The Art of understanding Art
My name is Catherine Anderson. I’m Head of Communications at the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).
At City I took The Business of The Visual Arts World short course.
I wanted to combine and expand upon my existing expertise in PR and Communications and my BA Honours degree in Art History. I was interested to find out how adaptable my skills are and learn more about business models in the arts market, as well as running contemporary art galleries and exhibitions.
I chose the City short course because the content was very close to my areas of interest, while City’s central location was ideal for commuting from my home and office. I also felt reassured by the fact that City is a reputable and established education provider. When investing in the development of your own skills, it is important to have confidence in the reputation of the university in which you choose to study.
My course was very enjoyable. The diversity of guest speakers and the range of course content made the evening course format fresh. Pure classroom-based learning, after a long day at the office, would have been less attractive to me.
The tutor, Renee Pfister, had a fantastic teaching style. She was relaxed yet organised and confident. There was plenty of opportunity for interaction and our small study group worked well together as many of us had shared interests and backgrounds studying the arts, despite the diverse areas in our current job roles. I am still in touch with one fellow student who also works in Soho and we often meet and occasionally attend exhibitions and lectures together.
The quality of teaching and materials, including excellent hand-outs and the inclusion of gallery visits, exceeded my expectations in terms of variety and relevance to the study group. The course tutor and guest speakers were always willing to share relevant information as well as present their own areas of expertise in an interesting, realistic and accessible way.
The course has enhanced my existing skill set by demonstrating how I can apply my expertise to the art world. It has also broadened my interests in the arts market and expanded my knowledge of how galleries work, the essentials in setting up a gallery, communicating on behalf of an artist and how to protect the IP of an artist's work.
I have already started to apply various aspects of the course in my current role at the BBFC, particularly knowledge around IP protection and copyright. I have also supported a friend in setting up her new business website, putting into practice elements discussed in lectures about communications for artists.
At present I am undertaking further training in IP and copyright, including digital copyright. I would also like to use my new knowledge to work on small projects with upcoming artists or designers outside of my current role at the BBFC and I look forward to attending London-based and international art fairs in the future.