Sara Suppan
BFA in Drawing and Painting
Art Installer for MCAD and Koleman & Pryor Gallery; Studio Assistant
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

In a couple sentences, describe what you do for work and how you feel about it.

I work as a studio assistant for another painter in Minneapolis, and as an art installer for both MCAD and Koleman & Pryor Gallery. Beyond the hands-on work involved, I'm learning more than I could have with school alone about art handling and about what it really looks like to sustain an art-as-business practice.

What advice do you have for current MCAD students?

I'd encourage students to hone their writing skills and make use of the Learning Center as much as is feasible. Read a lot, write a lot. Most opportunities (from jobs to grants) will require some written portion. There's money on the line here! Also, learn how to do taxes (and then teach me how to do taxes).  

How do you network yourself and your art?

"Networking" is not a word I use. Go to other people's shows and be sincere, don't talk about your own stuff when it's not your opening, help someone move their couch sometime. 

Do the Twin Cities offer many opportunities for creatives?

Minnesota does offer more funding of the arts than any other state in the country, so there is real opportunity for grant money. I received an Artist Initiative grant from the State Arts Board this year and it changed everything! However, the funding is competitive and not all kinds of making fit neatly into the requirements for those opportunities. If your way of working is not compatible with the programs on offer, forge ahead. Perhaps what excites me most about the Twin Cities art scene right now is all of the new artist-run spaces and pop-up galleries. Where there is a will there is a way, yeah?