Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Charleston Artist Guild, Benefiting TTC Artists

This photo was one of three photos
that the artist submitted that was
accepted into the Spoleto Juried contest.

by Candice Bizzell
           Many students at Trident Tech come here to train in one art form or another. Sometimes artists get stuck in their little studios producing art, but not getting it out to the public. Artists should consider joining the Charleston Artist Guild (CAG). The cost of joining CAG is $50 a year starting July 1. If you join after that CAG pro-rates the fee. The benefits of joining the Guild are not just education and exposure, but it can be a resume builder as well.
CAG offers workshops monthly to its members and to the public. These workshops range from painting and sculpting to lighting and Photoshop. The CAG members help artists learn new techniques and enhance their skills in the medium they choose.
A CAG member also receives free entry to Magnolia Plantation Gardens, Middleton Place Gardens and Drayton Hall to photograph or paint whenever they want. This especially is beneficial considering that general admission to all three gardens would cost $61. This pass would allow an artist to gain knowledge of the surrounding areas for future clients and personal benefit.

CAG also promotes the teaching of art in the community by hosting and sponsoring a number of community projects. They offer scholarships for high school students and competitions for special education students and elderly patients in nursing homes. These outreach projects offer artists opportunities to volunteer in their communities; this, in turn, provides exposure, letting the public see the artists’ names and work. However, CAG offers more than just community projects to gain exposure.
When artists join CAG, they have the opportunity to participate in several shows sponsored by CAG, including The First Federal’s People’s Choice Show, Signature Art Show, Spring/Fall Sidewalk Art Show, and the Annual Members’ Show. All these shows are “juried,” which means that to participate, CAG members must submit works of art to the committee who will then approve it for the exhibit.  Getting into these exhibits is great exposure and one of the best ways to build an artist’s portfolio.
An artist’s resume is not only the types of jobs they have held, but also how many exhibits they have participated in. A juried exhibit is harder to get into than a regular exhibit.  The artworks in the exhibits are judged; to place in the exhibit is especially honorable. Being chosen for one of these exhibits shows a gallery, client or employer that the artist is serious and passionate about his or her work. The exhibits themselves can bring attention to the artist as well. Sometimes, artists will get clients and gallery offers from displaying their work.
Therefore, joining CAG would benefit any artist because of their educational workshops, juried exhibits and community service projects. A CAG membership makes a wise investment.  But the artist must do his or her part, be committed to work with the guild, attend the meetings, volunteer to help with exhibits and community projects, and improve their skills and expand their horizons. Artists will find the CAG a great way to get out of their little studios and get their names out there.


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