours but it ran for seven. So eventually we changed it to a full day, seven hour seminar, and have now presented it to over 1,000 artists and art administrators from nearly every Mid Atlantic state – with attendees coming from as far north as New York and as far south as South Carolina.

It has been spectacularly successful in offering practical business advice to the emerging artist on many areas not covered by any art school curriculum that we know of. The information, advice and details taught at the seminar are not based on theory, but on actual practical experience and hands-on effects. That’s why it has been so successful!

In its seven hour format, the seminar covers a wide range of structured issues including:

1. Materials
Buying materials – strategies for lowering your costs, where and how to get it, etc.

2. Presentation – How to properly present your artwork including Conservation issues, Archival Matting and Framing, Longevity of materials, a discussion on Limited editions, signing and numbering, Prints vs. Reproduction, discussion on Iris Prints (Pros and Cons).

3. Creating a resume - Strategy for building your art resume, including how to write one, what should be in it, presentation, etc.

4. Juried Shows – An Insider's view and strategy to get in the competitions.

5. How to take slides and photographs of your artwork

6. Selling your art – A variety of avenues to actually selling your artwork, including fine arts festivals, corporate acquisitions, galleries, public arts, etc.

7. Creating a Body of Works

8. How to write a news release

9. Publicity – How to get in newspapers, magazines, etc. Plus handouts on email and addresses of newspaper critics, writers, etc.

10. Galleries – Discussion on area galleries including Vanity Galleries, Co-Operatives, Commercial Galleries, Non-profit Art spaces, etc.

11. How to approach a gallery – Realities of the business, Contracts, Gallery/Artist Relationship, Agents.

12. Outdoor Art Festivals – Discussion and advice on how to sell outwork at fine arts festivals, which to do, which to avoid, etc.

13. Resources - Display systems and tents, best juried shows and ones to avoid.

14. Accepting Credit cards – How to set up your art business.

15. Grants – Discussion on how to get grants in DC, Regional and National, including handouts on who and where and when.

16. Alternative Marketing - Cable TV, Local media

17. Internet – How to build your website at no cost, how to establish a wide and diverse Internet presence.

The seminar has been a spectacular success, and the feedback from artists can be read online at here and we continue to receive tremendous positive feedback on the practical success that this seminar has meant for those who have taken it.

The seminar lasts for seven hours and is now offered twice a year. It costs $80 and the next one is scheduled for August 8, from noon to 7 PM at our Bethesda gallery. Interested artists can read more details or print a registration form online at or just call Catriona at 301/718-9651.

The seminar is held at the Fraser Gallery of Bethesda, located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E, in Bethesda. The gallery is one block from the Bethesda Metro stop on the Red Line. Ample free parking is also available.

Job Opportunity for Photographer...

The Associated Press seeks a Photo Editor responsible for working with photographers, photo editors,news editors to improve and guide the Washington, DC., photo report. This position will be responsible for planning, organizing and executing coverage of major news and sporting events. Photoshop and computer skills necessary.

John E. Hall/ Assistant Bureau Chief/Photo
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Washington, DC. 20006

Call for Artists...

Deadline: Friday, July 30, 2004

Alexandria Festival For the Arts: Regional Artist Juried Exhibition. Open to all artists living or working in Northern Virginia working in all media. Exhibition Dates: September 11 and September 12, 2004, as part of the national Alexandria Festival for the Arts. Juror: Peter Dubeau, Associate Dean, Division of Continuing Studies, Maryland Institute College of Art, former Director of School 33, Baltimore, MD.

Cash awards available. Postmark Deadline for Submissions: Friday, July 30. Entry fee: $15 for slides or JPEG digital images of up to three (3) works. For prospectus, please e-mail: or call 703-838-4565 x 6.