Revitalizing the Fundamentals of Art Business

29 Jun 2020

Mollie Barnes is a Patron member of the Christie’s Education Young Collectors Club and an active member of the London art community. Mollie approached Christie’s Education about collaborating on the design of an Art Business course presented by Art World professionals that would offer the necessary information for young graduates or career changers wanting to create an art business or enter the art world that would be within their budget limits. We hear from Mollie, who tells us a little bit more about this unique collaboration, the concept behind the Fundamentals of Art Business course and why it could be the ideal programme for you. 

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself? How did your interest in the art world come about? 

I grew up surrounded by strong female artists, and a family of art lovers, so I think my powerful interest in art and the art world was inevitable for me. I think I knew that I would make a career in the art world when I was studying, and, though I decided I didn’t want to be an artist, I decided that I wanted to support artists and help them forge careers and build reputations and collaborations with them.

Q. Apart from studying – what other areas of the art world are you involved in? 

I am 23 now, and I have been a professional in the art world since I was about 15 when I got involved in my first Art Exhibition. I managed Weddings for a year when I first left school which I think has been my least Art-Centric job to date. I then trained as a Framer while working as a freelancer in local galleries, doing curation, events and marketing. I have since expanded my business to encompass more aspects of the Art World, including further external exhibitions, artist residencies and art writing.

I wear many hats while I work! I always describe it as the best sort of juggling. It makes me happy to work with so many wonderful companies and individuals. I work with galleries, as a Curator, as Client Relations, as an Artist Liaison, while often producing marketing plans and social media content, as well as programme planning and exhibition schedules.  I am currently working on the programme of exhibitions I am Curating in London next year celebrating female identifying artists, and also two artist residencies! My most recent involvement is becoming the Chairperson of my favourite annual fabulous art exhibition, ready for its 24th year, which, working with my new team, I am excited about revolutionising. 

Q. What was the reason for proposing the Fundamentals of Art Business? How did it come about? 

This course is something I am extremely passionate about. I first approached Glen Hardwick- Bruce, Continuing Education Director,  with this idea because I felt there were lots of people in the same position as me - they had worked in the art world for a few or many years and looking to launch their own ventures, businesses or galleries, but lacked a solid foundation of Art Business, as well as the other topics we will cover. I couldn’t find a course online during lockdown that had all the criteria I was looking for, including Art Law, Contracts, Fraud and Authenticity, Art Business, Value, Art Markets, Logistics and Tax. Any course I found that included some of these was too far out of my price range to even consider as a young professional. Glen and I came up with this course as a solution for people like me, and I think it’s a fabulous one. 

Q. Who is the course for and how do you think The Fundamentals of Art Business course will help you and other participants? 

One of the brilliant things about the Fundamentals of Art Business (FAB - as we like to call it!) is that we have tried to make it as inclusive as possible. Genuine inclusivity is vital. This course is for anyone in a similar position to me, who wants a basic, grounded understanding of Art Business and the surrounding Laws before starting their own business, changing their career or looking to expand their skill set and understanding.

What we have done to make this course different is that it is a cross disciplinary course, providing transferable skills and knowledge while still maintaining an affordable price range. Students will interact directly with experts in the fields and it is delivered over Zoom and so is perfect for this time. The course runs at 2.00pm BST to allow international students the opportunity to join too, which was so important to us. 

A hugely important aspect is that the course is also payable by installments - which is very unusual for these short courses, and just makes it even more affordable.  Another significant aspect is the networking. Through Christie’s Education there will be many opportunities to network with other like-minded people on the course. This will be beneficial as we undertake it from home, to make it less isolating, and you never know what opportunities might come from the networking and social aspects. The course will help in so many ways, through the knowledge gained, the networking and the practical elements. But I think the most important thing to gain will be the confidence to go forward, knowing that you will have a solid understanding from leading professionals.

Watch out for our Instagram account on 9 July when Mollie will be doing a takeover!