It was an opportunity Cultural Services could not miss--to meet one of the goals from the City’s 2007 Cultural Policy Review that calls for, “Build(ing) the capacity of Eugene’s artists and cultural organizations through coordinated programs of professional development.”
The sale of the late David Joyce’s Flying People at the Eugene Airport provided the funding for the "Survival Skills for Artists" course. Originally developed by Joyce, the course has not been offered since his passing in 2003. Cultural Services worked in partnership with Lane Community College’s Division of Arts and artist Dan Schmitt to bring Survival Skills for Artists back to the community. The business skills class for artists has provided 46 aspiring artists with more than 60 hours of educational classroom time since September 2012.
After attending the ten week class in downtown Eugene last winter, local artist Charly Swing (her sculpture pictured) said, “When I signed up for the Art Survival Skills class I was looking for a community of artists working to grow their art businesses. With Dan Schmitt's guidance I updated my website, business cards, and created a Facebook business page. During the process of reaching out to my network I received a gracious offer from a friend who believes in my artwork and wanted to offer financial support. I also received word that I am accepted into the Masters of Fine Art program at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. I appreciate the City of Eugene making the Art Survival course available and look forward to participating in more art development and community building courses when I return home to Eugene in 2015.”
Dan Schmitt -- an accomplished artist himself -- teaches the course, which includes: writing an artist’s statement, how to price the created work, developing a biography, documenting the creative process, and much more. In addition to the hands-on course work, Dan invites artists and arts administrators to present during the course, including Betsy Wolfston, Gary Tepher, Robert Canaga, David Funk, and City of Eugene Public Art Manager Isaac Marquez.
Last week a third Survival Skills for Artists class began on the LCC campus with 23 more artists making the effort to gain skills and abilities for success.