Thursday, May 19, 2011

Speed Dating for Artists Round II: Visual Artists and Galleries

Last night was the second IHeartArt:Portland Mixer event. I would say I was there as a volunteer, but I didn't really do much work. :) I was there as an IHeartArt representative, to enjoy the atmosphere and network with everyone.
This event is really incredible: a free opportunity for established gallery curators to interview artists - a free opportunity for these artists to introduce themselves to the curators.
Its a "speed dating" event - replace single people looking for a hot date with artists looking for exposure.
I felt this nurturing energy around the crowd; everyone wanting to encourage each other and network with one-another. The picture above is a couple of the artists waiting to get interviewed and talking with each other about their portfolios.
There was a seminar recently (also organized by IHeartArt) on how artists should approach galleries and shops. Attending artists learned about what a curator might be looking for in a presentation, and then for this event there was a set of requirements for what the artists should bring with them. It was a well organized and smooth running event. Over 40 artists interviewed with 16 curators.
The artists seemed exhausted but exhilarated by the end of the event, and had many possible avenues to follow up with. And all the curators I spoke with afterwards were very enthusiastic about wanting to work with the artists they had met.
All the curators seemed to have a common sentiment that it was outstanding to meet so many artists they had never heard of. And they each had a handful of names that stuck out of artists that really made a great first impression.
Speed dating for artists - Portland Oregon style!
I really adore this concept and I appreciate all the hard work and care that goes into these events. IHeartArt is all about advocating for artists, educating the local community and providing the networking opportunities that make our passions grow into lucrative adventures.
Thanks IHeartArt for another great event!

If you want to read about my experience at last years IHeartArt Mixer:

Watch a video about the IHeartArt Mixer:

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