Kesha Bruce is an artist I met in a marketing class several years ago. She has gone on to come up with some innovative ways of marketing art–her own and others. She has a show, 6 x 6, coming up that incorporates some of these ideas. The following is an interview where I ask her a bit about the show and its evolution.
1. How specifically did you come up with the idea for 6 x 6? And how were the other artists selected?
6×6 came about when my Baang and Burne co-director, Charlie Grosso, and I started asking the question: What if there were no more art galleries? The answer we immediately came up with was that if there were no more art galleries, artists would have to take complete control over their careers and the marketing and sales of their work. We both see that as a great freeing opportunity rather than a burden.
The artists that we were with were chosen because, one, we love their work, and two because they were people that we knew and trusted. You know the expression “It’s all about who you know”? Well in many ways that’s true. From the perspective of an art dealer, I want to work with artists that not only make great work, but who I know I can rely on to create that work consistently and who are true professionals—meaning I know I can rely on them to be a full partner in promoting and selling their work.
2. What does the collaboration with Charlie look like? Do you get together over coffee/drinks/ice cream or is it virtual or on the phone? Do you agree a lot or sometimes argue it out? How did you meet and how long have you known each other?
Charlie and I met a few years ago. We both had work in the same exhibition. At the time she was living in Los Angeles. After the exhibition closed we kept in contact on a regular basis. It was easy. We had so many ideas in common. Those ideas eventually lead us to form Baang and Burne. We don’t find much to argue about. We have a really clear vision about how to run our business and we’re both going at it full steam ahead.
We’re really a great team because we know how to divide and conquer. We do most of our communicating my phone, skype and e-mail. We split up tasks so we can divined and conquer. And since we live on two different continents ( I live in France and Charlie is in New York City.) we’ve learned to take advantage of our unusually extended office hours. We’re open for business about 18 hours a day!
3. What do you hope to accomplish with 6 x6?
Every revolution begins with an idea. Charlie and I created Baang and Burne because we believe in the idea that artists can and should be in complete control of their careers on every level. 6×6 is our way of leading by example and showing other artists exactly how this can be done.
Our end goal is to take the video footage, workshop notes, and podcast recordings and package it all up into an affordable, easily downloadable, “Do It Yourself” guide to how independent artists can take all of the tools we used to produce and plan 6×6 and re-create their own exhibitions, festivals, or creative events in their own communities—no matter where they may be located.
I say this all the time, because it’s true: When a small army of creative people get together—magic happens.
To read Kesha’s weekly articles on art, art marketing, and creativity and to download a free copy of her guide “The 5 Step Art Career Make-Over” visit www.KeshaBrucestudio.com.