Have you seen the video on You Tube of 89-year-old Dick Van Dyke dancing? Talk about energy and fun. Good to see.

Last week I attended a two-morning course called “Art Collecting 101” taught by Ann Wiker, who frequently teaches the subject in local colleges and universities and also curates art for hotels, restaurants, and public places. Her class is another excellent and low-cost course offered by my local community college.

I have often wondered how an artist develops a career path from emerging artist just out of school to a world-famous artist like Picasso. Ann emphasized that contemporary art should not be bought as an investment because it is too new to judge whether

its value will increase. Buy art because you love it, was her consistent advice.

A few contemporary artists, like Thomas Kincaid and Peter Lik, did become wealthy because they developed a business model for their art that worked. Thomas Kincaid was the first to franchise his gallery and his franchises are required to sell only his art. Peter Lik also developed a franchise system along similar lines. They sell millions of dollars worth of their own mass-produced art. Buyers pay big bucks for it, anticipating that its value will increase in time. Will it? Probably not.

The key thing here is that they developed a business model and, no doubt, had a marketing plan, unlike the thousands of other artists who graduate from art institutes every year. Add writer and inventor to the list of people with talent who flounder because they don’t know how to sell their work. No business or marketing plan.

Which leads me to the point of this blog. I checked the Baltimore Art Institute and found no, repeat no, course related to business or marketing in any of their curricula. I don’t think business and marketing courses are required anywhere for English, communications, art, or any curriculum outside business and marketing.

Yet they should be. These are essential skills in today’s world for just about any degree and occupation. Even writing a resume could benefit from a knowledge of business and marketing.

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