As the art world continues to grow in scale and complexity, artists are facing an expanded range of opportunities and choices as to how to conduct their practice in "the real world." Love it or hate it, the economics and structure of the art world directly challenges artists to define positions and carve pathways in relation to it. From tackling issues of gallery representation, to managing collaborative projects, grant-writing, and the practical skills needed in working with curators and larger institutions here and abroad, this team-taught class offers students a rich variety of models for engaging in a professional and pro-active arts practice. By investigating such issues as creative capital, art and commerce, career sustainability, and artist-generated D.I.Y opportunities, this class aims to provide a rigorous and refreshingly frank discussion of the behind-the-scenes highlights and pitfalls of the current art world. At stake is the idea that artists /can/ steer their energies towards making the system work for /them /as much as they must learn how to deftly navigate within it. The course will comprise presentations on professional subjects, talks by guest artists, panel discussions, how-to demos (financial planning, website development, the nuts and bolts of art handling and installation, etc), reading assignments, and site visits to galleries, museums and private collections. Participants will attend presentations, which will be followed by more intimate discussions in break out groups. Class members will be required to complete a professional application for residency or grants, as well as make a presentation to a panel of dealers, curators and arts professionals.