Yesterday SHIFT mentoring program participants gathered around a big table and we talked about commercial galleries, art market and business with visual art professional Katja Räisänen. Katja has over 15 years of experience in art education and art business, and has worked closely with several Finnish and international young and established artists, as well as designers. She has worked at the leading Finnish contemporary art gallery, Galerie Forsblom, where she was responsible for sales, marketing, PR as well as events and international art fairs. She is one of the founding members of Around Journal, online fashion magazine inspired by art and design.Artists tend to work alone and having a dialogue with other artists and art professional is important. Sharing insights and knowledge, good and bad experiences from which to learn, is something that we encourage at SHIFT program.
“Commercial galleries are not grocery stores” Katja emphasized at the workshop, “some of the galleries are already refining their role in the art field”. Like authors of the book Art/Work, Darcy Bhandari and Jonathan Melber have also noted: artists have more resources to professionalize and gain independence. “Being active on Instagram and social media, following the scene and making new contacts is crucial” Katja underlined. The day continued with sharing experiences and asking questions about contacting different galleries, making contracts, sales and taking part in international art fairs. What an inspiring morning, thank you Katja!SHIFT mentoring program continues in April when we talk about writing, artist statements and written expression with arts critics Laura Robertson and Mike Pinnington from The Double Negative.