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Career and Education Opportunities for Fine Artists in Burlington, Vermont

If you want to be a fine artist, the Burlington, Vermont area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 160 people work as fine artists in Vermont. This is expected to grow by 13% to about 180 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for fine artists are expected to grow by about 9.0%. 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 $39,885 per year in Vermont, and an average of $22 per hour or $46,166 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: portrait painter, exhibit artist, and sketch artist.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Burlington area, including six within twenty-five miles of Burlington where you can get a degree to start your career as a fine artist. Given that the most common education level for fine artists is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be 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 Burlington 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.
  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fine Artist Training

Johnson State College - Johnson, VT

Johnson State College, 337 College Hill, Johnson, VT 05656-9464. Johnson State College is a small college located in Johnson, Vermont. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,850 students and an admission rate of 82%. Johnson State College has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated eight and two students respectively in 2008.

University of Vermont - Burlington, VT

University of Vermont, 85 S Prospect St, Burlington, VT 05405-0160. University of Vermont is a large university located in Burlington, Vermont. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,800 students and an admission rate of 65%. University of Vermont has a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated seven students in 2008.

Burlington College - Burlington, VT

Burlington College, 95 North Ave, Burlington, VT 05401. Burlington College is a small college located in Burlington, Vermont. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 156 students and an admission rate of 54%. Burlington College has a bachelor's degree program in Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties which graduated two students in 2008.

Community College of Vermont - Waterbury, VT

Community College of Vermont, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05676-0120. Community College of Vermont is a medium sized college located in Waterbury, Vermont. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,550 students. Community College of Vermont has an associate's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated one student in 2008.

Saint Michaels College - Colchester, VT

Saint Michaels College, One Winooski Park, Colchester, VT 05439. Saint Michaels College is a small college located in Colchester, Vermont. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,428 students and an admission rate of 69%. Saint Michaels College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated two students in 2008.

SUNY College at Plattsburgh - Plattsburgh, NY

SUNY College at Plattsburgh, 101 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2681. SUNY College at Plattsburgh is a medium sized college located in Plattsburgh, New York. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,358 students and an admission rate of 49%. SUNY College at Plattsburgh has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated forty-six 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: Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont
Burlington, Vermont photo by Avala

Burlington is situated in Chittenden County, Vermont. It has a population of over 38,897. The cost of living index in Burlington, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Burlington cost $152,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, five new homes were constructed in Burlington, down from eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Burlington are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 42.0% of Burlington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Burlington is 5.2%, which is less than Vermont's average of 5.9%. About 20.0% of Burlington's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Burlington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Saint Mark Church, Champlain Valley Baptist Church and Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Burlington. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Burlington is home to the South Breakwater Light and the Vermont State Craft Center Shelburne Farms as well as Ethan Allen Park and Head of Church Street Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Church Street Marketplace Shopping Center, North Avenue Shopping Center and Burlington Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Burlington can choose from Holiday Inn, Radisson Hotel Burlington and Champlain Inn for temporary stays in the area.