City College to host sixth Annual Art Career Day Conference

KENSEY THIERRY, Channels Staff

Professional artists and actors will come at 11 a.m. Saturday,  April 23 to the Fe Bland Forum on City College campus for the sixth Annual Art Career Day Conference.

The conference is for all artists, including actors, painters, dancers, sculptors and photographers, and there will be workshops to help the artists improve on their craft, introduce them to future opportunities.

“Many great artists were apprentices before they became somebody,” said Patricia Frank, theatre department professor. “It’s about trying to connect people with others that are right up their alley. A lot of people that conduct the workshops are successful in their field and a lot of them tell their history of how [they] did it, which helps the youngsters figure it out.”

This event is being produced by Julie McLeod, who is the founder and director of Art Without Limits. Art Without Limits is an organization that helps mentor young artists who want to be successful within the art industry.  

“Every year [McLeod] has this workshop with artists in the community,” Frank said. “Several well known, successful artists and people that are business people that support artists conduct the workshops and get people on the road to do whatever they want to do in this artistic industry.”

The conference is directed towards young artists, ages 13 to 25 and is free if you pre-register on the website. The keynote speaker will be Luther Gerlach, who is a world renowned photographer and currently has his photos inside of the White House. Gerlach will also be doing a breakout group where he will be using his mobile studio van to lecture the students.

“Art Without Limits does mentorships one-on-one with emerging artists and professionals and they are free too,” said McLeod. “We are very strong in believing that giving the gift of giving.”

This event will be held on City College campus, not only to use the classrooms, but also to show the different art programs that are offered.

“City College was a logical place because you have a facility that is so workable with the Fe Bland Forum, the theatre and there are the classrooms where we can do all of the workshop groups in,” said McLeod. “It has all kinds of audio and video capabilities. It’s just perfect for us, it’s a no brainer.”

McLeod said that this event will help students build the courage to talk to professionals in their field and to also create connections with one another.

“Normally young kids are scared to death to talk to a professional. I think they think that they will bite their neck off, but the artists are there and they want to be helpful and they want to help this next generation a lot,” said McLeod. “If you pay somebody for it, you say goodbye, thank you, and then you walk away and close the door. And that’s not what happens with mentorships.”

There will be 15 breakout groups to teach one-hour sessions. Each group will be conducted three at a time in different classrooms, so all artists will have an opportunity to attend each workshop.

“The instructors are told ahead of time that, it is not about you, let [the students] know who you are, but you want to get them to talk and ask questions. Set up a dialogue, exchange information,” said McLeod. “So it is a real personalized kind of event.”

Artist Si Jie Loo was one of the attendees to this event and had showed pictures of her art to one of the guest artist Dug Uyesaka, who will be attending the this year’s event as well. After showing him her art, he recommended that she take her pieces to the Bella Rosa Gallery on State Street. Loo’s work was then set up for exhibits in June at this gallery.

“The goal of the art conference is an experience to all artists from ages 13-25, it’s free for them, and give them the experience of talking to professionals in their field, asking questions, making connections with them and talking to other people in the art community,” said McLeod. “There are very deep friendships that get developed.

To learn more about the conference and to register for free admission go here.