A few years ago I learned about community supported art. Minneapolis-based Springboard for the Arts created a successful program in their community along with a replication kit that launched the idea around the country. From the start, I loved the simplicity of it. That it took art outside of traditional spaces while paying artists. That it invited artists and the community to become partners in expanding the definition of art collector. And that it embraced art as part of the buy local movement.
Last winter we finally launched the Triangle’s first CSA with a call for proposals. We got a great response and a panel of art writers, curators and artists selected seven contributors: Tamara Galiano Bagnell, JR Butler, Kimberley Pierce Cartwright, Heather Gordon, Warren Hicks, Gracelee Lawrence and Matt Zigler. They are based around the region and their work reflects the diversity of visual art created in our community from ceramics to video.
Along the way, I’ve asked our artists to help me capture the process of bringing their proposed ideas to life — I’ve visited their studios and they’ve sent me images as their ideas grew from seed to sprout (you can see some on Facebook). We’re finally seeing the first “crop” come in and it is fantastic. The time, attention and work that it takes to craft an object well, to give it meaning and make it enduring, that takes a lot of practice and patience, but you’ll see it in our artists’ work.
As of today, we have 27 members. They’ll take home new artworks at our pick-up events in September and October and, along with the artists, they are partners in bringing the CSA movement to the Triangle. I hope you’ll join us in building the movement both here and across the US.
Learn more about our CSA and sign up at buylocalart.org. You can find our FAQ here. And as a special extra, all members who sign up by September 10 are entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate to Durham-based Craven Allen House of Frames and Gallery.