The Business of Art: Lectures and Workshops for Students

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I offer lectures, workshops or classes on the business of art covering:

  1. Social Media for Artists

  2. How to Write Winning Grants

  3. How to Market An Exhibition

  4. How to Find an Art Gallery

  5. The Art of Business

Each is customized and is very hands-on, focused on real-world solutions to problems facing students, artists and photographers.

They could take the form:

  • One hour lectures, with Q&A.

  • Two to three hour workshops, where documents, etc. are created or drafted.

  • Several on-going talks, lectures or class, combining one or all of the topics.

1. Social Media for Artists

How to use social media platforms to build a strong online presence and to help promote your art work.

Social media for artists and photographers can be bewildering, a blessing, or both. With many tools (Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, blogs) to pick from, we’ll review:

    • Key sites and platforms to share on, such as Instagram, as well as art and photo sites, and how to fill out each site’s profile properly.

    • What is the best content to post to each.

    • How to connect with the right followers, including curators, gallerists, collectors and other key influencers.

    • Which platforms, approach and strategy are best to sell work online directly to clients.

    • When are the best times to share for each site; evenings and weekends could be best for Instagram; Twitter is weekday afternoon.

    • Proper use of hashtags and “@” usage to share about a specific project or topic.

Using Snapchat and other new platforms for personal narrative digital imaging projects.

  • We’ll take a look at how to make new narratives and other creative possibilities with Snapchat, Instagram, and blogs.

Connecting with galleries and curators using social media platforms: the right and wrong way.

Since it’s possible to reach out to dealers or museums directly, we’ll review strategies that engage with them, as well as identifying who to follow on social media and how to engage with them once you are connected.

How to repair a damaged online reputation.

Suppressing damaging content such as lies, rumors, or other harmful material from showing up in search results is complex but starts with careful analysis, content creation, sharing using social media and use of search engine optimization. I will review some step-by-step real world solutions.

2. How to Write Winning Grants

Using real-world examples, we’ll go over step-by-step ways to write strong grant or artist residency proposals, and select work that supports the project. Much of the time will be spent writing a draft proposal, which is key. Other key tips we’ll cover are:

Get over grant writing blocks and how to move beyond fear.

Proposal writing describing the project and your work by focusing on brevity, clarity and the use jargon-free descriptive language.

How to read and research grants and previous artists or photographers who’ve won.

Select work that is coherent in theme, mood or subject to support the proposal.

Ways to ask for recommendations from people you know.

Set up a system to track upcoming grants, and organize materials to seamlessly apply for the next grant. Keep applying–it becomes a numbers game.

3. How to Market An Exhibition

Having a show is the goal of nearly every artist or photographer, but marketing it properly (or at all) is one aspect that most artists ignore. Here’s how to do it, based on my real-world experiences:

Collect a list of publications and contacts six months before the show.

Find appropriate publications that might be interested in the project, such as magazines, alumni publications, newspapers, blogs as well as curators and gallerists.

Write your own press release, and draft a brief email intro about the show with an image to writers, critics, publications, radio stations, bloggers.

Update materials such as your resume and images on your website, and if necessary, create a new page or blog post for the new work or show.

If your exhibition is in another city or country, start making appointments with dealers and curators.

Create and make your own postcard a month beforehand. Email everyone on your contact list before the show with an embeded image.

Make a list of those you want to reach out to for an Instagram takeover, like:
The venue, gallery or museum hosting the show.
Nearby galleries or museums.
Dealers you have contact or a relationship with.
Tourist groups if an another country.
Alumni groups.

Start sharing on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; do so daily a week before and after the show, including the opening, the work, behind the scenes shots.

4. How to Find an Art Gallery

Finding a gallery to represent your artwork can be hard and seems like a job in itself, requiring emails, calls, preparation, meetings, follow up and more. Although there is no one way of securing a gallery to show your work, we’ll go over:

List dealers you’d like to work with, some “pie-in-the-sky” blue chips, and a few emerging dealers in and outside New York.

Make sure your work can be easily understood and presented. Now is not the time to put together a “greatest hits” show that summarizes everything you’ve done–this could risk confusing or boring the dealer.

Go to gallery openings to network and meet dealers.

Reach out to people you know. They could be artists, dealers, curators or even accountants.

5. The Art of Business

We will review practical details on how to be thrive as an artist/fine art photographer, focusing on the business of art. The emphasize will be portfolio creation, how to find a gallery, marketing, networking, other possible income streams, review of other artist’s careers, and what steps are necessary after the artist gets an exhibition. Many of the solutions and suggestions have been culled from twenty years experience in New York, discussions with others artists and gallery directors and curators.

Together we’ll draft an artist statement, c.v./resume, and portfolio, with the aims to give students the tools for a career as an artist/fine art photographer, and to teach students how to market, network and professionally communicate in the artworld.

About Steve Giovinco

Steve Giovinco is a fine art photographer who exhibits widely in North America and internationally. Steve earned an MFA from Yale University, and has been awarded fellowships, grants and numerous artist residencies fellowships, including Yaddo. Showing in over 100 group and solo gallery and museum exhibitions with artists such as Jeff Wall, and Martin Parr, Steve’s work has been collected by several institutions, such as Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, and Yale University. Reviews have been published in Art in America, his work has appeared in the New York Times, in several catalogues and in “Summertime,” a book published by Chronicle Books.

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