Monday, January 24, 2011

Peer Assembly

Today I interviewed four artists. We met over coffee, tea and muffins, convened at my request to discuss representation. I went, humbled with gratitude to my assembled guests because, after all, they are giving me their time and considered thoughts to use in a book which I sell to make money. I am very conscious of that, so I donate a dollar from each book sold to CARFAC, the professional development association for Canadian visual artists.

In spite of my feeling like the only winner in the exercise, as the interview progressed, I saw each of the artists discover something new about their profession from the contributions of another. And when the session was over, they stayed together talking about their own and each other's work for quite a while, and several times one or another expressed a desire to get together again. As artists who normally work alone, they found it stimulating to be part of a discussion on business practice.

These are artists with considerable experience, still, they saw and experienced value in peer assembly, and it is a constant theme in my teaching. If you are an artist reading this blog, I urge you to find ways of getting together with your peers to discuss a mutually agreed to agenda of professional issues. I have never ever seen such a forum fail to impress every participant.

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