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.
Places to Find Jobs and Internships
Check out these premier resources for finding fine arts related career opportunities.
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.
Connecting the professional art world, Art Frankly allows you to search for art jobs, find art spaces, opportunities and more.
New York Foundation for the Arts is a nonprofit service organization that provides the concrete resources that working artists need to thrive.
Words of Mouth
Words of Mouth is a weekly newsletter,sharing opportunities for professional and creative development across design, the arts, tech, nonprofits, architecture, and urbanism.
Supported by Mass Cultural Council, HireCulture is a stellar resource for finding creative employment opportunities in the Massachusetts area.
Places to Find Artists, Galleries, and Organizations
Art sales have evolved. Use these resources to explore galleries, art-related organizations, and discover RISD alumni artists.
The RISD Network is a multifaceted platform that helps foster connections between RISD students and thousands of alumni around the world, facilitating career-related conversations between RISD students and alumni. It offers an opportunity to seek knowledge and advice, explore new career paths and build a professional network.
RISD's exclusive virtual marketplace showcasing the online stores of various alumni.
Artguide is an exclusive feature of ArtForum, allowing you to search current events and exhibitions across the world at galleries, art fairs, and more.
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.
Art Centers and Non-Profits
This searchable online guide provides links to art centers throughout the United States.
Places to Find Artist Calls and Opportunities
Artists often seek out opportunities to show their work or receive funding by applying to structured artist calls from various art organizations.
This resource provides up to date listings on diverse artist opportunities with upcoming deadlines.
This popular art blog and online magazine features a section with updates on artist opportunities of note.
Call for Entry
This platform allows artists to search and apply for multiple calls for entry from galleries, commissioning parties, and residencies.
Places to Find Studio Spaces
Check out these resources for finding studio spaces and finding places to sell your work.
Artspace is the leading non-profit developer of live/work artist housing, artist studios, arts centers, and more.
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.
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.
COVID Relief Resources For Artists
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of our daily lives, including careers. However, the creative community has come together in incredible ways to collect and share resources that can help artists and designers navigate these challenging times.
COVID Relief Resources
The Career Center has compiled this list of resources below from noteworthy organizations that are supporting artists and designers during the pandemic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.