How To Get Your Start in Art

Alexander Gent


Kathryn Nahorski, executive director of the St. Louis Artist Guild, gave an informative lecture, providing significant insight into the working lives of artists to art students in the Hatheway Cultural Arts Center Tuesday, Sept. 18 as part of the “Visiting Artist Lecture Series” at Lewis and Clark Community College.

“You can’t give up,” Nahorski said. “That’s part of researching a juror and getting your art into a show.”

Nahorski detailed some of the various ways to get art into a gallery and stressed the importance of a physical portfolio as well as having a website containing pictures of the artist’s work, and biographical information.

“We asked her to speak specifically because of her background and reputation of helping artists get into the business,”  said Joe McFarlane, L&C associate professor and long-time colleague and friend of Nahorski.

One insightful tip she gave about getting artists’ work noticed was to set-up galleries in “Alternative Spaces.” She described these as small “not permanent” spaces such as a shop display window on a busy street, or even a small boutique at a mall.

“Our goal is to find an art gallery that will take care of us,” Nahorski told the crowd of young artists.

She also explained that auction houses may be interested in the artists’ work, and can help them establish a price or value to their art.

Over the course of 35 years, Nahorski has developed her expertise and cultivated her passion to provide exhibition opportunities for artists. As an artist and arts advocate, she has staged hundreds of exhibits through professional galleries and alternative spaces.

“When I graduated from college, there wasn’t guidance for what to do next. Where to show my work, how to approach a gallery, what might be a related job,” Nahorski said, describing what led her to this career. “I made it my mission to provide opportunities for myself and then others.”

Since 2012, Nahorski has served as Executive Director of the St. Louis Artist Guild, a 132-year-old organization with the mission of fostering creativity throughout the community with extraordinary exhibitions, interactive education, and outreach to diverse audiences.

“We love volunteers at the Guild,” Nahorski said encouraging all those who are interested to become involved in the various volunteer and intern programs offered.

Anyone interested in these programs, furthering their education of art, getting in contact or just looking to experience an art exhibition first hand, may find all the necessary information at

“As a community art center we’re just always trying to engage people with art,” Nahorski said.

The ongoing Visiting Artist Series is presented and sponsored by 1st MidAmerica Credit Union.

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