What Makes a Pro?

By Mickey Myers

As Bryan Memorial Gallery firms up its Cabin Fever Series of lectures, workshops and demonstrations this winter, a theme presents itself.  Like last year, when art travel unfolded throughout the Gallery’s events, this year we notice opportunities for professional development unfolding throughout our offerings.

What one understands to be “professional development” varies from profession to profession.  It can be a requirement for maintaining a license or even a job (“publish or perish” comes to mind) or it can be much less definable, such as an opportunity for growth in a practice, a collaborative occasion or technical assistance.

Annelein workshopHere at Bryan Memorial Gallery we aim to help our artists advance professionally.  While acknowledging that some don’t need our help, it gratifying when our artists tell us that something the Gallery did – a program, an exhibit, the specs for a show, an artists roundtable – had an impact on one’s studio practice.  A gallery director lives for that kind of affirmation, while at the same time taking care not to impose one’s modus operandi on others, especially not artists.

So it is gratifying to us, as we put together the Cabin Fever Series for this winter, to find ourselves providing some specific and clear cut opportunities for our artists to improve their lot and evaluate their studio practice in relation to best practices in the field.

The following presentations are just those opportunities:

March 10, 1 – 4  Talking about Your Artwork with Mary Zompetti

Mary Zompetti is known primarily for her photography, but she has a significant career helping artists, no matter what their medium or the stage of their career.  She’s coming over for a very small and intimate afternoon of talk with the first 6 artists who sign up for this workshop about their work.  The conversation will be exactly that – a conversation among 6 artists about their studio practice – what works and what doesn’t, what happens when one hits a wall, how long can we stay on course and what are the signs we need to shift gears; where do we go to refresh?   Participating artists are asked to bring 3 examples of their work, including a very recent example.

  • There is no charge for this workshop, and it is first come, first served but advanced registration is required.  Register here.

March 11, 9 – 3  iPhone Photography:  Refining Your Artistic Vision with Nan Carle Beauregard

Most of us have iPhones or Smart Phones and many of us are integrating them into our studio practice.  This is where Nan comes in to assist us in maximizing our understanding of iPhotography, in ways that can enhance its role in our studio practice.  The only thing you have to bring to their workshop is your iPhone or smart phone.  Photographer Nan Carle Beauregard is keen on the story of life and how iPhone Photography can help tell one’s story.  Her editing process enhances an already good photo.  She will also work with participants in the creative exploration of new images.


Saturday, March 17, 1 – 3 PM  A Conversation with Katharine Montstream about Marketing Your Artwork

Kath Montstream and TangoKatharine Montstream is one of Vermont’s iconic landscape artists.  From the brilliance of her watercolors to the depth of her oils, from the accessibility of her prints and cards to the expansiveness of her community involvement, Montstream represents the vitality of the arts in Vermont today.

Spend St. Patrick’s Day afternoon with Montstream while she discusses stories from her own career about marketing her art:  how she got started, what she learned early, what has helped her establish herself in the minds of many as “Vermont’s Favorite,” and what she is still learning today.

  • There is no charge for this program, but seating is limited – first come, first served.

Saturday, March 24, 1 – 3 PM Painting Demonstration with Eric Tobin

Eric painting 1 croppedBack again for the third straight year: the gallery’s best-attended demonstration with Eric Tobin, one of Vermont’s most popular artists.   Watch Eric paint a painting from start to finish.  Converse with him about the decisions he makes while painting. Listen to him explain not only his painting methods, but how he organizes and equips to paint outdoors all year round.

  • There is no charge and no advanced registration required.  

Sunday, March 25, 1 – 3 PM  Framing Your Artwork, 102.

Lassie Barile and Fiona Cooper Fenwick of Vermont Frameworks (Waterbury Center) presented Framing Your Artwork, 101 last winter, and despite a snowstorm, those present hung around with many questions.  Barile and Fenwick are returning, and this time are asking those who attend to submit questions in advance, so they can prepare examples of the answers.


April 26 10 – 1PM  The Legacy Workshop with Mary Fillmore and Mickey Myers.

Many of our artists and others around the state have had the opportunity to attend a 3 hour Legacy Workshop with Mary and Mickey under a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation.  This workshop helps artists (and their heirs) prepare for the inevitable – which is to say that time flies when you’re painting, and sooner or later, you find yourself with an abundance of sketches, finished works, drawings, materials, and what to do with it all?  Certainly, it is nothing you want to leave for your family to figure out without your input, but where, when and how to convey that input?  This workshops helps, and further, this is probably the last time it will be presented under this grant at no charge for our members and friends.  For those wanting a sneak peak, go to http://www.bryangallery.org/legacy/.  (This workshop will also be given at River Gallery in Brattleboro in June.  Let us know if you would like to receive further information about the workshop in Brattleboro.)

  • No charge, but advanced registration required before April 15.  Register here.