Photography Gallery Management

a syllabus

Fall 2014
PHOT 4010.01
© Bill Barrett 2014
SV 260 for class meetings; meet in the gallery for installations and receptions.

Feedback (general opinions, problems, suggestions, etc.) on this hypersyllabus is encouraged! Bookmark this, but don't rely on printing it out. It is very likely that this page will be updated in the course of the semester.

Class description:  Students learn all aspects of running a nonprofit photography gallery, including publicity, maintaining a mailing list and web site, hanging and striking shows, having openings. May be repeated once for credit. 3 credits.

Learning Outcomes:

How you're graded (assessment criteria): Your final grade is based on your performance throughout the semester. attendance and active participation count for 20%; your research paper counts for 25%; your reaction papers count for 10%; in-class exercises (e.g., publication design) count for 15%; your work in the gallery (e.g., laying out shows, managing openings) counts for 30%. Doing more than required can earn you extra credit; talk to me outside class if you're interested. This is what grades mean....

Class meetings are on Fridays 3-3:50, except as noted. Please pay special attention to the days when we meet in a different location. You should plan to work on the afternoons of Friday receptions from approximately 4-7:30 pm. Current schedule of shows and opening is at the gallery's web site. Future shows are also listed there. Show are always hung the Saturday afternoon before the first date the show is open, starting at 1 pm, almost always finished by 4.

What we're doing and when:

Saturday, 23 August 2014: Meet in the gallery at 1:00 to hang the first show of the season.

Week 1 (8/29). Introductions, survey of the gallery and workroom, what will be involved, schedules and expectations. Running an opening: pre-planning, setup (gallery space as well as reception), the opening itself. Details and checklists. Note: Pass/Fail option is available, but you should declare that you choose that option by the end of the second week of class.

Week 2 (9/5). Visiting other galleries during the semester, and short (at least two, approximately one page each) reaction papers to what you find. Current gallery openings are listed at http://stlopenings.blogspot.com. Some things to consider as you prepare to write a reaction paper:

Here are additional places where you might find information about the St. Louis arts scene, and what they say about themselves. (Do you agree?)

Week 3 (9/12). Designing publications such as postcards, minicatalog and publicity poster, working with the printer, calculating number needed to print, etc. Meet in computer lab SV 204.

Week 4 (9/19). Class period meet in SV 101 for guest speaker Oliver O'Hanlon. Show opening tonightmeet at 4:00 in the gallery.

Week 5 (9/26). Meet in the electronic classroom in the Emerson Library (straight back on the first floor). The research paper: among the places you might look for ideas is Global Museum, Art Review (free web magazines), and the Center for the Future of Museums. I know that you won't plagiarize, and here are some resources to help you avoid it. Proposed topic for you research paper is due on 10/17 (the class before Fall Break). TOMORROW: Meet in the gallery at 1:00 to hang the next show.

Week 6 (10/3). Networking: working with professional organizations such as the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Midwest Museums, the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, the Women's Caucus for Art and its St. Louis chapter, as well as with photography publications (such as The Photo Review and Photograph) and other photography spaces, such as Blue Sky Gallery in Oregon. Keep in mind that the Emerson Library is building a collection of photo show announcement cards and catalogs; they are in the fourth floor stacks at TR650 Catalog. Joining the "Photo-Jobs" list.

Week 7 (10/10). Guest speaker Ann Rosen. Show opening tonightmeet at 4:00 in the gallery.

Week 8 (10/17). The press release. How to get your message out: hints for success, mistakes to avoid. Local networking, building your audience, effective advertising. The RAC Marketing Toolbox is worth exploring for solid techniques and media contacts. Research topic due.

Article to read: How to view art.

Fall break

Week 9 (10/31). Reviewing portfolios, selecting exhibitions, booking shows.Proposed research paper topic due: send by email and I'll confirm that I have them. TOMORROW: Meet in the gallery at 1:00 to hang the next show.

Week 10 (11/7). Reviewing portfolios, selecting exhibitions, booking shows (continued). Show opening tonightmeet at 4:00 in the gallery.

Week 11 (11/14). Guest speaker.

Week 12 (11/21). Field trip to Bruno David Projects, 1245 S. Vanderventer Ave. Please try hard to be on time as a courtesy to our host. (I'll be at the loading zone at the west end of Sverdrup at 2:30 if you need a ride; if you want to come with me, please email me so I know.

Week 13 (11/28). Maintaining a web site, including scanning and optimizing images, updating pages, checking links. Meet in computer lab SV 204.TOMORROW: Meet in the gallery at 1:00 to hang the next show.

Week 14 (12/5). Maintaining a web site, including scanning and optimizing images, updating pages, checking links (continued). Meet in computer lab SV 204. Show opening tonightmeet at 4:00 in the gallery.

Week 15 (12/12). Issuing Calls for Work: what to look for, what to avoid, how to find them and how to issue your own. Some places to look for them include:

Week 16 (12/29). Budgeting and fundraising. Assessment instrument.