THIS course is closed


APRIL 18 – MAY 16, 2015

SATURDAYS | 1:00 – 3:30 Pm | 5 sessions

(PLEASE NOTICE: The dates for this course have been amended and the cost reduced from what was originally published due to a necessary scheduling change).


Art and commerce have always partaken in an uneasy, if not fraught, relationship. Art, with its seemingly high-minded ideals, and commerce with its sometimes down-in-the-gutter pursuit of every last penny, these two seemingly disparate endeavors consistently find themselves at odds with one another. Yet in order to realize value in our decidedly capitalistic economy, these conflicted human endeavors need each other. And while art and business thus manifest as companions of necessity, when artists lack the knowledge and skills of the business world, they can find themselves frustrated, unproductive, and ineffective in selling their work to consumers in the marketplace.

This workshop will focus on the various ideas, strategies, and tools necessary to the structure and management of a successful business dedicated to making and selling art. Each session will be structured to include lecture and discussion, followed by guided studio time when students will be able to engage topics through hands-on work in relation to their own business as an artist. Students will finish the course with new knowledge and tools -- including a completed business plan -- that can propel them into the professional art world, or ground and solidify their position if they are already established in that world.

One of the unique aspects of this course will be the opportunity for participants to show and (hopefully) sell work at the Toucan Gallery during the May ArtWalk. This event will be used as a laboratory in which to test ideas developed in class, and then to analyze the results in order to better understand the nature of the business of selling art.

The course will comprise five, two-and-a-half hour sessions:

  1. Introduction: Becoming An Artist Entrepreneur

  2. Making a Plan and Setting up Shop

  3. How to Sell Art

  4. Money Matters / Marketing Matters

  5. Productivity, Management, and the Future of your Business Making Art


Toucan Studio/Classroom


This course will be taught by Mark Sanderson, co-owner of Toucan and a self-employed creative professional for the last 20 years. Before he and his wife, the artist Allison O’Donnell, purchased Toucan – where at any given time they are representing and selling the work of some 35 to 40 artists – Mark owned and operated Imagimark! Productions, a multi-disciplinary creative and design studio. Mark has a Master of Architecture degree from Montana State University in Bozeman, and has taught art, design and media classes for a variety of Billings educational institutions and nonprofits over the years.