mini传媒入口-G Business of Art Bootcamp empowers local artists

Contemporary jewelry artist Pat Pruitt, right, speaks during a panel discussion about how artists can sell their work while painter and illustrator Beverly Blacksheep looks on during the Business of Art Bootcamp in Calvin Hall Center Auditorium at mini传媒入口-Gallup on Friday, April 19, 2024.

mini传媒入口-G Business of Art Bootcamp empowers local artists


Categories: Students   Faculty   Staff   Community  


Participants gain inspiration and knowledge from expert-led workshops and panels

By Richard Reyes, Tuesday, May 21, 2024

GALLUP, N.M. 鈥 For craftsmen like Luis Aragon and his 8-year-old son Lance, art runs in the family. But the knowledge to run a successful art business can be hard to find in an area where resources are limited.

That鈥檚 why Aragon signed up himself and his son to participate in the 2024 Business of Art Bootcamp at mini传媒入口-Gallup from April 19-20. The Business of Art Bootcamp was a two-day event full of workshops and panel discussions aimed at providing artists with the professional tools and skills they need to kickstart or improve their art business.

鈥淭he main reason I鈥檓 doing this is because my son is a third-generation silversmith,鈥 Aragon said. 鈥淪o, all the skill, the craft, the tools, the spirituality and mentality that has been transferred onto him is all there. The business aspect of it, something that can make it go smoother for him in his career, is what we came to learn.鈥

Aragon said the event also helped his son to get a jumpstart on gaining experience networking with people face to face and being in a college setting, building a foundation of confidence in case he decides to attend college in the future.

mini传媒入口 student Kayleigh Begay gives Luis Aragon tips on how to take pictures of a piece of art.

mini传媒入口 student Kayleigh Begay, who delivered a presentation on photography, gives Luis Aragon tips on how to take pictures of a piece of art during the Business of Art Bootcamp in Calvin Hall Center Auditorium at mini传媒入口-Gallup on Friday, April 19, 2024.

He described the bootcamp as informative with a warm and open setting. His favorite part was speaking with jewelry artist Pat Pruitt and hearing his blunt and to-the-point way of speaking about the business side of the art world.

Guest artists inspire bootcamp participants

Pruitt joined musician Delbert Anderson, painter and illustrator Beverly Blacksheep, and jewelry artist Jess Tolbert for a panel discussion about 鈥淎venues on How to Sell Your Work,鈥 moderated by mini传媒入口-Gallup lecturer and jewelry artist Kristi Wilson.

The panel was the finale for the bootcamp and left a lasting mark on Aragon and other participants.

鈥淭he art thing is something we have in us,鈥 Aragon said. 鈥淲hether you have it or you don鈥檛, you could maybe develop it. But it was great hearing him (Pruitt) say you can learn all this other stuff and this is how that starts 鈥 by learning it, learning the business and learning to do it in a professional manner.鈥

mini传媒入口-Gallup student Alysia Vidal and her mother Ruth Vidal, from Gallup, also attended the bootcamp together. Alysia is currently working toward an associate degree in general studies, but she鈥檚 looking into studying art further.

鈥淚 thought it was incredible,鈥 Alysia said of the bootcamp. 鈥淚t was very informative, and a lot of the information from these artists was very helpful. It was inspiring.鈥

Ruth Vidal said she鈥檚 not an artist herself, but she took a jewelry making class at mini传媒入口-Gallup back in 2020. However, it was interrupted that fateful March when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the campus.

Jewelry artist Jess Tolbert speaks while musician Delbert Anderson listens during a panel discussion.

Jewelry artist Jess Tolbert, left, speaks while musician Delbert Anderson listens during a panel discussion about how artists can sell their work as part of the Business of Art Bootcamp in Calvin Hall Center Auditorium at mini传媒入口-Gallup on Friday, April 19, 2024.

Still, Ruth said she felt inspired by the final panel discussion and hopes to revisit the jewelry making class someday.

鈥淚t鈥檚 inspiring what they鈥檙e doing and also how they鈥檙e giving back,鈥 Ruth said of the panelists. 鈥淭hey don鈥檛 have to be here in Gallup on a Saturday. They鈥檝e all achieved such a great level of success, and for them to still come to Gallup to our little event here was great. We appreciate it so much.鈥

Bootcamp offers expert-led workshops and panels

The bootcamp also featured Gallup fiber artist Eric-Paul Riege, a mini传媒入口 graduate who kickstarted his college journey at the Gallup branch campus. Riege talked about his transition from student to professional artist and led participants on a 鈥渟low walk鈥 to promote boredom and inspiration.

Kayleigh Begay, another mini传媒入口-Gallup graduate who now attends mini传媒入口 in Albuquerque, facilitated a hands-on workshop about 鈥淧hotographing & Documenting Your Artwork.鈥

Zuni artist Marlo Kiyite, printmaker Duhon James and photographer Rapheal Begay participated in a panel discussion on 鈥淢aking a Living as an Artist,鈥 aka 鈥淭he Gallup Hustle,鈥 moderated by gallupARTS Executive Director Rose Eason.

Santa Fe jewelry artist Brian Fleetwood led a workshop on 鈥淲riting an Artist Statement & Resume.鈥

And representatives from WESST, a small business assistance organization, facilitated a workshop on 鈥淪tarting an Art Business Checklist.鈥

Gallup fiber artist Eric-Paul Riege delivers a presentation.

Gallup fiber artist Eric-Paul Riege delivers a presentation on transitioning from a student to a professional artist during the Business of Art Bootcamp in Calvin Hall Center Auditorium at mini传媒入口-Gallup on Friday, April 19, 2024.

The Business of Art Bootcamp was made possible thanks to a Creative Industries Grant from the New Mexico Economic Development Department.

鈥淭his area of New Mexico and the region have such a huge creative community that is under-served and possibly is not aware of the tools or professional help they can get,鈥 event coordinator and mini传媒入口-Gallup instructor Dana Aldis said. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 where the Bootcamp comes in.鈥

With the grant funding, mini传媒入口-Gallup was able to offer the bootcamp at no cost to participants with lunch provided on both days. mini传媒入口-Gallup was also able to give participants who registered early with a $50 gas card to help cover their travel costs.

GallupARTS Executive Director Rose Eason moderates a panel discussion.

GallupARTS Executive Director Rose Eason moderates a panel discussion about making a living as an artist featuring, from left, artist Marlo Kiyite, photographer Rapheal Begay and printmaker Duhon James as part of the Business of Art Bootcamp in Calvin Hall Center Auditorium at mini传媒入口-Gallup on Friday, April 19, 2024.