This morning an unlikely pairing took place; the world of hockey paid a visit on the world of fine art.
As you may know, the NHL draft is taking place tonight and tomorrow in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center. Today, the Walker Art Center served as host for many of the young draft prospects attending pre-draft orientations and media events.
I asked the Walker Art Center’s Scott Stulen why the art museum was playing host – he explained it’s simply a popular rental venue. But Stulen says the event is fascinating:
In some ways it’s a graduation for them, from being an amateur to a professional. All of the professional leagues have preparatory sessions like the one hosted at the Walker this morning. The session dealt with the world the players are about to enter, how to communicate with press and the fans, how craft an image and how to handle social media (be careful who you friend). The league has an interest, as do the players, in presenting a professional product to the public and this is one mechanism to assist. They often have past players speak to talk about financial planning, dealing with the pressures of high expectations and other unique challenges.
Stulen says, in witnessing the event, he wondered if there shouldn’t be an equivalent event in the art world.
I was interested in how the art world prepares young artists for their professional career, and often the lack of “real’ world orientation when they leave school. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned from these sports programs, or as in the case of Lebron James, a lesson to be learned as how not to present yourself publicly.
Interesting thought – a professional league training for arts grads?