Klein Artist Works: Overhauling the Careers of Chicago’s Artists

September 20th, 2010

Paul Klein has been a monumental figure in the Chicago art world for decades. He has long been a part of the artistic community, as a gallery owner, curator, writer, art consultant and was recognized by the Chicago Society of Artists as their 2006 Man of the Year.  He will now be adding teacher to the list. Klein has decided give Chicago’s struggling artists access to all his experience in the hopes of launching their careers. Starting this September, Klein will launch Klein Artist Works, a program that will give artists “the knowledge, information, tools and contacts you need to blow away the obstacles.”

In his email advertising the new program, Klein said, “It has dawned on me that I am in a position to significantly impact the careers of a lot of Chicago artists, and work to improve our art market in the process.  So, I’ve created a program to do just that.  I’m adding Klein Artist Works to my existing endeavors.” It may sound like ego, but it is far from that. Klein certainly has the experience and know-how to succeed with such a venture. He owned his own gallery, Klein Art Works, that operated for over twenty years. When the gallery closed in 2004, he began writing and distributing ArtLetter, an online examination of the key players and exhibitions in Chicago’s art scene.

The website describes Klein’s program as: “A self-paced, training program and introduction service, everything will be covered in 10 to 12 weeks. It repeats 3 times a year. You have 12 months, at your own pace, to complete the course. There are no exams or tests – just your career.So what exactly does the course consist of?  The program’s curriculum lists webinars that cover art business practices, visits to exhibitions, artist’s studios, and curators, and personal phone calls and visits from Klein to help students develop strategies to launch their career.

It’s exciting to see such a prominent figure in the art world take such an interest in developing the careers of emerging artists. It makes a lot of sense: the art world can only benefit from empowering artists and making it easier for them to create their work.  Hopefully, Klein Artist Works is the only the first of many such initiatives designed to improve the lives and careers of Chicago’s artists.

-Nicole Nelson

Nicole Nelson is a second-year graduate student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, going for her Masters in New Arts Journalism. She is currently the marketing intern at Fear No Art Chicago. When she’s not writing or studying, she enjoys taking pictures, reading historical fiction, and finding art in unexpected places.

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