How artists really live—Sharon Louden adds Las Vegas to her book tour

Artist Sharon Louden

With a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Yale University, Sharon Louden began her art career with a hefty debt and a desire to know how other artists were making a living. Artist careers and daily lives are rarely discussed, and the whole concept of artists living on mountains of cash and fame (or irresponsibly) is mainly just a perception built from those outside the art world, based on headlines. Artists are often more likely to be juggling a job (or two) along with their art careers.

So more than 20 years later, Louden, a professional artist who teaches at the New York Academy of Art, where she runs a professional practice lecture series, revisited that original question in print. Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists (Intellect Ltd., 2013) is a collection of accounts by women and men, ages 30 to 66 (and at various stages in their careers), describing their lives as artists. In doing so, they debunk the romantic ideas of the artist’s life, highlight different ways artists determine success (with or without fame and/or money) and how they live creative lives. Louden, who approached the artists and edited Creative Life, has said the book provides the information she wishes she'd had early in her career.

Louden, who is on a book tour, will moderate a panel discussion on these themes (through an invite by Las Vegas artist Wendy Kveck), followed by a book signing of Sustaining a Creative Life at Trifecta Gallery April 24, with artists Alisha Kerlin, Anne Hoff, David Ryan and Ash Ferlito.

Living and Sustaining a Creative Life panel discussion and book signing April 24, 7 p.m., free. Trifecta Gallery, 366-7001.

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