New Art & Design classes cover arts business and marketing

Because being an artist requires so much creativity and soul-bearing, people drawn to the craft of creation often overlook the fact that they have to be a business person and their own marketing firm as well.

Courtney Davis, chair of the Art and Design department at UVU, talked to the Applause blog about a new offering of practical classes for visual arts students - ones that cover marketing, writing and legal issues.

“Students need and have been asking for more classes that help them make the jump from their education to the industry, and this past summer we did some surveys and called recent graduates a few questions,” Davis said. “Those who were getting our general BA/BS degrees, almost without fail, said they would have liked to have had more experience with business and legal topics. So we went about finding ways of facilitating that request.

Professional Practices for the Visual Arts 1 and 2

Professional Presentation for the Visual Arts

Professional writing for the Visual Arts

Each class will be one credit, taken online, and will be offered per block so students can take all four classes in two semesters.

“The writing class will cover things like professional correspondence, artist's statements, and marketing materials,” she explained. “Especially, we wanted them to be able to write for social media really well. Like LinkedIn!”

The professional practices classes will be business based - including pricing methods and contracts. And the second course in the series will be on the legal side of things - copyright and trademark.

The professional presentation class will focus on marketing, building a website and a portfolio.

“It’s literally how to prepare their work for exhibition and begin advertising it,” Davis said. “It will be a very beneficial class because students already know how to create work but they also need to learn the tools for marketing and exhibiting their work."



The model, with online classes, will offer flexibility for all arts majors to eventually partake in the offerings of the career-centered classes.

“I don’t think artists necessarily realize how much they need to know all of these tools. Students build outstanding skills in our programs, but once they graduate, getting ahead in the profession requires more than artistic skills, like the understanding of business principles, contracts, copyrights, and the like."  Davis said.

She said she has heard unfortunate stories from former students about them not knowing how to market and protect their rights - for getting paid, getting credit and getting ahead. These classes are part of an effort to prevent those instances from happening.

“You come to study the arts because you want to make something and create something. But creating art to sell isn’t exactly the same thing,” Davis said.