Conference to help art students become savvy entrepreneurs

The Business of art poster

How does a struggling artist become an entrepreneur?  The upcoming Business of Art conference hopes to provide visual arts students with insight, as well as business skills, on how to successfully market and sell their work.

The conference is being run by SIFE York University, a chapter of SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), an international not-for-profit organization aimed at harnessing the positive power of business to the business of Art Postermake an impact in communities. The Business of Art will take place Saturday, Jan. 28, from 9:30am to 4pm. Registration will take place at the south entrance near CIBC Lobby in Accolade East Building, Keele campus. Admission is $5 and includes lunch.

“We have a passionate team of eight students dedicated to this project and our mission is to promote entrepreneurship in the world of visual arts,” says Schulich School of Business student Maryan Kim, the conference’s project manager.

It promises to be a full day of workshops, networking, a panel discussion and talks. There will also be an opportunity for one-on-one personal consulting sessions.

Terri Block of Master Key Communication will do a networking and business skills keynote presentation. Award-winning sculptor Andrew Benyei, who came to his art career four decades after graduating from engineering and business school, will talk about his experiences. After completing a diploma at the Ontario College of Art & Design, his work is now in corporate, public and private collections.

In addition, Carolyn Van, founder and managing partner of the social media marketing and community management company thirdocean, will also speak. Van has received training and education in managing businesses and marketing strategy. Ben Benedict, owner of Benedict Creative Communications, who is also a practicing visual artist, is a guest speaker along with painter Suzie Boudeault, who has studios in Toronto and Quebec.

The speakers will discuss everything from social media, building a brand and public relations to networking, business skills, how to leverage potential and showcase talent. Participants will learn how to increase visibility and art sales and build an art community. Students will also have the opportunity implement their learning through an exhibit of their work March 7 and 8 at York.

For more information, visit the SIFE York University website or the SIFE York University Facebook page.

To register for the event, click here. For speaker bios, click here.