Last year had been a busy year with a lot of focus on reaching out into the art community to build new relationships and new connections. In addition, my goal had also been to continue to refine ways to integrate my art practice into a full life as a wife and parent with responsibilities as full-time faculty at Wake Tech Community College. In addition to refining my practice, I was focusing a great deal on the idea that my art should be treated like a business. I had focused on my art practice, but to progress things I need to treat my practice as a business.

Once I began to do this I applied to lots more opportunities and received a lot more NO’s but the no’s didn’t feel personal, it was business. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t thrilled to receive any of the No’s but I simply reflected on why and began to ask what I needed to do to move that to a Yes next time I applied for a similar opportunity.

The biggest and most exciting “YES” I received was from Artspace. awarded Artspace’s Regional Emerging Artist in Residence which provides me a studio from January to July of 2016.

I have been in the space for a few weeks, and although the weeks are long, with a day job, graphic design business and family, I am so very grateful for this opportunity. Each day in the studio, I get to interact with the public and receive feedback, comments and questions. These have offered me perspective and insight that my home studio would never have afforded me.

Interaction with the public and other artists provides me valuable information about running an art business. I have new larger works that I am plugging away on and I am exploring different approaches to production to create affordable smaller works. The feedback from the other artists at Artspace is interesting because the approaches to building a business are as varied as the approaches to subject and media you will find in the studios.

For more regular or daily interaction feel free to follow me on Instagram, @ksheppcarolina. I share studio views and in-progress shots but especially enjoy the interaction Instagram offers.

Other shows and events to see my work through April: Greenville Museum of Art’s Biennial Juried Art Exhibitionand at Wake Tech’s new North Campus Library on lower floor two floors

If you are in the Raleigh area, stop by Artspace in downtown Raleigh. I am in studio 215. I am typically there on Fridays & Saturdays during Artspace’s open hours (10am – 6pm) or by appointment other times. Feel free to email if you want to set something up to view works in person or want a studio visit.

Kelly at Artspace

photo credit: Edde Burgess


Author: Kelly Murray