OBSIDIAN ARTS, INC.

Artist Development ProGRAM


Track One: Fine Arts Development and Exhibition 

​This new program is called the Black Artist Exhibition Development Program and will train and support a minimum of ten artists to develop a successful art practice. Though an artist learning group and one on one fine arts business consulting and coaching. Each artist will:

  • Develop a compelling artist statement that will effectively communicate to the art public who they are as an artist.
  • Learn new skills to build relationships in the art marketplace and also increase their circle of influence to support future artistic endeavors.
  • Create a new project that supports and re-enforces their artist statement.
  • Learn new skills to get art projects funded.
  • Have a 5 minute conversation prepared that describes their art and anticipates questions of viewers, collectors, gallerists and buyers.
  • Workshop how to best prepare their work for showing in an exhibition.
  • Learn new skills to build relationships a market and customer’s loyalty and a pricing strategy.
  • Build networks to support future business endeavors
  • Crete professional marketing materials to present your work and credentials
  • Have a 90 second elevator speech to describe their art.​



The John Biggers Seed Project


A Growth project, the John Biggers Seed Project (Seed) is a public art and collaborative design effort that engages renowned African American artists in mentoring emerging artists in placemaking by educating them about African American art and community history, providing career development and transferable skills, and creating a sense of place that speaks to the culture of North Minneapolis.


Seed is inspired by the Celebration of Life mural, an acclaimed public artwork led by John Biggers, a major African American artist of the twentieth century, which began the careers of young artists and organizations (including Obsidian Arts and Juxtaposition Arts), planting artistic “seeds” on the North Side.


Seed has four goals:

  • Teach artists transferable skills to make them more employable;
  • Engage artists across generations in a collaborative effort to create a vibrant place that speaks to the culture of the North Side;
  • Build an attractive connection between the North Side and downtown that improves walk-ability and make the area more attractive to developers;
  • Build the capacity of the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, Obsidian Arts and UROC to support public artists.


Seed is funded by the City of Minneapolis Art in Public Places Program, the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Program, the McKnight Foundation Regions and Communities Program, and the Pohlad Family Foundation.



Obsidian Arts seeks to increase the number of black artists working in Minnesota.  We do this by providing services that range from a simple consultation, to artist referrals, to formal artist development programs.


If you are an artist in need of support for you group as a business and creator please contact us.​​

Growing Artists