No matter where you are in your own art practice, sometimes you need to take a look at what’s going on in the wider world of art. You might do this out of curiosity or for amusement or to see how your own art fits into a larger context. But how do you keep up, without getting overwhelmed?
If you’re an art critic or curator whose job is to stay on top of things, you might manage to do it. But for most of us the task is daunting. The world of art is global, and diverse, and constantly reinventing itself. It happens on the street, at art fairs and in auction houses and museums. The virtual version keeps going 24-7.
Signing up for daily national newsletters like Hyperallergic or Colossal is a great idea, but they can begin to pile up in your inbox and become just one more thing to feel guilty about not reading.
So start by keeping up small. Before you try to grapple with the global art scene, pay attention to what’s happening in your own medium. Join a professional organization, enter their shows, attend their events, and discover who is winning awards.
Then follow what’s happening locally, at galleries and museums in your region. Show up in person whenever you can. Do you see any trends that might apply to your own practice? Build your understanding gradually so that you have a context before looking at national or global art publications.
Then pick one major newspaper or online newsletter and spend an hour a week reading it. Ask a friend to do the same, and discuss your reactions.
As you make connections between your own practice and what surrounds it, the art world starts to get smaller.
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.