Rise Art

Recent Art Graduate – Now What?

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott @ Rise Art on July 20, 2010

As the recent degree shows wind down, many recent graduates of MA and MFA programs may be asking themselves, now what? Whether or not your recent degree and open shows were everything you expected, now is the time to get pro-active in establishing yourself as an artist. Many people will have your work fresh in their mind, and this is your chance to leave a lasting impression. At Rise Art, we came up with five easy but helpful steps you can take to expand your visibility as an artist. While you are enjoying the fleeting summer months, we hope that this can aid you in your career development:

1. Create online presence

It is increasingly important to have an online presence, be it your own website, an online portfolio or gallery. It do not have be pricey and there are sites offering uploading a portfolio for free. If you consider committing to an online gallery, research it first. At Rise Art we have previously committed an entire blog entry on this subject, to read Why artists need to be online click here.

2. Subscribe to email newsletters

Newsletters are a great way of staying up-tot-date on what’s going on in the art world. There is a huge variety of free email newsletters available online, informing you not only about the latest news and exhibitions, but also artist-opportunities.

Some of our favorite industry newsletters are:

Artsjobs and Artnews, both from the arts council in England, Artsadmin, and e-flux, as well as Artquest.

3. Get connected

Collect contacts and start building a network. Go to openings and other events were you will be among peers and other people from the art world. We suggest if you have not done so already, create a simple address book or database with the contacts of all relevant people you meet, such as fellow artists, curators, journalists, gallery owners, potential collectors or buyers. Try to update this list on a regular basis and don’t be shy to ask people for their contacts. The list you create now will be a huge asset the next time you are looking to drive people to an exhibit or show you are hosting.

4. Exhibit your work

As recent graduate, it might be hard to find exhibition spaces at first, but there are a number of opportunities out there.  We suggest to apply for group exhibitions, if you are in the early stages of your career, as it is more likely to be accepted into such – plus, it can be a great way to meet fellow artists and young curators! Newsletters, forums and blogs can also be a great resource for artist opportunities.

Another idea would be to organize your own solo show or a group show with fellow students, for instance as a pop-up exhibition. Rise Art has the following recommendations for hosting pop-up exhibitions – See our blog post on Pop-Up Retail Opportunies.

5. Other opportunities

Art prizes and artist residencies are just some of the options available to emerging artists. Explore some of the art prizes open to young artists (further reading here).

Let us know what else we missed. How are you promoting yourself following the degree show season?

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