Developing Your Elevator Speech

Thursday, August 20, 7-8PM
Presenters: Eric Celarier and Joan R. Weber
This program is now available as a YouTube Video (below).

We are rarely given an unlimited time to expand on what we do and why we do it. Talking about art is important. Talking effectively within a socially accepted time frame is even more important. Very few us will be presented with unlimited attention that will allow us to frame what we do. Most say more than 30 seconds to place your work into context is about all you are ever going to get in most situations. Let’s face it, if you cannot distill your practice down to a couple of sentences, your work may have very little chance of resonating. No one can tell you what your work means, but, but without putting it into short statement, designed to entice further exploration, we take a real chance of not making the connections or building the audience that our work might deserve. This workshop will enable participants to hone their message into digestible descriptions that are versatile enough to adapt to different contexts, while focusing attention on artists’ practices in ways that respect the patience of listeners. 

Our panelists are uniquely qualified to address these issues. Eric Celarier has taught, written, exhibited, and made art at many levels, while Joan R. Weber, as a prominent business person and collector, has tapped into the inner workings of the DC art scene. WSG knows that emerging can be difficult for newer artists and that successful strategies for talking about artwork is fundamental to succeeding. Join us for an online workshop that is sure to help newcomers organize their thoughts so that their work can find its audience. 


Eric Celarier was born, lives, and works in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland in 1991 and his Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati in 1997. 

His work has developed the theme of biological evolution associated with human impact. Exploiting garbage as a metaphor, Celarier engineers sculptures and prints from everyday caste-offs, calling attention to earth’s history of radical, biological change, change that seems to coincide with dramatic environmental shifts. As an artist, educator, reviewer, and curator, much of his work can be seen as designing opportunities that allow audiences to construct personally meaningful understandings of the world we live in. 

His most immediate activities include: Biosphere, a solo show in NoMa Lobby, and Wasteland, a solo show at Honfleur in 2019, Wasteland, a solo show in NoMa LobbyAlternative Evolution, a solo show at Artist & Makers, Finder-Maker, a group show at Honfleur Gallery, in 2017, and Trash, a solo show at VisArts in 2016. 

In addition to making artwork, Celarier reviews gallery shows, having recently published in East City Art. He is active in the Washington Sculptors Group, as a member of its board, and currently helps administrate the DCAC’s Sparkplug fellowship.”


Joan R. Weber is on the Board of the Washington Sculptors Group (WSG) since 2017 and is Liaison to the WSG Advisory Board. She was previously on the WSG Board from approximately 2000 to 2008 as the only non-sculptor on the Board.  Ms. Weber is an active art collector and avid supporter of Washington area art production and arts organizations.  As a collector, she is a longtime member of ArtTable, a national organization of women professionally in the visual arts and, independently, has curated two large exhibitions in Baltimore at Gallery Four and School 33.  

A business person, Ms. Weber is a partner with a commercial real estate development company since 2005, and brings strong business management and analytic experience to the company. For 23 years prior to that, Ms. Weber was a Senior Vice President of Sales for one of the largest commercial printing companies in the Washington metro area.  Previously, Ms. Weber co-founded a company which exported printing and paper converting machinery from Germany, England and the U.S. to Africa, South America and the Far East.  In addition, Ms. Weber, having completed her Master’s degree work and most of her Ph.D. work in Sociology and Medical Sociology, taught for eleven years at the university level – at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.