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Breaking Into Business

Breaking Into Business is a two-day professional development workshop for Vermont artists. The trainings are held each year in varied locations. The October, 2016 session was for artists established in their own work, but new to the rigors of pursuing public art commissions.

Winning Public Art Commissions

Public art appears in varied forms, sizes, and locations. It includes works from memorials and murals to festivals and landscape architecture. Whether permanent or temporary, the art is often site-specific and created in response to the place or community where it resides.

For two days, Dee Boyle-Clapp and Todd Trebour of the Arts Extension Service brought focus to three important ideas — the business side of public art, understanding concept and fulfilling the proposal, and engaging with a community or audience. Participants gained an understanding of the many types of potential projects and the common language used in discussing options for public art: creative placemaking, site activation, community engagement, and more. Those who completed the two-day course are eligible to prepare a proposal for a public work to be exhibited in the Vermont Arts Council Sculpture Garden in July, 2017.

Workshop Content

Day One: The Public Art Process

Learn the history of public art and examine the variety in this genre. Understand the difference between a Request for Qualifications and Request for Proposals.

Artists will be introduced to the concept of adapting their personal artwork for a public audience and will prepare a brief  presentation to share with the small groups for workshopping and discussion. Presenters will discuss the concepts of multiple audiences, the selection committee, and the general public as well as the concepts of community engagement and research.

Day Two: Preparing a Public Art Project

Know how to complete a Request for Proposals and grasp the fundamentals of public art business, including budgeting and project management basics. The day’s activities will be customized to the needs of the participants and will blend small and whole group discussions, exercises, and lectures.