Monday, April 1, 2013

OVAC Annual Artist Survey – Report 1: State of Artists

Each year, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition surveys artists who have participated in our programs in some way over the previous three years. This annual survey gives us a snapshot of where Oklahoma artists are in their careers and practice, and tells us how OVAC has helped them reach their goals. The survey is in its second year and you can read results from the 2012 survey here.

OVAC board and staff developed clear outcomes we are seeking with our programs and services that drive these survey questions.  OVAC seeks for artists to have vital, fulfilling careers and artistic practices in Oklahoma, which drives us to offer resources, encourage connections to other artists, and emphasize recognition of artists. Also, OVAC seeks enriched and vibrant Oklahoma communities and culture because of and through the arts. For this outcome, OVAC offers more opportunities and increased access to Oklahoma art and artists.

This post is the first of many, summarizing the results and responding to specific needs or concerns expressed in the survey. We received over 250 responses.

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Environment for Artists in Oklahoma
*96% of respondents say they believe the general environment for art in Oklahoma has improved because of OVAC.

*Because of OVAC, 85% say they are better able to practice their art in Oklahoma and 63% are less likely to move out of Oklahoma to fulfill their artistic goals.

“OVAC empowers artists to pursue excellence… Honestly, I cannot overstate the impact that OVAC has had on my own art career, and the impact it has had on visual art statewide! OVAC is radical because it believes in artists (by giving them $$, training, and other resources) as the way to push Oklahoma art forward. OVAC programs stand out by keeping artists in mind at all times.”

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Networks for Artists
*Because of their participation in OVAC programs, 66% of respondents say they know more people to call on about making their art and 71% say they know more people to talk with about the business of art.

“The ASK workshops allow artists to meet peers while building or sharpening required skills without evoking a feeling of inadequacy.”

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Business Tools
About 60% of survey respondents have attended an Artist Survival Kit workshop. The numbers below give us some insight into artists’ readiness for opportunities, as well as areas where artists could use additional resources or help as potential workshop topics.

*84% have an artist statement

*81% have an artist resume

*82% have a studio or work space

*79% have a portfolio

*64% have a website

*40% have an action plan

“[The Artist Survival Kit is] absolutely a life line for me. I do not have a mentor or anyone to ask about references or resources to obtain information. Your workshops have always been priceless to me.”

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