Book Event Next Week at CBPA

In contemporary society, art has become a commodity, even in less capitalistic countries than the United States. Many art school graduates are convinced that they can only make a living from their work by attaining gallery representation. For this and other reasons, is more important than ever to show the reality of how a professional, contemporary artist sustains a creative practice over time.


The forty essays collected in Living and Sustaining a Creative Life are written in the artists’ own voices and take the form of narratives, statements, and interviews. Each story is different and unique, but the common thread is an ongoing commitment to creativity, inside and outside the studio.

Sharon Louden, editor of Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, will be visiting Columbia next week to moderate a panel discussion and professional practice lecture, featuring panelists and essay contributors Melissa Potter (Associate Professor, Director of the Book + Paper MFA program at Columbia) and internationally-acclaimed glass artist Beth Lipman. “In my essay featured in the book, I review my start in New York, how I worked at building my career in the former Yugoslavia, and the importance of finding the right mentors and networks at my job,” says Potter. “I am honored to be included in this book alongside some extremely accomplished people, like Kate Shepherd, Carson Fox, and Beth Lipman. One of my takeaways from the project is that artists who have solid careers are extremely disciplined, and many seem to be early risers!”

This timely panel discussion will touch on many topics of concern to InterArts MFA students as they contemplate completion of the program and their future as working professional artists.

For more information on the event, email Melissa Potter.