Art Sales Academy

Mastering Face to Face Art Sales

Are you an artist looking to elevate your understanding of face-to-face direct art sales at exhibitions? Join us for an immersive and practical short course designed to equip you with the essential skills and strategies for selling art effectively. The Visual Arts Association (VAA) proudly presents the Art Sales Academy, a four-week programme that will empower you with the knowledge and tactics used by leading galleries and experts in the art sales industry.

As an artist, understanding the art of selling without “selling” is crucial in today’s competitive art market. In this Art Sales Academy the VAA will share the entire selling process, from introductions, creating compelling dialogue, to closing a sale and beyond. In these four weekly sessions, commencing on 30th April at 13:00, you’ll embark on a transformative journey to enhance your sales proficiency and develop lasting relationships with collectors and buyers.

So… why attend?

– Enhance your understanding of the art market and develop impactful sales strategies.
– Equip yourself with the skills to confidently articulate your artistic vision and engage potential buyers.
– Learn from the experiences and tactics used by leading galleries to sell art effectively.
– Elevate your career and establish meaningful, long-term relationships with art collectors and buyers.

Art Sales Academy - Free Introductory Session


Tuesday, April 16th – 1 – 2pm 


Do you ever feel like creating art is the easy part? Would you like to develop more confidence and insights on how to sell art face-to-face? Join us for an introductory taster session of the Art Sales Academy, hosted by Karen Van Hoey Smith and the Visual Artists Association. This session is a sneak peek into the full program, offering early-career artists and gallerists a firsthand experience of the valuable skills and insights the academy has to offer. Whether you’re looking to sell your artwork or seeking effective sales strategies for your gallery, this taster session is tailored for you.


Session 1: The Foundation of Art Sales
– Understanding buyer behavior and motivations in the art market
– Crafting an effective and captivating elevator pitch
– Articulating your artistic vision and speaking confidently about your artwork
-How to make introductions and open conversations.

Session 2: Closing Sales Techniques and Pricing Your Artwork
– Mastering the art of negotiating and closing sales successfully
– Pricing strategies for artwork and communicating value to potential buyers
– Converting art inquiries into loyal clients and collectors

Session 3: Building Long Term Relationships
– Establishing meaningful and lasting relationships with potential buyers and patrons.
– Identifying prospective clients and nurturing client relationships
– Understanding the value of client retention and loyalty in the art market

Session 4: Art Sales Strategies and Beyond
– Unveiling powerful strategies for selling art with impact
– Exploring the transition from casual buyers to dedicated art collectors
– Gaining a greater understanding of the art market and how to navigate it successfully

Common Mistakes and Selling Authentically:
– Identifying and avoiding common pitfalls in the art sales process
– Embracing the art of selling without compromising authenticity
– Learning from the tactics used by leading galleries to enhance your selling approach


Karen van Hoey Smith

Karen van Hoey Smith

Artist Mentor

Karen is an Artist Manager, Fine Art Auctioneer and Consultant Expert with a Degree in Fine Art Evaluation, previously working as a Gallery Manager for Blue Dot Art & Whitewall Galleries – in addition to this was she was also a partner of White Rose Publishing. With a successful history working as an Art Broker, having sold pieces for the likes of Banksy, Karen found that she was representing and helping Artists on a regular basis achieve more sales and reaching their goals. Now she has joined forces with The VAA as our Artists Mentor.

Louise Minnaar

Louise Minnaar

Based in South Africa; Louise followed her passion for art early on, attending Art School for 4 years and going on to achieve a degree in education. Louise brings over 8 years’ experience in the art industry, from art auctions all over the world to working with one of the largest publishers in the UK with Whitewall Galleries. Louise has helped clients from all walks of life get happily involved in collecting artwork, from not only the likes of Picasso and Miro, but also exciting up-and-comers at all stages in their art careers.

Stephanie Dieckvoss

Stephanie Dieckvoss

Stephanie has over 15 years experience of working in commercial art galleries and art fairs, and a wealth of experience in cultural management in the public and private sector. She managed the Anish Kapoor Exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery and raised over £2 million for the expansion of the Serpentine Gallery by organising their charity auction in partnership with Sotheby’s. She was Fair Manager for Frieze Art Fair from its launch until 2006, Co-Director of Art HK: Hong Kong International Art Fair from 2007-2009 and Fair Director of Art 13-Art15 from 2012 – 2014. She now consults independently and writes for the German Financial Newspaper The Handelsblatt as well as the Neue Züricher Zeitung as their London art market correspondent. Stephanie also directed the MA Art Market & Appraisal at Kingston School of Art, London, UK, until 2021.


Dates: April 30th, 7th, 14th, 21st

Times: 13:00-14:00 BST

If you are wishing to attend the sales academy but can’t make these dates, we will be holding another semester later in the year. As places are limited please send an email to express your interest to hello@visual-artists.org and you will added to our waitlist.

For more information about the course, or for any general queries, please get in contact at hello@visual-artists.org, or call us on 0203 904 2600.

How to Book

You can register online to reserve your place today. Applications Close on 30th April 2024. This course is subsided by the VAA.

There is a course fee, as mentioned above, of £165.

Members of the VAA are entitled to an exclusive discount, making the fee just £110. Proof of membership is required. In order to access this discount, please contact us at hello@visual-artists.org.

Art Sales Academy Application Form

(Only needed if you are a member of the VAA and wish to receive your member discount.)
(This will be checked using the above information by a member of our staff. If you would like to become a member, head over to the 'Membership' section of our website, or see the link at the bottom of this page)