The Art Elevator Episode #28: Solving For: The Starving Artist

podcast Aug 04, 2022


Heather Bhandari (she/her) is the Co-Founder of Art World Learning (AWL): a subscription-based, online education platform to help those in the creative sector thrive by making intelligent business and financial decisions. It grew from a business and financial health conference for visual artists, named Art World Conference (AWC), which debuted in NYC in April of 2019, Los Angeles in February of 2020, and online in October of 2020. She and her AWL co-founder, Dexter Wimberly, were listed in the Observer's "Arts Power 50: Changemakers Shaping the Art World in 2019."

Heather is also an independent curator; a co-founder of the project-based curatorial team and podcast, The Remix; a trustee of Art Omi (an international artist residency in Ghent, NY); and an adjunct lecturer at Brown University where she teaches professional practice to visual arts majors. The second edition of her book, ART/WORK, was published by Simon and Schuster in October of 2017. 

From 2000 to 2016 Heather was a director of Mixed Greens, a commercial gallery in Chelsea where she curated well over one hundred exhibitions while managing a roster of nearly two-dozen emerging to mid-career artists. Most recently, she was the Director of Exhibitions at Smack Mellon, a nonprofit in Brooklyn. Heather received a BA from Brown University and an MFA from Pennsylvania State University where she recently received  their College of Arts and Architecture Distinguished Alumni Award. Her career began at contemporary galleries Sonnabend and Lehmann Maupin, both in New York City. Here are some of the key points from this interview:

  • The reality for most artists is they need to run a business as well as create masterpieces, and often incredible artists aren’t wired for the former skillset. Heather covers some of the fundamentals an artist needs to have a viable career from a business standpoint
  •  Learn the benefit to society at large from providing this education for artists
  •  While we can question the root problems that have plagued “starving” artists in making a living to survive and thrive, hear what Heather Bhandari and Dexter Wimberly are doing to turn this around and empower artists through Art World Learning


Resources mentioned:

Art World Conference

Art Work Book


Learn More About Heather and Art World Learning:

Art World Learning

Heather Bhandari


Podcast Editing: 

Shameka Jones, media producer, and art professional

You can tag her on:

Instagram: @_Moca_


Email: [email protected]

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