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Master Class: Art Business for Artists

Women Space
3333 Maria Linden Dr.  Rockford, IL 61114

Session 1: Wednesdays 1-5pm
Part A: March 18th
Part B: March 25th




Session 2: Tuesdays 6-8pm
Part A: April 7th & 14th
Part B: April 21st & 28th

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Due to Coronavirus all Art Business Master Classes have been postponed until Fall of 2020

Let me pull back the curtain and show you the inner workings of the art business.  As Director and Curator of two major art galleries in Chicago, I spent the last 20 years of my career running successful galleries & supporting artists at all stages of their career.  Now I want to teach you the sales & marketing skills and industry secrets that are vital to managing your own art career and selling more of your artwork.



Technology is rapidly changing the art world and how artists connect with fans & collectors.  More than ever you don’t need gallery representation to succeed, but you do need sales, business, and marketing skills if you’re going to be successful on your own. Selling art is very different from selling just about anything else, and selling your own art is even trickier.


In these two workshops, you will get practical knowledge mixed with coaching and constructive practice to hone your new skills before trying them out on your next potential collector.  


You will learn how to:

Part A: Sales skills for artists who don’t like selling

  • Set your prices and defend them or negotiate and offer discounts

  • Take someone from loving your art to actually wanting to own it and hang it in their home

  • Enthusiastically promote your art without bragging or coming across as cocky

  • Use the power of persuasion & body language to connect with buyers & get a foot in the door

  • Gently guide the conversation to your intended outcome (such as closing the sale or securing a commission)

  • Handle criticism and rejection & turn it into a powerful sales tool

  • Follow up:  take people from admirers to buyers.  Then follow up with those buyers to make sure they are completely satisfied customers.

Part B: Marketing & Technology * please bring a laptop if you have one, but it’s not required

  • Build a professional website  

  • The difference between a good photo of your art and a photo that will help sell your art

  • Show what the art will look like in the client's space using AR- Augmented Reality and free photo manipulation programs

  • Communicate effectively through text & email

  • Building a following & Social Media Marketing

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About your instructor: 

Emily Watson-Rice has been working in the Chicago art world for over 20 years. Beginning her career as the Manager of the Kohl Museum she went on to become the teaching artist at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Manager of the Marshall Fields Fine Art Gallery, and Director & Curator of Atlas Galleries. Simultaneously she built her own successful company, Gossamer Arts; an art consulting company that trains artists in the business of art and an e-commerce store selling art pedestals and picture lights. Emily is also an accomplished dancer and artist. She creates unique lace dyed silk veils for fellow belly dancers all over the world. And as a member of the International Mezzotint Society, she has exhibited her mezzotint prints at several museum & gallery exhibitions worldwide. 

What other artists are saying about Emily & Gossamer Arts:


Erica Entrop   Jun 7, 2019 

"I had never written to any galleries about exhibiting my work before and Emily taught me how to create a personal yet professional tone in my writing to really connect with galleries by helping me to draft and revise my portfolio and website. Her years of experience in the art world really showed and thanks to her I just had my first show in Chicago! If you want to really progress in your career then you really need to work with Emily!"


Jeetu Ravi   Sep 4, 2017 

"Gossamer Art and its director/curator Emily Mem is an angel for upcoming artists. She is really most supportive woman in the art world. Myself is an upcoming artist from India have chance to meet Emily Mem at Atlas Art Gallery with my paintings for her guidance and review about my work. She has reviewed it in an amazing manner and without any pampering gives true, real, honest and perfect review about my paintings which is very important and proves helpful for me. I have no words about her eagerness and sincerity to listen the themes and finishing process of my new series of paintings titled "Compassion in Red- Aztec Print" and not only that our meeting was full of solid involvement of both of us than we didn't had any idea of duration time of 30 minutes was converted into 135 minutes without our knowledge. It was a great day and experience of my life. Emily Mem thanks to cooperate me though I am a stranger for you and visiting US - Chicago first time in my life. -RAZIN - An Award winner Artist from AHMEDABAD-GUJARAT-INDIA"

Private Lessons & Consulting

Sometimes you want one-on-one coaching, or maybe you can't make any of the classes, or perhaps you have questions about areas of the art business that aren't covered in these workshops.  Whatever the reason, I am available for one-on-one consulting or private small group classes.  Please contact me to discuss your needs and we'll work out the perfect solution and time for you. 

Art Business for Collectors

Selling the Art you're no longer enjoying to make room for more

In this workshop, you will learn how and where to sell any artwork you're no longer enjoying and then confidently buy new artwork and negotiate the right price.


One of the biggest struggles art collectors face today is what to do with the art you no longer want to display?  There is a big misconception that all artwork will go up in price so you should be able to sell it for more than you paid for it.  The reality is most artwork loses value as trends and tastes change.  Very few artists become investment quality artists like Rembrandt, Warhol or Banksy. So does this mean you paid too much for your artwork? No, it doesn't, as long as you bought it for the right reasons.


In this workshop, collectors will learn how to determine if the price of a work of art is right for them and how to negotiate with the gallery or artist on the price.  We will then go in depth into what to do with the art you're no longer enjoying such as: getting a current appraisal, making sure you have all the accompanying paperwork, how and where to research the current market to get a realistic idea of what you can sell your art for, where are the best places to list your art for sale based on what it is or who the artist is and finally how to create a listing that will make your artwork stand out.

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