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Taking AIM!

The Business of Being an Artist Today

Marysol Nieves

Publication Year: 2011

Taking Aim! The Business of Being an Artist Today is a practical, affordable resource guide filled with invaluable advice for the emerging artist. The book is specially designed to aid visual artists in furtheringtheir careers through unfiltered information about the business practices and idiosyncrasies of the contemporary art world. It demystifies often daunting and opaque practices through first-hand testimonials, interviews, and commentary from leading artists, curators, gallerists, collectors, critics, art consultants, arts administrators, art fair directors, auction house experts, and other art world luminaries. Published in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Artist in the Marketplace (AIM)-the pioneering career development program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts-Taking AIM! The Business of Being an Artist Today mirrors the structure and topics featured in the AIM program's weekly workshops and discussions. Each chapter focuses on the specific perspective of an art world insider-from the artist to the public art program director to the blogger. Multiple viewpoints from a range of art professionals provide emerging artists with candid, uncensored information and tools to help them better understand this complex field and develop strategies for building and sustaining successful careers as professional artists.The book ends with an annotated chronology of the past three decades in the contemporary art field and a bibliography of publications, magazine articles, online sources, funding sources, residency programs, and other useful information for emerging artists.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Frontispiece

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pp. v-viii

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Aim Foreword

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pp. ix-xii

Three decades old and going strong, Artist in the Marketplace is a program so closely intertwined with the history and mission of The Bronx Museum of the Arts that like the institution itself it has endured the comings and goings of many cultural trends, several administration changes, and a number of strategic plans, budget cuts, and downsizings. More to...

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pp. xiii-xviii

At age thirty in the art world one can be many things—one could be an emerging or an established artist; one might be preparing for one’s first museum exhibition or a commission to create one’s first public art project; or, better yet, one might find one’s first commercial gallery exhibition sold out. All of this is possible, but most important is the fact that one...

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Taking AIM: An Introduction

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pp. 1-8

Most investment advisors would probably agree that aside from understanding the complexities of the financial markets, one of the key elements for success in the business world is the ability to forecast emerging trends—to identify recent developments and the potential opportunities implicit in these and, in the process, blaze new trails. The Bronx Museum...

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Talking AIM: A Conversation with Holly Block and Jackie Battenfield

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pp. 9-20

Although the intention of this book is not to document the history of the Artist in the Marketplace program but rather to capture its vital spirit and share its accumulative professional wisdom with a broader audience of artists and cultural producers, it’s useful to explore aspects of the program’s evolution over the course of the last three decades. To this end, I...

The Artist

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Three Decades, Three Artists: Rina Banerjee, Kate Gilmore, and Whitfield Lovell

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pp. 23-32

This discussion about the development of a career in art features three artists who took part in the AIM program during three different decades. Whitfield Lovell graduated from the program in 1984. Rina Banerjee is from the class of 1996. And, most recently, Kate Gilmore participated in 2003. The works of all three artists are related in the ways they approach...

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Small Worlds: An Interview with Polly Apfelbaum and Amy Cutler

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pp. 33-44

Polly Apfelbaum and Amy Cutler began working in New York at very different times—the early 1980s and the late 1990s, respectively. Whereas Apfelbaum’s experience in the freewheeling East Village was one of showing in different galleries and ‘‘growing up in public,’’ Cutler made her mark in a group exhibition at the Drawing Center and joined Leslie Tonkonow just a couple of years after graduating from Cooper...

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Art without Market

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pp. 45-47

These days it’s becoming more and more difficult to imagine the production of significant art without an art market. However, it is very important to keep in mind that much of important modern and contemporary art was produced without the artists’ ever entering the marketplace, either because it was just not there—as in the former Soviet states...

The Curator

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pp. 48-50

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Climate Change: East Coast to West Coast Curators Articulate the Evolving Curatorial Role

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pp. 51-66

As of late, the role of the curator has been a much-debated topic in contemporary art circles. Once a specialized field deriving from art historical studies or museum studies, the post-academic career of a curator mostly concerned the discreet caretaking of a collection, educating, writing on art, and the logistics of exhibition development. For the most part, much of this activity remained behind the scenes, though there have always been...

The Critic

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Art Criticism at Present: Five Voices

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pp. 69-80

Like cultural critics in general, art critics have lately been contending with strong headwinds. The long unraveling of modernism, the rise of the curatoriate, and the current transformation of publishing media have presented serious challenges to serious art critics. Happily, some very perceptive writers are still at work, and their commentary is still...

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AIM in Review: The Critics’ Perspective

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pp. 81-86

Those who created the Artist in the Marketplace program recognized important, and relatively new, aspects of the art world in 1980: its increasing complexity and the differentiation of roles within it. Successful artists based in New York would henceforth have to negotiate not only with dealers, the small coterie that had been their professional face for decades, but also with curators, lawyers, critics, and others. To run a...

The Dealer

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Gallerists and the Marketplace

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pp. 89-100

The Bronx Museum of the Arts’ invitation to contribute to the anniversary publication of its Artist in the Marketplace program recalls my experiences of the 1980s when the program was initiated and I took part in it as a guest speaker. My gallery began in 1988 and was shaped by a vision to create a hybrid space that could provide the New York art world with exposure to the international Latin American and Latino artists and art market. Secondary market revenues enabled me to jumpstart...

The Collector

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The Scoop on Miami

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pp. 103-116

Miami’s recent history was not exactly propitious with regard to what Miami has become today. In a sketchy picture, remember the 1980s—the ‘‘Miami Vice’’ years during which construction, generously financed by laundered funds from the illegal drug trade, flourished. Then came Hurricane Andrew with its devastating effects in 1992; and in 1996, the city...

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Cultivating Young Collectors through The Contemporaries

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pp. 117-120

There was no art hanging on my walls when I was growing up. In fact, my first exposure to art was not through a family trip to the local museum but through my time spent sketching muscle men, dragons, and race cars as a kid and competing for Scholastic and Kaleidoscope art prizes as a teenager. Growing up at the crossroads of Atlanta’s urban...


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The Leibowitz Questionnaire

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pp. 123-144

Editor’s Note: Artist Cary Leibowitz conducted this informal survey of a cross-section of art professionals about their views on the events, artists, exhibitions, and ideas that have helped shape the contemporary art landscape during the past three decades. What follows are the often candid...

The Art Advisor and Corporate Curator

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The Journey from the Studio to the Collection: Six Interviews with Art Advisors, Corporate Curators, and Others

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pp. 147-162

Art doesn’t fly off the walls of galleries right into collectors’ homes anymore. With the proliferation of exhibition spaces—uptown, downtown, Chelsea, Lower East Side, SoHo—it has become difficult even for professionals to know where to best spend their time and their money. Art consultants, advisors, and, sometimes, even curators provide a way into...

The Art Fair Director

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The Art Fair Effect

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pp. 165-172

In Europe, Art Cologne (founded in 1967), Art Basel (founded in 1970), and ARCO Madrid (the Feria Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo, first held in 1982) had already been cultivating unique international stages for contemporary art by the time a small East Coast fair emerged in New York in the mid-1990s. The spiritual predecessor to the Armory Show, The Gramercy International Art Fair, began as a creative response...

Foundations and Arts Councils

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Funding Artists: An Inside Perspective

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pp. 175-194

When artists graduate from studio art programs, they join the more than 2.5 million other self-identified artists striving to maintain an art practice while supporting themselves (and, often, families).1 Recent graduates are suddenly, and with very little ceremony, independent. Art world superstars notwithstanding, the majority of artists make a living not from the...

Artists' Residencies and Commissioning Opportunities

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Between the Lines: Residencies, Commissions, and Public Art

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pp. 197-214

Sara Reisman: Having worked for many years as an independent curator, I find the process of developing exhibitions to be creatively thrilling, and I hope my excitement and sense of possibility are equally shared by the artists with whom I’m working. Sometimes there are artworks and artists whose practices don’t fit squarely into an exhibition...

The Web and Social Networking

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Art World 2.0

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pp. 217-232

In less than twenty years, the Internet has become the main circulatory system of society and commerce globally. If data is not moving through it and into our devices, we can begin to feel cut off from life itself. In August 2010, the Nielsen Company reported1 that Americans spend a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs, up from 15.8 percent in the prior year (a 43 percent increase). Americans spend a...

Selected Chronology of World and Art Events,1979–2010

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pp. 233-258

Selected Bibliography and Resources

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pp. 259-278

Artist in the Marketplace Alumni List

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pp. 279-286


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pp. 287-294

E-ISBN-13: 9780823249251
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823234134
Print-ISBN-10: 0823234134

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2011

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Subject Headings

  • Art -- Economic aspects.
  • Artist in the Marketplace (Program).
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