Do you love to draw? Can you throw pots? Do you really get into twisting and welding metal? Do you want to be an artist? Perhaps you already are making fine works. But, then, how do you stay an artist?
You need to find out about the business of art. Successful artists are not usually “discovered,” at least not until after they are dead. Successful artists know how not only to make great pieces; they also know how to get themselves noticed, how to gain a clientele through arts fairs, how to maintain mailing lists of folks who are interested in them, how to market themselves to galleries where they may become represented, how to price their work, and, in short, how to do all the things necessary to make a living doing what they love to do. These business matters are not drudgery, even to a very creative artist. They are part of the skill set.
Gallery ABBA permits art students to step into a major corner of this world.
ABBA is a gallery in downtown Beloit that promotes and sells work by students, faculty, and alumni. Each year, a student is named the “acting owner” of this retail shop. The owner has complete responsibility to hire staff, to find artists to represent, to curate shows, hang the work, market, keep the books, and to do everything a “real” gallery owner would do.
The students at ABBA learn a lot about the art business, too. And it really helps them to stay in the business of art after graduation. Try to find an opportunity this cool at any other college. You won’t.