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I am so excited to share that the Art Linx conference we hosted in San Francisco this past Saturday, July 14th, was an amazing success.  I have been receiving wonderful feedback from attendees, and I want to thank everyone that made it possible. We had 21 art professionals in attendance from all sorts of specialties, from installation and registration to art appraisal and design.  We also had a wide range of types of roles including freelancers, part-time for-profit employees, and full-time museum employees. This diversity allowed for a cross-section of perspectives and personalities to meet, and engage with each other and the different topics we presented.

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First off, we had a wonderful talk given by Abby Shaw from Hollinger Metal Edge.  She showed us lots of different options for storage and discussed different issues like the value of seeing but not touching works.  She also explained the chemical content of paper, and how archival some storage containers can be. As an added bonus, she generously gave away her samples making our swag table one of the best I have ever seen.  I think most attendees were able to go home with some fantastic boxes, and archival storage products.

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Up next, Dan Rael and Howard Burrows presented their new and truly innovative app for collections management, CatalogIt.  The only thing that stopped that lively discussion during the Q&A was the lunch bell. Their new app allows for a network of information to be created and connected with all types of objects in whatever size collection you have.  Also, their approach and methodology are focused on the user first and easy to navigate. I hope there will be a lot of buzz starting about CatalogIt from their amazing talk.

Our networking lunch moved to the rooftop patio of the Intersection for the Arts space, and everyone mixed and mingled while getting some fresh air.  The space was perfect for the Art Linx group and was a nice break to the day. After moving back inside we had an introduction session to help everyone connect, and I learned a lot about what people were looking for. People were open and frank about their hopes and concerns about the future of being an arts professional in the Bay Area, and what they wanted to learn from the conference.

Our afternoon round-table sessions were wonderful as well.  Linda Gottfried, a representative from our sponsor, Aurora Storage Products, hosted a lively discussion about storage and cabinet design.  Joy Tahan Ruddell of JTR Collections Management managed a discussion about contract registration and client management, and Colleen Fischer, an experienced non-profit development manager with the Parkinson’s Foundation worked with our attendees on elevator pitches.  Lastly, I managed a table to discuss project management and exhibition planning where we talked a lot about finding the right planning process and managing different communication styles.

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The event was full of great discussions, and I hope everyone who came feels like they left with something new.  Everyone really embraced the networking spirit and it was wonderful to see people making an effort to get to know each other.  This truly encapsulated the mission and vision of Art Pro Net, and my goal to connect people in the art professionals community.  It is my hope that through sharing information we will strengthen and broaden to market for everyone. A big thank you again to Linda Gottfried and Aurora Storage Products for their help in making this happen, Abby Shaw and Hollinger Metal Edge for coming all the way from Philly, Dan Rael and Howard Burrows for their talk, and Joy Tahan Ruddell for being a big support.  A special thank you too to Tracy Jones and Jenny Heffernon for being our dynamic duo of volunteers on the day of the event, and of course to my wife Colleen Fischer who always makes me look good with her event managing master skills.

I hope everyone who missed the event will consider being a part of the next one.  I am already working on a plan and will put the word out as soon as we have a date.  Thanks to everyone who spreads the word about Art Pro Net!

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