Tucson: January 2018


The 2018 workshop has come and gone, you can read a summary of the week hereApplications for 2019 workshop will open early September, 2018.

WHEN: Tuesday evening, January 16 – Sunday noon, January 21, 2018

WHERE: Homewood Suites by Hilton at St. Philips Plaza in Tucson, Arizona (room reservation details below)

WHO: Photographers wishing to take their work to the next level.


I am pleased to announce that I will once again be hosting my Master Class in Tucson in January 2018.  As in the past, this year’s discussions and seminars will be at an ADVANCED level; acceptance is by application only.  Class size is limited.

Each January since 2014, Finding Your Audience: MVS Master Class, has been deemed a great success by participants – read their testimonials on the lower portion of this page.

Join us in Tucson at the start of the new year to jump start your creativity and marketing awareness!  Below are but a few of the many topics we will discuss:

  • Strategies towards securing support for your long-term projects via grants, fellowships, corporate sponsorship and in-kind donations.
  • Understanding the fine print collecting market and how to maximize your investment in exhibitions and portfolio reviews to best engage this audience.
  • Enhancing your self-promotion efforts towards targeted, current, and evolving markets through website, social media and targeted print promotions.
  • Caring for your work: innovative, secure exhibition display and long-term care of your photographs and related paperwork with those who show and collect your work.
  • The role of a well-planned and produced publication, photo book or Portfolio in moving your career forward.
  • Enhancing audience engagement for your work through related educational offerings online or during public exhibitions.
  • The business of your business: reviewing the diverse legal agreements in your art career.
  • Understanding granting commercial licensing of your fine art images, and how to assess value.

Guest Faculty & Artists

  • Behind the scenes visit with staff members at the Center for Creative Photography.
  • Meeting with the staff at Etherton Gallery.
  • Photographer/Editor Joan Liftin on editing a project for publication.
  • Special tour of the lead exhibition at the Tucson Museum of Art with Chief Curator Julie Sasse.
  • Susan Burnstine on the role of a book in your career.
  • Susan kae Grant on producing your own traveling exhibition.
  • Lisa M. Robinson on her creative practice and embracing new projects.
  • Philip Zimmermann (Spaceheater Editions, Tucson) will share his experience producing and selling artist books and his expertise on this growing marketplace.
  • Confirmed as of November 29. 

While much of our time will be spent in the hotel’s classroom, on site visits (Center for Creative Photography and Etherton Gallery) and meeting with Special Guests, time will be scheduled for participants to share their work informally with our group–always a highlight.  Plan on bringing current projects, promotional pieces and publications to share with fellow participants.

The Sonoran Desert is not to be missed! Early risers will have a chance to hike and photograph in the area, and we will save time for an afternoon free to see the local beauty, historic neighborhoods or other area(s) as you wish.

PRIVATE SESSIONS: Each participant will be scheduled for a 30 minute session with Ms. Swanson during or after the workshop, depending on schedules and participant preferences.  If desired, participants can arrange for an additional one-hour sessions before or after the workshop at a special Workshop rate of $200 for that hour (must occur before March 30, 2018).

Come early / Stay late! I hope you will come early/stay late and experience the culture and amazing landscape of Southern Arizona, too; this link provides a great introduction to our area visittucson.org.  Highlights in Tucson or in the near vicinity include Sabino Canyon,  Sonoran Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park,  San Xavier Mission and the Pima Air & Space Museum.  A slightly longer trip (day trip) would bring you to Biosphere 2Kitt Peak National Observatory and Karchner Caverns State Park.

I promise an engaging dialogue about our industry and your practice that will help you focus your energies and unleash your creativity during a wonderful visit to the Sonoran Desert. I look forward to working together in Tucson early in the new year!

Mary Virginia Swanson


We have negotiated a discounted room rate for Workshop Participants at the Homewood Suites by Hilton of $165 + tax per night for standard rooms; this rate is available until January 9, 2018.  You can book a room via a special page for the the MVS Master Class through Hilton’s website here.

All rooms are suites and smoke free and include: daily hot breakfast; dinner, beer and wine each weeknight (Monday – Thursday); full kitchens in every suite with full-size refrigerator and stovetop; and high speed internet as well as a fold-out couch in each suite’s living room. We encourage participants to stay with the rest of the participants at this hotel not just for the proximity to our classroom but also for the opportunity for extended dialogue it affords with classmates, course assistants and guests.  If you are interested in sharing a room with a fellow participant to cut down on your expenses, please let us know and we will do our best to pair roommates.  Note: Spouses / traveling partners have greatly enjoyed this dog-friendly hotel, finding the proximity to walking paths, restaurants, Trader Joe’s as well as the Hotel’s shuttle service (5 mile proximity) makes for diverse options on how to spend their time while we are in class.  The hotel will also pick up groceries for guests upon request.


If you have any questions about the workshop please email mvs@mvswanson.com with MVS Master Class in the subject line.

*Those who have taken a workshop with MVS in the past 3 years qualify for the Alumni tuition rate.  Being a consulting client does not qualify you for the alumni tuition rate.  Acceptance is not guaranteed  unless you have previously been accepted to the MVS Master Class.

ALL IMAGES © 2016 Kathleen Dreier, all rights reserved.


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