ART/WORK: Everything You Need to Know (and Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 24, 2009 - Art - 304 pages
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Find Out What They Didn't Teach You in Art School

The most comprehensive guide of its kind, Art/Work gives artists of every level the tools they need to make it in an art world so competitive one dealer likens it to "The Sopranos, except nobody gets killed." Whether you're an art school grad looking for a gallery, a mid-career artist managing a busy studio, or someone just thinking about becoming a professional artist, this indispensable resource will help you build your career and protect yourself along the way.

Unlike other creative professionals, visual artists don't have agents or managers. You have to do it all yourself, at least until you find gallery representation -- and even then, there are important business and legal issues you need to understand to stay in control of your career and ensure you're being treated fairly. Heather Darcy Bhandari, a gallery director, and Jonathan Melber, an arts lawyer, walk you through these issues so that you can essentially act as your own manager and agent. They show you, for example, how to tackle business basics such as tracking inventory and preparing invoices; how to take legal precautions like registering a copyright and drafting consignment forms; how to use promotional tools like websites and business cards; and how to approach career decisions such as choosing the right venue to show your work.

In addition to drawing on their own experiences, Bhandari and Melber interviewed nearly one hundred curators, dealers, and other arts professionals, in cities across the country, about what they expect from and look for in artists. The authors also talked to a host of artists about their careers and the lessons they've learned navigating the art world. The book is full of their entertaining anecdotes and candid advice.

No matter what kind of artist you are -- or want to be -- this book will help you. Art/Work covers everything you need to know to succeed, saving you from having to learn it all the hard way -- and letting you spend more time making art.

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Artists on the business side of the career, sharing nuts-and-bolts information on such topics as preparing a portfolio.
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About the author (2009)

Heather Darcy Bhandari spent the last fifteen years as a director at Mixed Greens gallery in New York City, where she curated over one hundred exhibitions while managing a roster of nearly two dozen artists. Currently, she is an adjunct lecturer at Brown University and a consultant to several arts institutions, including The Artist Project/LA, the domain extension .ART, and The Artist Pension Trust. Heather is on the board of directors of visual arts at Art Omi, the board of Art F City, and serves as an advisory board member to Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn. She is a member of the College Art Association and the film committee of ArtTable. She was on the board of NURTUREart for nearly a decade. Heather received a BA from Brown University and an MFA from Pennsylvania State University. Before joining Mixed Greens, she worked at contemporary galleries Sonnabend and Lehmann Maupin, both in New York City.

Jonathan Melber began his career as an arts-and-entertainment lawyer in New York, representing artists, galleries, collectors, and a host of creative individuals and companies. He eventually left his legal practice to join the art e-commerce startup 20x200 as director of business development, later moving to LA to run content acquisition business affairs at Hulu. Today he is VP of content commercialization at Turner, where he handles monetization strategy and digital sales for TNT, tbs, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, and CNN. Jonathan graduated from Brown University with a degree in philosophy and received his JD from New York University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review.

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