Silicon Valley Open Studios

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SVOS University

If you are new to Silicon Valley Open Studios and do nothing else, attending SVOS University is the most important thing you can do to help ensure your success during this event. Silicon Valley Open Studios is pleased to announce an expanded schedule of exciting seminars to help you build your art career.

Presented by veteran artists

SVOS University is a series of seminars to help you get the most out of your participation in Silicon Valley Open Studios. This is presented by a group of veteran artists and marketing professionals who have developed successful techniques for promoting and selling their art.

If you are participating in SVOS for the first time, or if you'd like to learn more about how other artists promote themselves, SVOS University is an excellent place to learn how to optimize your open studio experience.

All of these session are free to artists who are registered for SVOS 2017. There is a $20 cover charge at the door for non-participating artists.

Coming Sessions


How Artists Use Social Media - Part 1

Part 1 - Intro to Social Media for Artists, Facebook, Your Online Gallery, Pinterest

An interactive two-part seminar showing the different types of Social Media available today and Artist Specific ways to use them.

Time & Location

Time: Wednesday, February 8, 2017 from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm

Location: Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA, Get a map here

But don't forget. To secure your spot you must RSVP here

Topics for this session:

Stephanie Maclean will discuss ways to get your artwork and message out and the pros and cons of each tool.
Local Artists will Holly Van Hart will demonstrate and talk about her successful use of these tools throughout the session giving great perspective on what is possible with Social Media.

Note - we will demonstrate successful strategies and completed pages, blogs and websites during this seminar. We will not discuss technical aspects of building these but can give pointers on acquiring/hiring them for your art business.


How Artists Use Social Media - Part 2

Part 2 - Blogging, E-mail, Twitter and other marketing strategies, E-Commerce, SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Time & Location

Time: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm

Location: Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA, Get a map here

But don't forget. To secure your spot you must RSVP here

Topics for this session:

Stephanie Maclean and Amanda Krauss with present this session and disscuss how you can more effectively use Social Media including actual examples of how artists are using these tools to promote their businesses.

  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • You Tube
  • Other Social Media Tools

Topic: Public Relations and Why It's Important to You

Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm

Location: Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA, Get a map here

Program Description:

Public Relations is an art unto itself. If you do it right, you can reap huge benefits. By getting to know the reporters who cover the Bay Area art scene and knowing how to approach them with information they need to do their job, you can catapult yourself into public awareness.

Publicity and the media - What are they looking for and how to approach them

  • The SVOS publicity program - What SVOS is doing to promote the event
  • Photographs - What the media needs & why professional photos are the standard
  • Media interviews - How to prepare for and talk to the media
  • HARO - Help a reporter out and why this is important to you
  • News Releases - How to write a powerful press release

But don't forget. To secure your spot you must RSVP here


Topic: Pricing Your Artwork

Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm

Location: Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA, Get a map here

Program Description:

Not only is painting an art, but pricing is an art. Getting the right price for your art is a big key to sales. So be sure to attend this session to hear one of the best experts in pricing and selling artwork and get great guidance on how to price your work.

Topics include:

  • Select your best work
  • Price your work to sell - Developing a pricing strategy
  • Creatively stage and display your work
  • Negotiating
  • Pricing and frames
  • Handling Price Increases

Speaker Bio

Melinda Cootsona attended the California College of the Arts in Oakland where she received her BFA in Interior Architectural Design. She is a recognized authority in staging a successful Open Studio. Over the last 11 years, she has hosted over 15 Open Studios, routinely grossing as much as $20,000.

Melinda has worked full-time in both the Interior and Graphic Design fields for over tweleve years, and taught design for two years at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Melinda has been a painter for over 20 years, and has taught oil painting classes and workshops for twelve years.

"My goal is to bring out the 'artist/creator' in every student; to guide each person through the process of painting to discover both the joy of creativity and his/her individual voice."

But don't forget. To secure your spot you must RSVP here


Topic: Preparing Your Studio for SVOS

Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - and again - Wednesday April 12, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm

Location: Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA, Get a map here

Program Description:

  • How should you prepare your studio?
  • How much food, snacks and drinks should you put out? And what kind?
  • What kind of demonstrations should you do?
  • How to deal with visitors? How to make them feel comfortable and get them to sign your guest book?

These sessions include a lively, interactive panel discussion with veteran SVOS artists. These successful open studios artists will share the tips and ideas that they have found over the years.

These two identical sessions, on March 29th and April 12th, are the final sessions in SVOS University, but they cover some of the most important topics. If this is your first or second year, then attending one of these sessions is one of the best ways to learn how to arrange your art and your studio and prepare for the weekend.

But don't forget. To secure your spot you must RSVP here