Seeking guidance in art careers

Art Show: Susanne King, retired English teacher, is having an art show at the Dayton Visual Art Center until December 27th.

Art Show: Susanne King, retired English teacher, is having an art show at the Dayton Visual Art Center until December 27th.


Students who excel in the fine arts often seek art programs in college and even schools specializing in the fine arts to build the knowledge to make their passion into a career.
“My reaction to students wanting to have a career in art is positive,” art teacher Krista Furst said. “I do however discuss with students the opportunities in the art field, because one needs to make a living with a career.”
Most colleges offer fine art programs, such as graphic arts, painting and drawing, and visual communications. Ohio State University ranks 18th on the Best Fine Art Graduate School List; however, all schools have their strengths and weaknesses.
“I feel that you need to attend the school that feels right to you and offers the degree you want to obtain,” Furst said.
Once you have your degree, it can be challenging to find a job that suits you because there are many growing and shrinking fields in the arts.
“In some areas, you’ll be more likely to find jobs in the arts than others,” Paige Lumpkins, guidance counselor, said. “I think it’s important to enjoy your job, but you also have to make a living.”
Many students hold back from seeking an art degree because the profession is often viewed as inefficient.
“I’ve been interested in art since I was a kid, but I tried to push it away until a few months ago because I thought it wasn’t practical,” Clare Intili (9) said. “If I can, I’m going to get a job in animating or art directing.”
Susanne King, retired English teacher, found her inspiration after a “series of unfortunate events” over the past few years.
“I painted as a hobby and received quite a bit of attention and I was encouraged to display my work,” King said. “I used painting more as therapy.”
One of the struggles of a career in the arts is making money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual wage for professional independent writers, performers, and artists is $47,760; however, many find struggle in finding jobs and getting themselves published.
“Not only is there producing a quality product, but the artist needs to market the work to the public,” King said. “Just as a start, the artist needs a website, contacts, and an audience, and can’t be shy about getting the word out about what they do.”

By Sara Hagan

hagan.sara@oakwoodschools.org

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