Meet the Curators: Pro Arts Brings Aspiring Artists Behind the Scenes

Aspiring artists want to know: What do curators look for when selecting artists? How does a visual artist get their foot in the door when approaching galleries? How can an artist present work that stands out in a competitive market?

As a way to answer some of these questions, Pro Arts hosts an annual Meet the Curator event where visual artists gain valuable feedback on their portfolios with twenty minute one-on-one review sessions from prominent gallerists and curators. And like many amazing Pro Arts events, this one sold out almost immediately.

We were lucky enough, however, to get some thoughts and advice from two of the invited curators – Anne TraubenCurator/Exhibitions Director at Drawing Rooms and Midori YoshimotoAssociate Professor of Art History & Gallery Director at New Jersey City University. Here’s what they had to say:

Anne Trauben from Drawing Rooms:
“I’m interested in contemporary painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography and collage. I enjoy developing a concept for a show, and then realizing it. I enjoy working with artists, being a leader, and making a contribution to the arts community.

I have worked with many artists to help push them to make work for an exhibit they didn’t think they were capable of making. Artists and curators can have a great working relationship.

My advice to aspiring artists – Develop relationships with other artists to create a supportive community. Keep making work. Keep looking at work. Be generous to other artists.”


Midori Yoshimoto from New Jersey City University

“I’m excited by artworks that engage with an average viewer through an intriguing subject matter or arresting style. Artworks need to have a certain level of power to attract the viewer.

Selling work, and determining pricing, depends on the history of sales of that artist. If an artist has no sales history, s/he has to come up with an adequate price considering the expenses, the time spent, etc.

My advice to aspiring artists – Don’t just stay in your studio. Go out and network with other artists and curators. The more exhibitions you get in a year, the more opportunities will come the following year. Also be sure to visit many museums and galleries and see what’s out there.”

For more information on Pro Arts, visit their website.

Cover photo of Anonda Bell reviewing Michael Endy’s portfolio provided by Kay Kenny. Photo of Anne Trauben provided by the artists. Photo of Midori Yoshimoto taken from the Ramapo College website.

Posted by

Mel Kozakiewicz a professor, editor, writer, and mother of two.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s