February 04, 2004

'Business of Art' expert coming to SIUC

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Libby Platus is no stranger to the art world. She created large sculptures for public buildings and private homes. She judges and juries art shows and exhibitions. And since 1976, she has been helping fellow artists learn how to market their creations.

Platus, based in Los Angeles, brings her "Business of Art" seminar to Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Wednesday, Feb. 18. The intensive workshop for artists, crafters and designers runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at SIUC's Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road, Carbondale.

The Southern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center, housed at Dunn-Richmond, and BoundlessGallery.com are co-sponsoring Platus' appearance. Registration, which includes lunch, costs $25. For more information, contact the entrepreneurship center at 618/453-3805 or visit its Web site at http://www.siecenter.biz.

At 5 p.m. that day, interested artists can participate in an after-hours gallery showcase in the Dunn-Richmond center in conjunction with the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce.


Media Advisory

Reporters interested in interviewing Platus may call her in advance of the Feb. 18 seminar at 818/906-3989.

Platus has given more than 1,000 presentations in all 50 states and in nine countries. She sports the nickname "Johanna Appleseed," she said, "because I spread information from communities so small they don't have a stoplight to major cities." Her travels form the core of her presentation, as she shares the experiences of other artists.

"I've gone to every nook and cranny in the country," Platus said. "I listen, then I pass it along. In a certain region, everyone is a part of a community, a group, a family. They are doing things their way, but they don't necessarily see that there are alternative ways of doing things."

Some artists find the idea of "the business of art" intimidating, and Platus said many artists believe "you don't talk about money."

"They feel if they do their very, very best, someone will find them," she said. "They're not selling something like a chain link fence, it's something that grew out of them, it's very personal. So this is not one of their favorite subjects."

So, to dispel the myths, Platus tells seminar participants about her experiences and those of artists elsewhere in the country. Many artists, she said, don't have the information they need to survive in the art world.

"Most jobs, most work, people do it and then go home," she said. "But art is a love. It is work, but it is really love."

She asks that those planning to attend the Feb. 18 seminar bring samples of their work for a pricing exercise.

Reaching out to the region and assisting in economic development are among the goals of Southern at 150, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.