I rode up to Trenton with my good friend and fellow Creative Capital Program recipient, Annette Devitt. I was so glad to have the time to catch up with her on the drive up about her new studio, Home Coming Art Studio, things we are currently working on, and some behind the scenes of next year's Arts in Bloom Studio Tour. We arrived a little early and grabbed some of the catered lunch before the day began.
The entire group of New Jersey artists were greeted by our workshop leaders, Matthew Deleget, Sue Johnson, and Ela Troyano, as well as Creative Capital's Krista Fabian DeCastro and Isaac Pool. Each program participant had the opportunity to introduce themselves with their name, artistic practice, and location. It was amazing to be in room with so many diverse creative people!
The day started with all of the artists being divided into 3 groups and participating in 30 minute breakout group discussions. Each group was assigned to a room and the presenters rotated between them. The topics were: Institutions & Pricing, Fundraising & Revenue, and Advocacy & Mentorship. Each presenter tailored the discussions to our group specifically and we had time to share personal experiences or questions. Our group was completely made up of visual artists. I found Matthew Deleget's discussion about galleries, web presence, and making yourself accessible very valuable. As a gallery owner, he provided great insight into how they operate and services they provide.
A quick break was provided after the break out groups and we then moved onto the next exercise: Group Problem Solving Activity. We were given a worksheet to fill out to help us identify a challenge or obstacle, a brief background and context about it, as well as our desired outcome that could be presented to the group for feedback or help. We were then divided into groups of nine. Each group had a time keeper and moderator to keep the group on track. Two minutes was given for the presenter of the problem to explain the situation to the group and four minutes was allotted for the group to respond and provide feedback.
This activity was very similar to two that I had experienced at the Art Biz Mastermind Workshop in Lancaster, PA. I found it helpful back in June and had reached out to Alyson for permission to use the technique with my Creative Capital Support Group (We had a meeting each month via phone or video web chat). I led our August call to complete the exercise and everyone really enjoyed it and felt like it was helpful. A couple of my Support Group Members were in Saturday's Group Problem Solving Activity and commented how similar it was to what we did previously.
Even though the activity was similar, it was very beneficial to do it again because we had new people participating who had wonderful ideas. I had presented my desire to find new opportunities in northern New Jersey to display and sell my artwork. Since we were in Trenton, I received a lot of great feedback and ideas from artists who lived near by about opportunities that would fit my niche art market.
The smaller groups reconvened and were joined with the 2016 and 2017 program alumni. We were encouraged to utilize our elevator speech to network. It was a great way to end the day and I was able to meet people I hadn't had the chance to talk with throughout the day. This opportunity was made possible by the South Jersey Cultural Alliance, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and Creative Capital.
Annette and I
Reconvening after group sessions
Creative Capital Support Group
From left: Lori Johansson, me, Gail Scuderi, Annette Devitt, G. Matthew Dixon, and Denise McCormack