ProLaunch – Spring 2022
ProLaunch is a class taught by Mel O’Callaghan for senior students in their final semester of graduation. O’Callaghan is an Australian artist based in Sydney and Paris who has years of experience from which she draws to create the syllabus for this class. She takes the senior students through the nitty-gritty of what it is like to be a professional artist, and how the business of arts works by referencing her own portfolio, documentation, and through the help of different guest speakers.
The semester is split into two projects, but it is also tailored to what the class is asking for and the first project is ongoing throughout. The first project is building a professional identity such as a portfolio, an artist statement and biography, and a website. These are reviewed even after the midterm submission and are also relevant to the ongoing submissions for residencies or postgraduate studies the students may be applying in their final semester. The first project involves in-class feedback sessions and talks with guest speakers to gain different perspectives on website design and content. During the first half, Mel O’Callaghan also introduced us to funding sources in the arts industry and grant applications.
In one of the first classes, we had creative, Clemens Habicht presents his website and portfolio. This was beneficial to us as he works with a variety of mediums, much like most of us in Art, Media, and Technology. During this time, he also gave us a crash course on ways to edit images for portfolios. This skill is further explored in Project 2.
Project 2 is creating a mock exhibition plan using the space of Palais de Tokyo. This involves budgeting, making a timeline for the production of different pieces, outsourcing work, and creating polished mock-ups. This project is particularly helpful in teaching us what to expect when working with big institutions and the organizing or backend of being an artist.
We also had two more guest lecturers come in during the second half of the semester. For advice on residencies, we had artist, Lisa Myeong-Joo, who spoke about her experience regarding searching and applying for residencies and what to expect in artist residencies. She shared great resources with us. What I especially liked about this presentation was that it wasn’t focused on opportunities in Europe as Lisa shared her experiences primarily in South Korea and India. This was refreshing as it opened up possibilities in spaces that wouldn’t come first to mind. We also had Alexandra Pedley give us a presentation on legal frameworks we need to be aware of as an artist. She works for a commercial gallery based in Australia and Singapore and she walked us through a contract template between a gallery and an artist, explaining relevant points in great detail.
This class overall aims to help us, the graduating students be prepared for industry expectations and provides us with professional tools to be able to work in the art industry balancing creativity with the not-so-talked about details of what it entails to be an artist or a designer.