No art internship this summer? No panic! Learn 3 even better options …

So you haven’t landed an art internship yet? Panicking?

Stop right there….

Art Radar Institute tutor Kate Nicholson interviews an artist at ARCO Madrid.

Former Art Radar Institute tutor Kate Nicholson interviews an artist at ARCO Madrid.

If you are considering a career in the art market or the art world, you already know that an internship is a super smart thing to do. But if you haven’t landed that all important internship yet we have some suggestions we think employers will like just as much or even more.


But huh? Internships are the gold standard, no?

Yes, it is true what everyone is telling you:

  • internships help you stand out from the crowd in the highly competitive world of art jobs
  • internships are a low risk way to sample a variety of art jobs to help you find out which corner of the art world will suit your skills best
  • internships often lead directly to permanent jobs later
  • plus all the other reasons (networking, soft skills like team-working and time management)


Everyone is right.

If you are serious about a career in the art world it is true that an internship is going to be a breakthrough step for your career.

Are you beating yourself up right now? Are you asking yourself. Yikes. What happened? How did I get to this point in the year with nothing lined up for the vacation?

Stop that too.


Honestly ….how you got here isn’t that important. What you need now is an actionable plan to fix the problem …..FAST. Like yesterday.

So what can you do now? Here is the low down….

For high status museum or formal gallery internships, yes indeed it is too late.

What about informal internships? Networking your way into an informal internship requires relationship-building and that can take many months. Not realistic.

Feeling resigned to a vacation full of fun, flights and festivals instead? Not so fast.


Here are 3 alternatives to internships which you may not have considered. Each of these ideas can massively accelerate your chance of landing a dream job in the art world.


1. Learn art journalism and get published this summer

In every corner of the art world employers from dealers to auctioneers to archives are seeking writers with proven experience in writing and publishing stories about art, artists and art events. We should know. Running an art magazine we are often approached by our art professional readers asking us for help with finding writers.

So we developed a course to help aspiring art writers meet the needs of art employers and get published.

This part-time 12 week course, which is designed to mimic the real life working experience of an art writer on a live magazine, will take you through writing and editing process with an experienced editor who will provide personal one-on-one support via Skype and email. You can do it from anywhere part-time even on your travels. You can also do the course on a fast track basis if you prefer.

Think …by the end of this summer you will be a published writer with an insider’s experience of working on an art magazine. You can show future employers that you can work in a team and meet deadlines.

Click to find out more about Art Radar’s flagship course and subscribe for more information.


2. Become an expert in a niche area

Recently I met a dealer who told me that she received a valuable career tip from an art world contact when she was young. He told her to develop expertise in a niche in an up-and-coming area of the art world. In those days interest in contemporary Asian art was burgeoning – so she went to China, studied the developing art scene and created a network of connections. It  was easy to land a job, because there were few other people with the skills and knowledge she had developed.

You can do something similar.

If you plan to travel somewhere obscure and remote outside big cities this summer, why not explore the local art scene and develop a niche expertise at the same time. Boost your art career and travel all in one.

Start with finding a local curator and through them learn about the history, techniques  of local art practices and meet undiscovered, undersung artists. Print-making in Goa, eco art in Taiwan, art in Myanmar or Mongolia. Africa is a wide open field. So much remains undocumented and unknown.

While you are away write up some posts for magazines. If you aren’t confident about writing you can create picture reports. (Or think about doing Art Radar’s flagship Certificate Course in Art Journalism and Writing).

But how do you know which areas are up-and-coming? If you are interested in working in the art market look at the catalogues of the big auction houses and check out how their catalogues are changing. Are they opening offices in new countries? Increasing the size of sales of certain types of art? Focus on those.

And any art employer will be impressed with your initiative, networking abilities and research skills. But above all they will be impressed with your special expertise… and that is something a formal art internship can’t give you.


3. Get hired for an art fair

If you haven’t got an art internship for the vacation, think about applying to help at an art fair. Often you pack in as much learning in the 4 days of a fair as a 4-week internship in a gallery where you are sitting around a lot when you are not on a coffee run.

The key benefit of working in art fairs is that you get valuable exposure to art buyers and collectors, which just doesn’t happen in a formal internship at a gallery or auction house.

Art fairs need a lot of temporary staff – approximately 70 – and start recruiting 2-3 months before the fair dates. Most art fairs don’t run in July or August, but you can apply now and fit in fairs in September or around your study and other commitments in the autumn for instance.

Where can you find a list of art fairs?

Take a look at Art Radar’s page of art events.


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So that is it – our three ideas which are just as good as formal internships. So no more despair and sighs – you can still do something spectacular for your career in your vacation. And the good news is that with each of these activities you can still do the festivals and exotic travelling too.

If you want to get published this summer, CLICK HERE for more about Art Radar’s Certificate Course in Art Journalism and Writing .

Being a published art writer allows you unequalled access to people and institutions. Writing about art is a powerful tool for building your art network.











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