TOOLKIT / A class run by Debra Solomon.


First part: October 5, November 9 & 23, December 7, January 11.

‘Just make good art and your career will happen.’
How often have your heard this when asking an artist whom you admire about how to be a professional artist? It's a terrible answer that only raises questions. What is good art? Good art according to whom? What sort of career? Would the career that 'happens' be the sort of career that I would want? The answer doesn't give any clues to the following question, 'Considering the sort of art that I make, how can I go about planning my career?'
Often young artists describe the period directly after their graduation as a 'Black Hole'. Even young artists that face numerous offers of exhibitions may begin to wonder if these exhibitions serve their purposes and not simply the needs of the culture-vultures. After years of study, honing their skills and their method of expression they find it difficult to function as a professional artist in what they refer to as, 'the Real World'.
Professional artists work very hard, not just on their art work but on their careers. This project endeavours to teach career skills. Through individual guided research and work (on your own portfolio and database) you will acquire skills that will enable you to plan and direct your own career. (In other professions, this is a normal part of one's study why not also in art?)
This project will guide you through your own professional realm and will inspire you to discover the unexplored territories of the public domain that you have available to you as an emerging artist.

In Project Public Toolkit we will specifically address the following:

  • valuable database creation - who are the people, professional organisations, public institutions and funding organisations that will help you to realise your projects and exhibitions?
  • Examples of using the public domain as a platform for art that may be useful for you
  • project proposals (writing a one-pager!)
  • grant applications (how to write them, researching funding institutions)
  • contextualising your work, for different contextsŠ (curatorial, press)
  • approaching potential sponsors (it's not only about YOU)

In Public Toolkit you will develop quite literally a set of tools that you can use for your own career. The course material is not general but specific to you. The participants in Public Toolkit will meet bi-monthly to discuss their findings individually and 'en group' from October until January 2006. A portion of the project days will be spent on one's OWN work. The result of participation in this project is not so much an END PRODUCT (database and documentation) but a BEGIN PRODUCT. All necessary software for the database portion of this project will be provided and installed on DAI computers.