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Alongside the 40th Annual Members’ Show, the Campbell River Art Gallery and the Campbell River Arts Council are launching a Professional Development for Artists virtual workshop series, facilitated by David Ellingson and Pennyland Shen of artist consulting and education company Dazed & Confucius.

The workshops are an opportunity for artists to bring their business to the next level, guided by a company that prioritizes strong concept and identity building and attention to the quality artwork itself, first and foremost.

“After the resounding success of last year’s professional development workshop (Digital Tools for Artists), it became apparent that our community had both an appetite and a need for more resources to help elevate their art practice to the next level,” said Sara Lopez Assu, executive director of the Campbell River Art Gallery. “We’re very excited to have developed this program with David and Pennylane, and are confident that it will provide folks with a valuable educational opportunity.” 

Pennylane Shen is the owner of Dazed & Confucius. She and David Ellingsen are artist consultants and educators. Photo supplied by Dazed & Confucius.

Dazed & Confucius works with visual artists around the world helping them achieve their goals in the fine art industry or in their own practice. Shen and Ellingsen assist over 1000 artists a year through personalized one-on-one consultations alone. Outside of consultations, Dazed and Confucius offers seminars and workshops on navigating the fine art industry, and provide tools such as website building, art writing and professional documents tailored to the artist.

Pennylane Shen is an artist consultant, curator and educator. She launched Dazed & Confucius in 2006. She holds a Master’s Degree in Visual Culture Theory from New York University and has lectured at various forums throughout Canada, the US and the UK. Among her curation and education projects are the NYC Crit Club, Langara College, The I Like Your Work Podcast, Thrive Art Studio, The University of the Arts London and The Vancouver Mural Festival. An avid supporter of art and wellness, she sits on the board for the Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Foundation, collecting notable art pieces for hospital walls.

David Ellingsen began as a freelance assignment photographer in 2000, working with clients such as the New York Times Magazine, Oprah Winfrey Network and the CBC. He created courses including professional practices, portfolio and style development, and has taught at the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts and Vancouver Photo Workshops. He’s spoken at Emily Carr University and Langara College about career development.

The series is co-hosted by the Campbell River Arts Council.

“I’m very excited about the upcoming Professional Development Series,” said Ken Blackburn, executive director for the Campbell River Arts Council. “The Arts Council and Gallery are collaborating to offer opportunities for local artists to develop their professional skills. We have chosen a range of workshop topics that are essential for contemporary working artists.  This Series will be a tremendous resource for our cultural community.”

The first in the four part series, The Artist Tool Kit, will feature David Ellingsen – artist consultant and educator, who is originally from Cortes. On Feb. 12, 2022, he will introduce the most important tools recommended for artists approaching the fine art industry, including: the CV, the Take-Away Card, a Price list, a Website and more. Each topic is described in detail with tips on how to maximize its function, design and usage based on his extensive experience in the field. 

The next seminar, How it Looks: Trends and Techniques in Contemporary Framing, Hanging and Presentation, is coming up on April 23, 2022. How a piece is presented is a crucial part of the final product. In the commercial art industry, it can often make or break a sale. When developing an exhibition, considering the space, the order and how the work is displayed is essential to the total experience. For shipping long distances, conservation and museum-display specialized steps in protection and documentation must be taken into account. The seminar covers contemporary styles and trends in framing, hanging, labeling and presentation of artwork. Although this seminar focuses mainly on 2-dimensional media it is applicable to a variety of contexts, emphasizing the importance of protecting artwork for longevity and archival purposes in a cost-effective and practical manner.

Part three is coming up on June 4, 2022. Picture This: Documenting Artwork Using a Mobile Phone will provide technical and practical advice to enable artists to use their smartphone to achieve successful, high quality photographs of their artwork. Starting with the planning process, participants will learn about setting up a space in their home or studio, what to look for in phones and other equipment, and some of the most popular photo-applications such as Snapseed and Moment. We will also work through the steps of a successful shooting session and discuss challenges that can arise including consistent and accurate colour, perspective control, cropping and glare.

The final seminar, How It Sounds: Writing for the Practical Artist, will be on Oct. 1, 2022. This seminar focuses on the many facets of art writing, using several examples, tips and industry standards for emerging and mid-career artists. Topics include: artists statements, CVs and covering letters, press releases, formal and informal voice. A key aspect of this seminar is to hone in on the art reading audience. Identifying these audiences helps situate the voice of the artist, clarify their purpose and fine tune the writing process.

Each seminar is $25, however if you register for all four you pay only $90. Members are also eligible for a 10% discount.

Members should log in before registering, in order to receive their discount.

To find out more about about membership benefits and to sign up to be a member go to our Membership page.

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