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'Selling art and selling your soul: A fine balance between creative expression and making a living?'

Be Smart About Art

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 from 18:30 to 20:30 (GMT)

'Selling art and selling your soul: A fine balance...

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
2 for 1: Bring a friend for free! Ended £15.00 £1.76
Members Network Ended £7.50 £1.18
Early Bird
Available until 23rd October
Ended £10.00 £1.37
Full Ended £15.00 £1.76

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Event Details

Is there a single successful artist or gallerist in the world who has not faced, at some point in time, a struggle in balancing creativity with business?

Do artists who sell their art lose any credibility as a genuine maker?

Are gallerists who exhibit at commercially-orientated art fairs selling out and damaging their own reputations in addition to those of their represented artists?

Be Smart About Art Founder Susan Mumford will host the talk with:

Tim Benson, a contemporary artist and elected member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. His large-scale oil painting, 'Ninety-Two Years Old' was selected for the 2012 BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, and is currently on tour with the exhibition. He regularly participates in solo and group exhibitions and art fairs around the UK.

The presentation will be followed by a Q&A with the audience, so that you may ask any burning questions to the speakers and also share your own experience. Note that the seated part of the event takes place from 7-8.30pm, and there will be opportunities both before and after to network with like-minded arts professionals.

Places are limited so please book now to guarantee your seat!



Looking back in time, such concerns are presented Lindsay Pollock's book The Girl with the Gallery (Published by Public Affairs, New York, 2006) that presents the life of the Russian emigre New York gallerist Edith Halpert (the Downtown Gallery was open from the 1920s to early 60s):

"She [Edith] was... confounded by his [Alfred Stieglitz] poor business sense and his insistence on placing his moral principles above his commercial interests. Edith knew what it was to be poor... He professed disdain for any sort of marketing or advertising, frowning on the whole unsavory premise of art dealing, the notion of putting a price tag on the creative output of his handpicked geniuses..."

Despite the necessity to eat and pay rent, in 2012 many art professionals still perceive that a stigma is attached to selling art. Often, even artists who are comfortable in valuing their own creations with a decent financial price tag find themselves up against criticism from those who don't want to "sell out".

Yet, surely selling a work of art is a boost to an artist's ego, which thus renews confidence to produce new pieces - not to mention have the means with which to buy new materials?

This evening talk addresses the challenges faced by artists and gallerists/curators artists when endeavouring to maintain a committed practice whilst ensuring sufficient commercial success to support oneself. The ultimate aim of the event is to address such problems experienced by the audience, and to help provide practical tools that may be put into practice, thereby helping artists and curators successfully navigate the balance of right and left brain as required in their work as art professionals.


Be Smart About Art: "Art is your life. Make it your living."

This talk forms one event of the Be Smart About Art’s 2012 Autumn Programme. To find out about other panel discussions, training workshops, courses and more, please see our Be Smart About Art events page.

Note that refunds are not available after you have placed your booking.

Do you have questions about 'Selling art and selling your soul: A fine balance between creative expression and making a living?' ? Contact Be Smart About Art

When & Where

61 Southwark Street
SE1 0HL London
United Kingdom

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 from 18:30 to 20:30 (GMT)

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Be Smart About Art

"Art is your life. Make it your living."

Our mission is to help you thrive in a changing art world. 

Founded in 2012 by Art World Entrepreneur Susan Mumford, the progam helps you thrive in a changing world.

Based out of London, England, with a developing event program and Membership community in the Tri-State area as well as Central Arkansas (Susan's childhood home), a founding principle is access to information with the employment of technology.

Accordingly, the online-accessible Members Gateway is updated on a weekly basis, which includes opportunities (art prizes, residencies / fellowships, fairs and more), webinars / audio recordings of BSAA events and talks, templates for your art business, and more.

Additionally, digitally-accessible professional development workshops are already available to purchase and download, and more are being made available for the second half of 2017.

For individuals and organisations seeking custom support, the Creative Specialist Advisors provide one-to-one support, with specialism ranging from business planning to artist-to-artist coaching.

Freely accessible information is also available via, noting the many hundreds of blog posts in addition to a selection of videos. Enjoy! 

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