Art as an Industry

Gerry Brady March 7, 2019 10 No Comments

In Germany, for many years now they have recognized that art is an industry and the German government supports artists in many ways. Many large companies employ the art graduates directly from Germany’s art colleges. There are 23 art and design colleges. Art can fuel a future economy in many ways — after all, art is an example of both goods and services in action and humans are both creators and consumers of art. So art increases the velocity of money inside an economy while consuming few natural resources.

“If you have a degree from an art school you are officially deemed a “professional” artist, which means that applications for artistic grants and scholarships count as job applications, which are necessary to continue receiving benefits from the state.

Self-employed individuals are usually not covered by the state-regulated health insurance plans and need to shoulder the cost of private insurance on their own. However, self-employed artists are covered by a specific social insurance system, the “Künstlersozialkasse” (KSK), which entitles them to a 50 percent reduction in insurance fees.

Every big German city has museum collections with permanent and traveling exhibitions, and museums offer plenty of employment opportunities for artists, from part-time work installing exhibitions to permanent roles as registrars, organizing the transport of a museum’s artworks for exhibitions and looking after the work in the collection. In addition to the big museums, there are a large number of exhibition spaces where emerging artists can stage exhibitions of their work for public viewing, as well as many excellent commercial art galleries that help launch artistic careers and offer another venue for seeing great art.

Many professional artists can find short- or medium-term employment as Artists in Residence and work for a set period of time in a cultural institution. There are also plenty of sources for funding in Germany for artists, and many well-run websites to help identify sources of financing.

All in all, there is a huge range of opportunities for art students and professionals in Germany. The fact that the country is a federal system means that the concentration of art schools, museums, and funding for the arts can be found all throughout the country in the different regions, not just in one main area. Unlike the old days, when Paris was the single art capital of France, Germany boasts numerous artistic centers–and numerous sources of inspiration.”


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