Sharon Louden, a New York-based painter and animator, joins Klein Artist Works to talk about the power of being a cultural producer, the ways artists can support each other, and her wildly successful new book, “Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists.”

“I think the artists who want something else besides staying at home, or painting by an easel, or whatever it is, they’re going to have to do something themselves to make that happen. I think that the artists who are doing more outside their initial practices are the one’s who are getting traction, who are making more inroads… I don’t see it as a division of a career either. Just because I’m doing all these different things—I’m curating, I’m doing a book, I teach—doesn’t mean I have all these careers. I have one career. I don’t see it as any different.”

Sharon Louden is a widely exhibited artist, an academic, and the editor of the book “Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists.” Louden was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Olney, Maryland, near Washington D.C. She attended the School of the Art Institute for a BFA (1988) and Yale University, School of Art for an MFA (1991). Louden has participated in numerous group exhibitions and in solo exhibitions at such venues as Dee/Glasoe Gallery, New York City; Oliver Kamm/5BE Gallery, New York City; Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; Numark Gallery, Washington D.C.; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; Gallery Joe, Philadelphia; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; and Burnet Art Gallery, Minneapolis. She is represented by Beta Pictoris Gallery in Birmingham, AL; Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York City; and Patrick Heide Contemporary Art in London. Her work is in permanent collections such as that of the Neuberger Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Gallery of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, AT&T, Microsoft, and Yahoo! Corporate Headquarters.

Louden has also taught for over 20 years, including at the Kansas City Art Institute, the Massachusetts College of Art, the Maryland Institute College of Art, the University of North Texas, Vanderbilt University, and the Tyler School of Art. She is currently a Visiting Artist at the New York Academy of Art, where she teaches and organizes the Professional Practice Lecture Series. Louden sits on the Board of Seed Space and the Advisory Committee for the Cannonball Visiting Residency Program, and she is a founding member of the Arts Advisory Council for the New York Academy of Art. “Living and Sustaining a Creative Life” (2013) is published by Intellect Books and distributed by the University of Chicago Press. It is #1 on Amazon.com’s Bestseller List of Business Art References and is on Hyperallergic’s List of Top Art Books of 2013. As of April 2014, the book is already in its fourth printing and Louden is on a national, 50+ stop book tour. Louden lives in Brooklyn with her husband, jazz musician and composer Vinson Valega.

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