Getting artists on the map

By Julia

While completing my undergrad degree, me and nearly 20 of my fellow BFA students were forced to compete for only a couple of spots at the student-run gallery centre, which happened to be the only exhibition space in town (save the fine arts building hallway).  The reality was daunting – without this coup many of us wouldn’t get our moment to shine until the BFA graduation show, where everyone in the class was included in for what was, for most of us, our first group exhibition. 

Becoming a well-established artist in a rural New Brunswick town of 5,000 people was difficult enough; but the parallels for competition in the global arts community were evident.

If you’re an artist, it can be a daunting task to get your name recognized in this rapidly expanding art world.  Competition to get into galleries is stiff and unless you have an unignorable gimmick or a remarkable name, it can be difficult to surface in a Google search. Thousands of artists are desperate to stand out and be seen, but reluctant to become a full-time self-promoters — what’s our recourse?

May I introduce a useful tool for getting one’s artistic talent exposed to a worldwide audience: The Arts Map.

Launched this January, artists Jonathan Talbot and Robin Colodzin started The Arts Map as a means to make artists more accessible to the general population.

“We realize that people often find visiting artists’ studios exciting and informative, and that sometimes those studio visits result in sales or exhibitions, and that there was no easy way for customers, collectors, curators, and others to find artists studios.  We are aware that artists are often invisible, even in their own communities.  The Arts Map is an interactive world-wide map of Artists, Galleries, Museums, Arts Organizations, Art Schools, Art Supply Stores, and Other Arts Related Entities.  Basic Listings on The Arts Map are free and user-generated, as artists create their own listings.”

For more information on creating your own listing, or to discover an artist or gallery in your city, check out The Arts Map.

What other ways exist to promote yourself with minimal investment to marketing and maximum committment to art?

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