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Bossier Arts Council workshops sharpen business and marketing skills

The Bossier Arts Council is helping artists bridge the gap between their creative product and the business of getting their work into the marketplace and on exhibit. 

Twice monthly, the Bossier Arts Council holds a Saturday workshop called an Artist One Stop. It aims to help all types of artists create a polished presence in a digital world and manage the business side of their art.

Many highly-skilled and schooled artists didn’t grow up with computers, according to Leigh Anne Chambers, executive director of the Bossier Arts Council. But in today’s art world, she said, a digital portfolio is a must.

“They have to get it from the studio to the wall on the gallery. That is not as easy as it used to be. Back 15-20 years ago, you just walked into a gallery, they looked at your artwork, and they either took it or not. Now, we’re seeing more emphasis placed on digital galleries," Chambers said.

The Artist One Stop has covered how to build and update websites, a topic Chambers plans to revisit. Tomorrow’s workshop is about Pinterest, a social-media scrapbook site. Chambers is developing future events around understanding Instagram for photo sharing, using hashtags effectively with  social media, and building networks through Twitter.

Chambers said when artists learn to embrace technology without feeling inferior to it they develop a newfound confidence that is a positive influence on their artwork.

“Now that they have this technology-based portfolio of their artwork, they feel more confident going into places and seeking out exhibition opportunities because they can say, Go to my website. Or, you can find me on Facebook. Or, I have a Pinterest. I think that lift in their demeanor influences their overall artistic practices," Chambers said.

The Artist One Stop on Jan. 11 begins at 1 p.m. at the Bossier Arts Council in Bossier City. Pre-registration is required and seating is limited to the number of computer work stations available.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.