Dexter Wimberly and Heather Bhandari have come together to create the Art World Conference (AWC). The new, to-be annual event will bring 300 artists and art professionals of all levels together to grow within their field and develop professionally. According to the AWC’s website, the conference will focus on business and financial literacy and will include ‘panel discussions, conversations, and in-depth workshops addressing many of the opportunities and challenges faced by visual artists and arts professionals who work closely with artists.’ Emphasizing empowerment, topics will span sales, marketing, taxes, grants, debt management, investing, public projects, utilizing new technologies, and growing a sustainable community, to name a few.
In the press release for the AWC, Wimberly and Bhandari stated: ‘We believe organization, financial literacy, and professionalism are crucial components of an artist’s studio practice. Business skills and sustainable income streams create opportunities and resources for the implementation of creative, ambitious ideas. Our goal is to provide a platform where artists learn tangible skills, are directed to relevant resources, explore options for sustainability at all stages in their careers, and feel the support of community.’
Wimberly is an entrepreneur and curator who has worked with and exhibited the works of more than 300 artists both in the US and internationally. Formerly the Director of Strategic Planning at Independent Curators International, Wimberly has worked with institutions and galleries including Mixed Greens Gallery, Driscoll Babcock Galleries, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Brooklyn Historical Society, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), Savannah College of Art and Design, and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). Prior to delving into the artworld, Wimberly was co-founder and CEO of August Bishop, a pioneering agency for youth marketing and PR.
As an author and independent curator based in Brooklyn, Bhandari co-founded the project-based curatorial team The Remix – consisting of Bhandari, Courtney Coleman, and Steven Sergiovanni – in 2017. Bhandari is currently an adjunct lecture at Brown University and a visiting scholar at NYU. In October 2017, the second edition of her book, ART/WORK, was published by Simon and Schuster. In addition to working as a consultant to various for-profit and nonprofit arts organizations, she is on the board of directors for Art Omi, the advisory boards of artfcity, CODIFY Art, and Trestle Gallery. Between 2000 and 2016, Bhandari curated over 100 exhibitions and managed a nearly two-dozen artists in their early to mid-careers as directory of Mixed Greens Gallery.
As of now, 39 individuals active in the arts world are scheduled to present at the AWC including financial advisors, professors, artists, directors, art advisors, authors, and curators. The inaugural AWC is set for the April 25th – 27th of this year and will be held at New York Law School. The AWC is financially sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts. You can register for the AWC here.
Edit January 19th, 2019: The name of the conference was corrected to Art World Conference