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Liverpool/Sheffield, United Kingdom

Monday, 28 February 2011

The International 3

Last Wednesday we had a lecture with Paulette Brien, the Co-director of the international 3 gallery space in Manchester. I found her general advice very useful and her personal story of how she became director of the gallery captivating. To follow is what I learnt about the world of commercial contemporary art and being successful in it.
  • ITS NOT EASY- To get solo shows in such gallery's, reputation is key. To be recognised and therefore offered a show, previous experiences and previous exhibitions an artist has taken part in are taken in to consideration. If an artist is has no experience they wont be taken seriously. A seemingly vicious cycle!
  • The main ways to get recognised as an emerging artist is through attending art fairs and open submission shows, networking and building contacts and importantly your Final degree show where institutions take the opportunity to talent spot.
  • Curators and gallery's want questions about your practice answered. Specifically what it is that you have to offer the art world why?
  • It is important when attempting to contact gallery's to research the type of institution that they are e.g. are they technological based. How do they want to be contacted? via submission of portfolio? Via email?  
  • Once a relationship has been formed between artist and institution (such as international 3) and you have been chosen to be represented regular solo shows are given and support networks are maintained.
  • The funding system is interesting. The international 3 are given £30,000 every year from the arts council. With that funding the directors set up roughly 6 shows run the building and pay themselves a salary. If an artist is commissioned to create work for a show a fee is set with which the artists create the work and take a salary from. 
  • If an artist sells work during the exhibition 50% of the profits go to the institution and 50% to the artist. 
  • It seems that due to the current lack of government funding in the arts it is inevitably becoming harder and harder to become an established part of the art world. Paulette explained that to be successful you have to be resourceful, committed and willing to work for free to get where you want. 
  • We were shown that being resourceful often meant setting up exhibitions in domestic spaces to get work seen.  

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