Glasgow Art Club – Marketing Seminar
Glasgow Art Club has in the past had the reputation in some artists’ circles as being a bit “old school” and “up itself” to use arather direct term.
I know some of the artists who are members but I have never really thought all that much about the group, which is actually a registered charity (this was news to me until I read some literature which I received today).
One of the artist members and fellow WASPS Artist Frank To was today giving a talk along with fellow WASPS photographer Ian Marshall (Lighthouse Reprographics). Journalist and art-lover Jan Patience was the third member of the presentation team. I went along with some painter friends, really to lend some support but I was also keen to hear some of the thoughts expressed on marketing art, which was what the event was all about.
It was my fiirst time inside this fantastic period building on Bath Street in Glasgow. The walls were hung with impressive paintings and the walls were impressively fitted with period wood panelling. The interior really did have an appealing atmosphere and wasn’t really “stuffy” as I had heard: I liked it.
Part of me feels that many artists, myself included, really don’t want to be involved in marketing their art. We really just want to make art, in my case to paint. At Glasgow Art Club today, this view was reinforced, especially during the question section at the end. Thi sis what art galleries are for surely? This is what art-dealers are for. It seems that the recession and the shift caused by the internet has meant that many artists who would rather not get involved in art marketing have been forced to become involved.
The presentations today were interesting. I already knew Franks’ story, but he told it in true Frank To syle, beginning by emerging from a box in the front of the room and surprising the audience.
Ian Marshall is a perfectionist and that became very evident to others today too. I have compared Ians’ reproduction work with his competitors and he is streets ahead. He really cares and i have seen him spend hours correcting difficult to reproduce paintings rather than accept a second-best. Ian is passionate about quality and he has created reproductions for the likes of Peter Howson and Pam Carter (and yours truly of course!)
I liked that Jan Patience spoke about the approachability of journalists. Many artists I believe are intimnidated by the thought of contacting the press and leave it to galleries or agents to do this on their behalf. Jan demistified things somewhat and also gave some valuable tips on being concise and clear.
It was a different way to spend a Saturday afternoon and I even got to meet my old lecturer who I had not seen for 25 years. George Devlin is now a very well respected Scottish painter. I don’t know if he remembered me but did a good job of being polite – I have to remember that 25 years ago I had a full head of hair.
Jan Patience has her own informative blog.
Glasgow Art Club is also open to non artists who have an interest in art. Full details are available at their website.