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Art Career Education Series Begins

The Jamaica Plain Arts Council’s ambitious continuing education series “Focusing Your Art Career” is designed to help inventive entrepreneurs and artists to hone new skills and create successful livelihoods.

Over coffee recently at , longtime local artist Anna Koon, who readers met in a , talked about an ambitious series of upcoming workshops for artists and entrepreneurs called "Focusing Your Art Career."

Koon, who is also known as “a2n2” and has lived in JP for nearly 20 years, serves on the board of the JP Arts Council (JPAC) as the organization’s educator. JPAC is best known for its sponsorship of the annual Jamaica Plain Open Studios. 

"Open Studios takes a year of planning,” said Koon, who in addition to being a full-time artist also works providing artistic and entrepreneurial assistance as a creative coach and small business consultant.

“These programs will enable JPAC to be active in different ways throughout the year,” she said of the wide variety of day and evening workshops which begin this month and continuing until December.    

JPAC, she said, is also increasing its year-round presence with a juried show called “Under the Influence,” that will be held in March at the   (The organization is accepting submissions for the exhibition until Jan. 31. For more information, visit the JPAC website.)

The first seminar in the series, which Koon teaches, was called “Setting Goals and Gaining Focus,” and was held on Monday, Jan. 23. 

“There’s a myth about New Year’s resolutions,” said Koon. “People sometimes set unrealistic goals for themselves that they quickly give up, and then repeat year after year. The class will help people to come away with a concrete strategy.”

In addition to Koon's, other workshops in the “Focusing Your Art Career” series will be taught by Jessica Burko, executive director of Boston Handmade and Scott Cipolla, director of Alternate Currents

“They bring different voices,” Koon said.  

Burko, who was also , serves as the executive director of Boston Handmade, a local crafts collective. Cipolla, noted Koon, owned a gallery in the South End for years and is the director of Alternate Currents, an arts advocacy and networking organization.   

In February, Burko will teach a class in utilizing e-commerce to set up and sell items online. In March, Cipolla’s workshop will instruct participants about how to select a gallery, prepare effective portfolios and get work ready for display.

While targeting professional artists and creative entrepreneurs, “anyone can get something out of the classes,” Koon said of the series. “They will be low-cost, small and personalized.” 

“It’s my way to contribute to the community,” she said. "And to help professional artists get to the next level.”

For more information or to register for courses in the “Focusing Your Art Career” series, see the attached .pdf, or visit the Jamaica Plain Arts Council website.

Anna Koon's art will be on display at Sister Sorel, 645 Tremont St. in the South End, from Feb. 27 through April 1. The opening reception is Monday, Feb. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m.

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