Now more than ever, fine artists have many exciting career options to explore.

A fine artist practice has evolved to include a wide array of promising career options. RISD students and graduates are well-equipped to apply their creative skills to exhibition opportunities, online marketplaces, art administration, non-profits, the commercial art world, or even science and healthcare. Explore this page to get a sampling of some of the career options fine artists might pursue, as well as key resources to connect with the art world.

Common Paths for Fine Artists

The skills gained through a fine arts education can be applied across related disciplines and professions. Below is an abbreviated list of directly related career opportunities available to fine arts majors.

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Art Administration

Arts organizations,­ museums, galleries, and residencies regularly employ people with fine arts degrees in areas of administration, management, and programming. Knowledge of art history and contemporary art, as well as strong organizational management capabilities are helpful in these types of roles.

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Commissions

Artists can make a living by creating work on commission, often being hired to create a specific piece for individuals, businesses, government or public entities. Knowledge of how to market and present your work to artists and non artists can be a key skill for this type of career path.

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Commercial Art

Commercial art can be defined as art that is created for commercial or design-related purposes. Commercial art can take many forms and may include illustrations, fashion, set design, decorative objects, visual merchandising, and much more. Work or internship experiences related to the creative industry a student is interested in are recommened for exploring commercial markets.

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Curation

A curator oversees and manages a collection, conducts research, makes recommendations for acquisitions, selects artwork for exhibition, and often initiates publication of supportive materials. A master’s or PhD is preferred for these roles, but smaller institutions may only require a bachelor's degree.

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Gallery Technician

The role involves preparing, installing, restoring, and/or maintaining art of various media. Other similar titles may be art handler, registrar, conservator, preparator, or archivist. These positions usually require a combination of experience handling artwork and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts or museum studies coursework.

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Teaching

Art teachers work in public or private schools, higher-ed, or even service organizations. Teaching on the college level usually requires an MFA, but sometimes artist educators are hired based on their artistic merit. Experience working as a Teaching Assistant or Instructor during undergrad or graduate study is often helpful in seeking teaching positions.

artist working in clinical environment
Art Therapy

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) defines art therapy as a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well­ being of individuals of all ages. Often, practicing art therapy requires graduate level education and passing certification tests required by state or other local government entities.

Places to Find Opportunities

Check out these premier resources for finding fine arts related career opportunities.

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ArtWorks - Fine Art and Design Opportunities

ArtWorks is an exclusive internships and jobs board for RISD students and alumni. Users can discover and apply to companies and organizations actively seeking RISD talent.

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Art Frankly

Connecting the professional art world, Art Frankly allows you to search for art jobs, find art spaces, opportunities and more.

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NYFA

New York Foundation for the Arts is a nonprofit service organization that provides the concrete resources that working artists need to thrive.

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Jobs.art

As a new international listings website, Jobs.art focuses solely on art-related positions anywhere in the world.

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Places to Find Studio Spaces

Check out these resources for finding studio spaces and finding places to sell your work.

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Artspace

Artspace is the leading non-profit developer of live/work artist housing, artist studios, arts centers, and more.

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Fractured Atlas Space Finder

Fractured Atlas is increasing visibility of rental options, helping artists find the space they need, and helping venues promote and rent their spaces.

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The Listings Project

Founded by RISD alum Stephanie Diamond, The Listings Project is a free weekly email of real estate and opportunities listings serving artists, creative communities, and beyond.

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Places to Find Galleries and Markets

Art sales have evolved. Artists can now sell through traditional marketplaces such as galleries, or market their work online.

Wearable Art by Susan Freda
RISD Made

RISD's exclusive virtual marketplace showcasing the online stores of various alumni.

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ArtForum Artguide

Artguide is an exclusive feature of ArtForum, allowing you to search current events and exhibitions across the world at galleries, art fairs, and more.

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New Art Dealers Alliance

The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) is the definitive non-profit arts organization dedicated to the cultivation, support, and advancement of new voices in the art world.

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