Showing posts with label Carolyn Edlund. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carolyn Edlund. Show all posts

19 October 2019

Art-Business Conference in Fredericksburg, VA, Nov.7-9, 2019

Photograph by Dawn Whitmore
Artists Speak covered a prior Clark Hulings Fund Art-Business Conference in our region back in January 2019. The conference, meant to give artists the entrepreneurial skills they need to succeed in their art business, returns this November in Fredericksburg, VA in partnership with the University of Mary Washington. Unlike the event held in Rockville last March, this conference is three days long, and the first day, which is free, will be held at the Belmont Estate, once the home and studio of American painter Gari Melchers. Shem Cohen will be leading the discussions of the first day, which will be focused on the dynamics of the current art market and how local communities can reshape them in order to suit their own purposes and structures and thrive. According to Cohen, president of Change Events Inc., the arts make up 3 percent of Virginia's GDP, or 17 billion dollars in revenue annually. The events of Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 will be led by Elizabeth Hulings, director, Carolyn Edlund, sales director, and Daniel DiGriz, education director, on the University of Mary Washington Stafford Campus and will feature interactive sessions and presentations on how artists can hone their business skills to appeal to a wider audience. Tickets are on sale here.

Artists Speak interviewed the organizers of the event as well as one of the local artists supporting them.

Questions for Organizers

Why did you choose the University of Mary Washington as your venue?

The Stafford County Virginia Department of Economic Development and Tourism is a major sponsor of our conference. UMW’s Stafford campus is a venue for adult and continuing education, and thus is a perfect venue for our professional development training. Their continuing studies director expressed great interest in bringing our program to UMW and subsequently shared it with faculty and students in their fine arts and art history departments. Our business training for artists is a good fit for undergrads who are seriously considering an art career, as well as older artists. Our audience ranges from artists who are just entering the market to mid-career artists who have experience and are looking to grow and increase exposure and sales.

How did your January 2019 DC-area conference turn out? Is there anything different about this event than in your previous one?

Our DC conference was well attended and received. We have an enormous amount of support from the arts community in the capital area, from nonprofit partners to educators, and our attendees benefited from that. The Virginia Art-Business Conference will have a similar focus which is grounded in foundational business principles, with specific strategies for visual artists. Our mission is to provide practical and specialized knowledge that supports artists who want to build sustainable small businesses. We know that this training moves the needle for serious artist-entrepreneurs; in fact, we recently released a groundbreaking study that looks at the impact of business education.

This conference has a one-day Thriving Art Exchange taking place at the Belmont Estate on Thursday, November 7th. This is a highly interactive event that addresses the local art ecosystem and a discussion of ways to move the regional art economy forward. It is free to attend and open to artists, arts administrators, gallerists, collectors, economic development and tourism staff, and others who have a stake in the success of the arts in the Rappahannock region. 

Questions for the Dawn Whitmore, participating artist

Why are you participating in this event?

As a professional barnscape photographer, I see and understand the importance of attending events that meet the criteria of growing both my business and business knowledge. The Clark Hulings VA Art Business Conference fits both of these criteria. I have personally sat under Carolyn Edlund’s teaching twice in another setting and the information shared transformed my business outlook. I am looking forward to the information which will be shared at the upcoming November conference. 

What is your role in the conference and why do you support the Clark Hulings Fund?

My role is one of the ‘feet-on-the-ground’ people in the Fredericksburg region. Sue Henderson and I have been sharing the upcoming conference through a radio interview, visiting and discussing the event at both First Friday and Second Friday in our region, and talking to as many galleries in the area. I support the Clark Hulings Fund because of the work and the heart they have for artists and the communities where they live.