School of Art + Art History alumna Katharine T. Carter (BAART ‘76) recently published the Revised and Expanded Second Edition of her book Accelerating on the Curves: The Artist’s Roadmap to Success, a comprehensive guide to self-marketing and securing exhibitions and constructing a realistic, long-term plan for achieving success in the highly competitive art world.
“I’ve always felt that I should share my knowledge with artists,” said Carter, who spent a decade on the road as a public speaker, a period during which she reached many aspiring artists and was able to share the knowledge that she acquired through her own exhibiting experience in NYC. Over the years she spent with her lecture series, she said it became clear to her that most artists don’t have access to the information necessary to plan strategically and proactively.
“What most artists don’t understand,” Carter said, “is that you need a considerable track record, exhibitions, reviews, and to be included in a considerable number of collections before you can confidently approach a New York art gallery.”
Because many artists desire so strongly to be featured in an exhibition in New York, they can sometimes get taken advantage of, she said, if they do not have the experience to make a well-informed choice.
Carter’s interest in exhibition placement first began when, during her decade-long stint as a public speaker, an artist approached her and asked her how she could engage a critic to write a catalogue essay. Carter responded by approaching the late William Zimmer, then-art critic at The New York Times. After careful consideration, he agreed to write the artist’s catalogue essay, and that was the beginning of Katharine T. Carter & Associates, today a fully comprehensive services organization dedicated to developing the careers of serious mid-career artists.
Thus inspired, in 2010 Carter went on to publish Accelerating on the Curves with her roster of distinguished associates in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of her company. For 32 years, Carter has continued to provide exhibition placement services for artists and guide them toward the path to success by placing over 1,000 exhibitions coast to coast.
“Seeing an artist get a one-person exhibition at a museum is the most rewarding aspect of my work,” she said.
This, however, is not the end of the process.
“It needs to be a real partnership,” she said. “What they do with the opportunity is what defines the experience of success.”