Charles Harris Library Gallery
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Professional Development for Artists Workshop:
RESCHEDULED: Saturday, February 7th, 2009 10am - 3pm at the Charles Harris Library Gallery.

The Charles Harris Library Gallery, in partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Pro-Art, will host a Professional Development for Artists Workshop. The workshop will provide valuable information for anyone interested in pursuing a career in art. Artists at all career stages and levels of development will find something of benefit.

All are welcome, and there is no cost, but you MUST PRE-REGISTER by emailing the gallery.
Click here to pre-register via email.

The workshop will cover a range of nuts and bolts issues including: PR, selling your work, approaching galleries, developing an artist web site, writing your artist statement, grants and fellowships, and photographing your work.
Click here for detailed agenda of workshop.

Jeffrey Allison of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will lead the workshop.
Click here for more info on Jeffrey Allison.

The workshop begins at 10am and lasts until 3pm. There will be a one hour  break for lunch. Please bring a lunch or plan to buy one at a nearby restaurant.

Professional Development for Artists - Workshop Agenda

Preparing a Professional Approach

  • Photographing artwork. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone else.
  • Setting up a studio or home “office.” Whether it’s a whole room or a small corner, you will keep everything here – GET ORGANIZED
  • An Artist Statement – the good, the bad, the ugly. Simple may just be the best.
  • Being in Charge of your own PR
    • Resume and curriculum vita
    • Press releases
    • Postcards
    • Article placement
    • Bio
    • Business cards
    • Flyers
    • All the rest
  • Publications you might want to read on a regular basis


  • Which type of exhibition is right for you at this point in your career and the pros and cons of each
    • Outdoor shows
    • Mass call juried shows – local, regional, national
    • Juried shows at art centers and museums
    • Themed group shows
    • Invitational
    • One-person exhibitions
    • Public Arts Programs (1percent and more)
    • Alternative exhibition sites – you wouldn’t believe how long this list can be

How to Approach Galleries

  • Being an art detective: What galleries are right for you.
  • Beware: protecting your art and your investment
  • How to contact a gallery
  • What and when to present
  • Follow up and expanding your efforts
  • Agreements and that wonderful phrase, “the gallery’s percentage.”
  • Realities and reasons

Grants and Fellowships

  • There really is free money out there.
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowships
  • Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowships
  • Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation
  • Private Foundation Funding
  • Where to find arts funding listings

Selling Your Work

  • How to Price the Work
  • When are you a small business
  • Keeping records
  • Client and gallery relationships
  • Prints vs. originals (The rise of the Giclée print)
  • Reps – are they for you

The Internet

  • Your web presence
  • What does the web do for you
  • How to be increase your chances of being found on-line
  • Great websites and terrible websites
  • Sales
  • Copyright issues on the web and off
    • How to copyright your work and when it is advisable
    • Dpi and all that – scaling your work for the web

 Being a Long Distance Runner

  • Goals in the short term and the long term
  • Putting it all together so you still spend most of your time making the object – that is why you are an artist anyway.
  • Strategies to stay focused and positive.
  • What to do in a "down market"


Jeffrey W. Allison is currently the Paul Mellon Collection Educator, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Coordinator of Statewide Programs, for the Museum. Jeffrey also teaches Advanced Photography in the Museum's Studio School program.

Allison most recently curated the exhibitions, Southern Kin: Photographs by S. Eugene Wall, They Call it Stormy Weather: How Artists Paint the Weather and the Seasons, and Faces at the Races: Equine Culture in Virginia, which are currently traveling to museums and art centers throughout Virginia.  He also curated Through Different Eyes: The Faces of Poverty in Virginia, which opened at Virginia Commonwealth University and was displayed at the 2006 Virginia General Assembly. These exhibitions, along with Unbroken Circle: Unto the Generations, which explores contemporary life among indigenous cultures in the United States, Panama, and Costa Rica, and A Horse of Course: The Equine Image in Art at VMFA, also continue to travel through the Virginia Museum of Fine Art’s statewide exhibitions. Jeffrey has also served as reader for the book series, Americans Who Showed Us America, featuring Ansel Adams, Mathew Brady, George Catlin, Lewis Hine, Dorthea Lang, and John Trumbell. He has served as juror for a wide number of exhibitions including the 2007 Will's Creek Survey Exhibition the 2004 Trawick Prize, one of the largest cash awards for visual artists in the United States and has served on a number of Virginia Commission for the Arts Artist grants panels.

Prior to coming to the Museum, Allison served as Director of Special Projects and taught History of Photography at Virginia Intermont College. Allison was Director of the Art Services Network, a non-profit statewide organization focusing for individual artists in the early 1990's. In the 1980’s Allison was assistant professor of Photography and film at Virginia Intermont College.

Allison has also been on the faculty of East Tennessee State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Highlands Community College, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, and the William King Regional Arts Center.

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