It is always nice to meet like-minded people, and for freelancers there is nothing better than finding a kindred spirit to run joint projects with. Thus I recently joined forced with curator and mentor Gita Joshi who runs a successful podcast of interviews with art professionals at The Curator’s Salon.

As constultants working with artists, both Gita and I spend a lot of time visiting art fairs, exhibitions and artists’ studios.

In a sense we are the extended eyes and ears of the artists each of us advises and mentors and always have artists’ interests at heart, especially when we hear disappointment at the lack of visitors to the ever increasing number of artist fairs, themed pop-ups and similar larger scale group exhibitions.

We would generally advise artists to research events before signing up, and even a stand at one of the large and well-established art fairs does not guarantee a steady flow of visitors to your individual stand. It is the respective organiser’s job to provide a platform and to promote the event overall, but there is a lot artists can – and should – do to draw attention to their particular presentation.

With this in mind we put our heads together and came up with the idea of an online course for artists planning to exhibit at fairs. We have devised a programme that covers everything artists need to know to be #artfairready and will run this over a course of four weeks, starting on Monday 16 March.

We have set up a private Facebook Group to act as our virtual classroom. Here we will post bite-sized chunks of video tutorials on topics ranging from ‘How to write an artist statement’ to ‘Planning your social media campaign’ and an ‘Art fair survival kit’ to free up time to concentrate on the actual artwork.

Sessions are complemented by exercises, templates, checklists and cheat sheets, and we will be actively monitoring the group for comments and questions for the duration of the course – scheduled to end just before Easter. The idea is to provide an allround package that is comprehensive and easy to follow.

Since we started planning the #artfairready programme, news of fairs being cancelled or postponed in response to the Coronavirus pandemic have started hitting our inboxes. And while we don’t have any answers to questions about compensation or insurance, the course provides valuable knowledge for when things have returned to normal.

The general mood has changed a lot in the course of this week and it seems likely that many of us will decide to apply some level of social distancing in the coming weeks. We will all probably spend even more time on social media, so why not learn something while you’re there and join our course. We look forward to e-meeting you!