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Monday, September 19, 2011

You Don't Have to Starve if You're an Artist -- Business Skills Will Help with That

Posted on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Anthem Salgado - ANN BORJA
  • Ann Borja
  • Anthem Salgado

Artists embrace paradox. They live outside society's norm, reflecting back not-always-visible truths. But not all paradox is good. Often, artists are reviled, ridiculed, or dismissed, celebrated only after they die or get "discovered" and make a fortune. Society at large is not wholly to blame. Highbrow sentiment does its part to perpetuate the idea that artists should be above mere business concerns. Many art schools and university departments don't devote enough time to answering the question, "What can I do with a fine arts degree?" Which leads to another truth: In a nation where commerce is king and almost no public support goes to the creative class, those who want to make even a modest living from their art but have no basic business sense are likely to fail outright or be exploited by profit-minded people. The folks at Kearny Street Workshop don't want to see this happen, so they offer Business Skills for Artists. The second of a three-part series is Tuesday night.

Session two, at Arc Studios & Gallery, teaches budget-making as well as basic tax, contract, and copyright issues. The next one covers marketing and promotional strategies, including social media.

Instructors such as Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, Hector Gonzalez, Gio Mahmoud, and Anthem Salgado collectively have extensive experience in fine art, commercial representation, education, economics, and finance. The idea of the "starving artist" might do well in romantic novels, but not in today's economic reality.

Business Skills for Artists starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday (and continues on Sept. 27) at ARC Studios and Gallery, 1246 Folsom (at Eighth St.), S.F. Admission is $30.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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