Art Sale Top Seller: Nadia Alenov

Leading up to the annual MCAD Art Sale, we spoke with some of the top sellers from the past two decades. Here, photographer Nadia Alenov describes her creative practice and what the MCAD Art Sale meant to her.

Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Nadia Alenov graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2010. She is a full-time encaustic fine art photographer and has a studio in St. Paul.

What has MCAD meant for you in terms of launching your creative career?

It was the MCAD art sale that helped me realize there was a market for my encaustic photography. MCAD has given me the confidence and resources to build relationships with collectors and gallery owners, while also providing me with a platform for launching my career. It is challenging getting started in the fine arts field but having a connection with MCAD has been enormously helpful.

What are you doing now?

I'm a full-time encaustic fine art photographer with a studio in St. Paul. I divide my time working on commissions and making work for galleries. I'm currently working on a show for the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI, which will be up this December.

Can you describe a memorable sale or moment from the Art Sale?

I will always remember getting a call during the art sale from a man who had just bought a number of pieces from me. He was eager to meet to talk about a commission piece he had in mind. When we met I must say it was so inspiring to see how excited he was about my art and the potential commission. It was my second year doing the MCAD Art Sale and definitely thrilling to see people connecting with my art.

What Art Sale advice would you give young MCAD artists?

Pay attention to what people are buying and what they are saying about your art. During my first year in the sale, I tried selling a variety of styles I was into (illustration, painting, photography, encaustics). The following year I made mostly encaustics as that was what had been selling most successfully AND what I enjoyed making the most. Do what you love...but also try to figure out what people like best about your work so you can develop it. Keep evolving until something really clicks with you; and most likely when that happens, it will click with your viewers as well. 

Alenov will not have works at this year's MCAD Art Sale; only current students and graduates from the past five years are eligible to participate.

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