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Career and Education Opportunities for Fine Artists in Montgomery, Alabama

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for fine artists in the Montgomery, Alabama area. There are currently 430 working fine artists in Alabama; this should grow by 10% to 470 working fine artists in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for fine artists, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.0% over the next eight years. Fine artists generally create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.

The average wage in the general category of Art and Design jobs is $19 per hour or $38,975 per year in Alabama, and an average of $22 per hour or $46,166 per year nationwide. Fine artists work in a variety of jobs, including: arts instructor, technical illustrator, and fiber artist.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Montgomery where you can study to be a fine artist, among twelve schools of higher education total in the Montgomery area. Given that the most common education level for fine artists is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a fine artist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fine Artist

Fine Artist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, fine artists create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.

Fine artists talk with clients and other interested parties regarding the nature and content of artwork to be produced. They also study different techniques to learn how to apply them to artistic endeavors. Equally important, fine artists have to maintain portfolios of artistic work to exhibit styles and abilities. They are often called upon to submit preliminary or finished artwork or project plans to clients for approval, incorporating changes as needed. Finally, fine artists monitor events and other circumstances, research specific subject areas, attend art exhibitions, and read art publications in order to optimize concepts and keep current on art world efforts.

Every day, fine artists are expected to be able to distinguish between colors. They need to be creative and generate new ideas. It is also important that they visualize how things come together and can be organized.

It is important for fine artists to integrate and design visual elements, such as line and perspective, so as to produce desired effects such as the illustration of concepts or moods. They are often called upon to use materials such as pens and ink or computer software to generate artwork. They also cut and fasten individual or mixed raw and manufactured materials and products to fashion works of art. They are sometimes expected to develop finished art work as decoration, or to elucidate or substitute for spoken or written messages. Somewhat less frequently, fine artists are also expected to develop sketches or likenesses of posed subjects or photographs, using any combination of freehand drawing, mechanical assembly kits, and computer imaging.

Fine artists sometimes are asked to furnish entertainment at special events by performing efforts such as drawing cartoons. They also have to be able to model substances such as clay or wax, using fingers and small hand tools to fashion objects and shade and fill in sketch outlines and backgrounds, using a variety of media such as water colors and transparent washes, labeling designated colors when needed. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish entertainment at special events by performing efforts such as drawing cartoons.

Like many other jobs, fine artists must be thorough and dependable and be able to work independently and make decisions on their own.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Montgomery include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • Fashion Designer. Design clothing and accessories. Create original garments or design garments that follow well established fashion trends. May develop the line of color and kinds of materials.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fine Artist Training

Huntingdon College - Montgomery, AL

Huntingdon College, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106-2148. Huntingdon College is a small college located in Montgomery, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,076 students and an admission rate of 65%. Huntingdon College has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree.
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Alabama State University - Montgomery, AL

Alabama State University, 915 S Jackson Street, Montgomery, AL 36101-0271. Alabama State University is a medium sized university located in Montgomery, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,695 students and an admission rate of 42%. Alabama State University has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated eight students in 2008.

Faulkner University - Montgomery, AL

Faulkner University, 5345 Atlanta Hwy, Montgomery, AL 36109-3378. Faulkner University is a small university located in Montgomery, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,992 students and an admission rate of 25%. Faulkner University has a bachelor's degree program in Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

Auburn University-Montgomery - Montgomery, AL

Auburn University-Montgomery, 7440 East Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117-3596. Auburn University-Montgomery is a medium sized university located in Montgomery, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,248 students and an admission rate of 91%. Auburn University-Montgomery has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certification of Medical Illustrators: The Board of Certification of Medical Illustrators administers a certification program for illustrators who seek a recognizable means of credentialing.

For more information, see the Association of Medical Illustrators website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama photo by Spyder Monkey

Montgomery is situated in Montgomery County, Alabama. It has a population of over 202,696, which has grown by 0.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Montgomery, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Montgomery are valued at $129,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, two hundred seventy-eight new homes were built in Montgomery, down from six hundred nineteen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Montgomery are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is public administration, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 29.4% of Montgomery residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Montgomery is 10.1%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Montgomery residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.6%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Big Roxanna Church, William African Methodist Episcopal Zion Chapel and Whitfield Memorial United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Montgomery. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Churches of Christ.

Montgomery is home to the Montgomery Public Library and the Booker T Washington Community Center as well as Old Selma Road Park and Montgomery East Exchange Park. Shopping centers in the area include Montgomery East Plaza Shopping Center, Montgomery Mall Shopping Center and Norman Bridge South Shopping Center. Visitors to Montgomery can choose from Relax Inn, Islander and Towne Place Suites by Marriott for temporary stays in the area.