“Making Art Work” helps develop professional skills

Union Gallery hosts a continuing professional development series titled Make a work of art in collaboration with the Agnes Etherington Art Center and Modern Fuel.

Free workshops led by local artists are designed to help emerging artists hone their business skills. Topics include learning about managing finances, discussing your works with others, and preparing a portfolio.

Abby Nowakowski, administrative and communications coordinator at Union Gallery, said becoming a well-rounded artist requires work outside of the studio.

“[People] I often think, “Oh, I’m an artist, I don’t need to know how to do this”, and that’s where a lot of the fear comes from. This [takes] networking and starting conversations. It’s not necessarily the business [in the sense of] making money, but rather the strings that hold it all together,” Nowakowski said in an interview with The newspaper.

The courses offered in Make a work of art are for artists who want to take the next step.

The Union Gallery hosted “Talking About Artist Talks” on March 15. Host Hiba Abdallah discussed self-promotion, an essential aspect of getting your art known to the world.

Registration is now open for “Getting the Wallets Ready,” another workshop in the series to be hosted by Modern Fuel on April 19 at 6 p.m.

“These are really important things for our careers, but they’re not always taught in an academic field,” Nowakowski said.

“At school, [artists] learn a lot of techniques, but not the business side of what it means to be an artist. Through this professional development series, we [teaching] things you may not have learned in art school. This is a meaningful set of courses for real-life artists. »

Asked about the inspiration behind make a work of art, Nowakowski said the Union Gallery and its partners recognized a need in the community. Developing professional skills can make applying for Kingston’s many lucrative grants less daunting.

“There are plenty of opportunities to showcase your work, but sometimes [they] feel out of reach if you don’t have the skills,” Nowakowski noted.

“Things like documenting your work or building a strong portfolio – those are [areas where] we have heard artists asking for help. Having these skills will help propel your career as an artist.

The pandemic has exacerbated the need to hone these skills.

“You absolutely have to find ways to pivot in these strange times. Have the skills to be your own boss [has become] so important.”

Nowakowski hopes Queen’s students who listen make a work of art come out of the workshops with the confidence to take the plunge.

Interested participants can register online.

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