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Our Professional Development Workshops for Artists

Westminster College professor David Baddley (right), Art Access director Sheryl Gillilan and Alderwood Fine Art director Tom Alder discuss how to approach galleries and non-profits.

Westminster College professor David Baddley (right), Art Access director Sheryl Gillilan and Alderwood Fine Art director Tom Alder discuss how to approach galleries and non-profits during our September professional development workshop.

The overwhelming response to the professional development workshop we held as part of our 35×35 exhibition in April encouraged Artists of Utah to partner with the Salt Lake City Arts Council to provide a continuing series of workshops for artists. The first, held in September, focused on writing skills for artists, including drafting bios, artists statements and exhibition proposals. An open enrollment discussion session included representatives from the for-profit and non-profit art world, discussing how best to approach various galleries or institutions (see below for some of the highlights. This was followed by hands-on workshops where artists fine-tuned their written material.

Responses to the first workshop:

I learned a multitude of things from the panel discussion. It was a very well balanced and informative discussion about what we need to provide in quite disparate areas of the art community.


The best 2 hours I spent all weekend.


On Saturday, November 16th, together with the Salt Lake City Arts Council, we will be holding the second in our series of workshops: Festivals 101 for Visual Artists.

Are you considering being a festival artist?

Do you want to learn the mysteries of the jurying process?

Is your artwork photographed to highlight your talent?

If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, then the next professional development workshop presented by the Salt Lake City Arts Council and Artists of Utah is for you.

Festivals 101 for Visual Artists

Saturday, November 16, 2013
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Morning Session
10:00 a.m. – noon

Join visual artists, former jurors and festival managers as they converse about their experience in participating in or jurying art festivals and juried exhibitions.

Presenters include juried ceramic artist and festival participant Aaron Ashcraft; Shawn Rossiter, Executive Director of Artists of Utah, who in addition to applying to a number of juried exhibitions as a visual artist has also served as a juror, including for the Springville Salon, the Park City Arts Festival and the Salt Lake County Art Committee; and Patrick Burns, Assistant Director and Director of Operations for the Utah Arts Festival.

Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch and networking

1:00-3:00 p.m.

Armed with the professional information about participating in festivals, the afternoon will direct your skills in preparing to photograph your work. Learn tricks from professional photographer, Jacob Nuttall from Acme Camera Rental, so the photos you take of your own artwork shine. Learn how to document art that is two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and under glass.


$50 for the full day

$20 for the morning session only

To register please visit



Pointers from our September workshop

  • Do your research! Do not approach a gallery (nonprofit or private) without knowing what they exhibit and why.
  • Commercial galleries and non-profit galleries have completely different missions and approaches. As an artist you must understand a gallery’s purpose in order to establish and appropriate relationship with it.
  • Commercial galleries are interested in art that sells. If your style doesn’t fit the profile of their clientele, the gallery will not be willing to take your work.
  • Non-profit galleries are willing to take more risks with what they show. They exhibit work that reflects the gallery’s mission.


  • Artists also need to be able to articulate what their work is about, present themselves professionally, and be able to put a monetary value on their work.


  • Artist should call galleries ahead of time for an appointment to meet with a gallery owner. Do not show up with your portfolio and expect to get assistance.

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