29 April 2021

'Pragmatic Idealists' presents professional development for artists in southeast NSW

| Alex Rea
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Liz McCrystal and Cat Wilson

Liz McCrystal (left) and Cat Wilson (right) have co-founded Inlets – Regional Arts Services. Photo: Supplied.

Making art is one thing, but getting your career as an artist up and running is another ball game.

Southeast NSW has a healthy and growing arts sector and now a new venture aims to provide professional development services often only found in metropolitan areas.

The newly formed Inlets – Regional Arts Services has partnered with South East Arts to present ‘Pragmatic Idealists’, an artists’ professional development series.

Liz McCrystal and Cat Wilson saw a need in the local arts market and founded Inlets – Regional Arts Services.

As their first program, ‘Pragmatic Idealists’ gives artists and anyone interested in the arts a glimpse behind the curtain, in the hope of demystifying the industry and equipping artists with some practical tools needed to approach their career.

Collage of guest speakers at Pragmatic Idealists event

The speakers who will be appearing at the ‘Pragmatic Idealists’ events in May and June 2021. Photos: Supplied.

During six consecutive Saturdays from 1 May, 2021, to 5 June, 2021, ‘Pragmatic Idealists’ will deliver three in-conversation discussions that bring together panels of art industry experts to discuss topics such as commercial galleries, public galleries and art prizes.

These panel discussions will be followed by three workshops that focus on the practical skills an artist needs to prepare work for submission and exhibition, including building a body of work, preparing work for exhibition and writing about your work.

Speakers will be appearing from major public arts institutions such as the National Gallery of Australia, Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Murray Art Museum Albury and Bega Valley Regional Art Gallery, as well as from commercial gallery Michael Reid in Sydney.

Multi-award-winning artists Tamara Dean and Lee Grant will also be appearing, and the in-conversation series is an exciting chance for the art community of our region to hear from art industry professionals from all across NSW and the ACT.

The program for 'Pragmatic Idealists'

The program for ‘Pragmatic Idealists’ in May and June 2021. Image: Supplied.

“This pilot program came about as a response to the lack of professional development opportunities and access our arts community has to the broader art industry,” says Liz. “It is something that is felt across regional NSW, and has been acknowledged by the high calibre of speakers we have been able to attract.

“Our ambition is that through programs such as ‘Pragmatic Idealists’, our southeast region will lead the conversation about education and opportunities for regional artists.”

Formed this year, Inlets – Regional Arts Services was born out of a passion for art and a desire to make a contribution to the growing creative sector in southeast NSW. Alongside workshop programs such as ‘Pragmatic Idealists’, the organisation also offers installation and consultancy services to regionally based artists and arts organisations.

“One of the challenges of being a regional artist is the limited opportunities to hear from a broad range of voices,” says Cat. “The support from South East Arts has meant we have been able to bring some exciting speakers to the area.”

For more information and to book, click here.

Program flyer for 'Pragmatic Idealists'

Program flyer for ‘Pragmatic Idealists’. Image: Supplied.

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