The Business of Art: Competing Narratives in the Visual Arts

By Karen Neudorf and Andrew Fergus.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article examines the degree to which Canadian visual artists reference one of two polarized narratives of the arts when they talk about the role and contribution of the arts and themselves as artists: a cultural-aesthetic story or an economic story. Using life course interviews and thematic network analysis, we found that visual artists have a deep attachment to their own artistic process and the resulting personal art making, favoring the cultural-aesthetic story over the economic story. Work in the commercial or creative industries, while sometimes personally and financially rewarding, is seen as a means to an end – the opportunity to return to the freedom of personal art making.

Keywords: Cultural Industry, Critical Cultural Economics, Visual Arts, Arts and Society, Creative Industries

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 722.850KB).

Karen Neudorf

Instructor, School of Business & Econimcs , Journalism, Communications and New Media, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC, Canada

I work at Thompson Rivers University.

Dr. Andrew Fergus

Assistant Professor, Department of Management, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC, Canada

Dr Andrew Fergus is an Assistant Professor at the School of Business and Economics, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. He is also Chair of the Research Ethics Board at Thompson Rivers University. Andrew completed his PhD (Thesis: Operationalizing Sustainable Development) at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, with a double major in Human Resources & Organizational Dynamics, and Environmental Management & Sustainable Development. His research focuses on examining the dynamic relationships found at the interface of organizations, society, and the environment. Specifically his work explores the practice and leadership in managing the challenges of change with respect to organizational development, ethics, corporate social responsibility, and sustainable development. As an instructor Andrew has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He has taught in graduate programs at Thompson Rivers University, University of Calgary, and the Universidad San Francisco De Quito, Ecuador.