Visual Artists Ireland would like to wish all our members, subscribers and readers a very healthy and happy 2013. We have lots planned for the year ahead most notably the second annual networking and professional development event the ‘Visual Artists Ireland Get Together 2013‘ to be held on Friday 28 June 2013 at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Don’t forget to save the date! The Get Together 2012, held at Limerick College of Art and Design was a great success and an important opportunity for us to meet our artists from all over the country and to address their professional needs. You can read more about and view some of the resources from the Get Together 2012 event here: http://visualartists.ie/education-2/professional-development-resources. Further details and booking information for Get Together 2013 will be announced soon.
Do you know about the Visual Artists Ireland Info~Pool online resource? Info~Pool is a resource for artists that provides information on all aspects of professional development. Here you will find information guides on topics such as Exhibiting with Galleries, Preparing Proposals, Tax and Self Employment, Copyright, Contracts and much more. See: http://visualartists.ie/resources/infopool-2/
There are very few, if any, agents in Ireland. It is more a case that galleries (commercial) act as agents on behalf of artists. To be represented by a gallery is not an easy task. Most commercial galleries do not like to receive unsolicited proposals. Generally speaking, it is the commercial gallery that approaches the artist with a view to representing them.
Thus, it is very important to keep pushing your practice and making sure your work is out there, exhibiting as much as possible so that you make it onto the radar of gallery owners and/or curators and that they are, at the very least, aware of your existence and where you are showing. There is no harm in send a polite email enquiring if they would be interested in viewing your portfolio and/or inviting them to your exhibition(s).
Do some research and find out who is who in the galleries that you think most suit to your work. Get acquainted with that person and make sure they are on your contact list. One of the most important aspects of being an artist is building and nurturing your contacts – be they art administrators, gallerists, buyers, curators etc. Develop a contact list, keep it up to date and send important people personal emails and invites to every show that you do have.
There are a few texts in our Info~Pool that may guide you with marketing your art practice.
‘Exhibiting with Galleries’,
‘Artists, Commercial Galleries and the International Art Market’,
Also, VAI runs workshops during the year the assist artists in presenting their work and practice. These are advertised through our eBulletin and in the Professional Development pages of our website.
A Beginners Guide to Art Bollocks with Jason Oakley editor of the Visual Artists News Sheet on Tuesday 1 Mar @ Ormeau Baths Gallery has received coverage from Culture Northern Ireland
A Beginners Guide to Art Bollocks was part of the OBG and VAI Critical Writing Competition 2011. Jason’s talk, “which he mischievously called ‘A guide to useless and ridiculous art appendages’, isn’t a critique or a dissection of the language of art critics. It is more to find a balance between justification and jollification of the *cultural hegemony of wilfully opaque critical discourse. Oakley’s keen to assure us from the start that the ‘bollocks’ in question are non-gender specific. Everyone is relieved to learn obfuscatory art criticism is not principally a masculine pursuit.”
Visual Artists Ireland operates a programme of professional development training workshops, seminars and discussion groups through the year. These are delivered so as to be responsive to current and future needs as they are identified through research or direct approaches to VAI. The workshops are flexible enough to allow us to respond to specific local needs as well as being able to take a countrywide view point.