Submitted by Laguna College of Art & Design:
The 12th annual collaboration between Laguna College of Art & Design and First Thursday’s Art Walk member galleries culminates on December 5 from 6-9 pm when 15 Laguna Beach galleries, volunteering as mentors, will feature original works by Fine Arts seniors of Laguna College of Art & Design during the Art Walk. The students will be present at each gallery exhibiting their work, which is available for sale. Sale proceeds will benefit student artists and the First Thursdays Art Walk LCAD Scholarship Fund.
The Student/Gallery Mentoring Program was launched by First Thursday’s member and current LCAD Professor Robin Fuld. The program pairs senior students in the Fine Arts Professional Studies class with First Thursday’s professional art galleries and is designed to demonstrate the intricacies involved in the business of operating a gallery and professionally exhibiting artwork. Most of the students have never exhibited their work professionally, with the exception of juried student exhibitions at the college.
The Professional Studies class is designed to teach students the fundamentals of work in the professional arena. The program includes hands-on work with representatives from the galleries whose expertise helps guide the students and to broaden the scope of their art world experience. An integral part of LCAD’s mission is to provide students with the skills and education necessary to prepare them for today's complex and changing job market. The success of the college as well as the success of alumni resides in their ability to engage in fulfilling careers. “Every year, I hope to instill in my students the importance of the business side of art, and not to fear it. There is so much help available to the emerging artist, and now they have a chance to work with industry professionals through the mentoring program who will answer their every question and show them the ropes. Besides having the passion and discipline for their art, it is essential to have knowledge of the business side,” said Robin Fuld Professor of Professional Studies and Director of Career Services.
Robin points out that not all fine artists who graduate have set their sights on gallery representation. “The field of art has many diverse components. Career opportunities encompass teachers, commission portrait painters, art advisors, muralists, scene painters for animation studios, police sketch artist, and the list goes on and on. Most students graduating with a Bachelor’s degree have yet to acquire the amount of consistent work necessary for gallery representation. Many will continue on to a graduate program to hone their skills and create that work. Many will need to work at least part-time to support their education if they’re not receiving some other form of financial assistance. It's a balancing act, and these students are fueled by their passion and need to create.”
“I assign students to galleries for a variety of reasons and it's just not because they are visually a perfect match. How could most be? They are still students exploring the direction of their work. It's serendipitous that this year's students have quite specific interests that they share in common with their gallery and have a unique opportunity to cultivate it.”