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WonderRoot

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WonderRoot’s CSA for Art – Um, Yes Please

Oh WonderRoot, you so fill this advocate’s heart.  I was blown away by the Imaginary Million event which encouraged the collecting culture between Atlanta’s artists with an art exhibit and auction exclusively for artists (only the 100 participating artists were allowed to bid on the exhibited art with $10,000 imaginary dollars each).  And then!  Then they go and create a CSA – Community Supported Art. A traditional CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is also known as “subscription farming”.  You buy a subscription from a local farmer and in return you receive a “share” of fresh, locally grown or raised produce – most often a weekly box of goodies.

WonderRoot’s CSA works like this:  50 shares are made available to the public at $300 each.  This money is used to commission nine local artists to create a piece of art in an edition of 50.  Each shareholder will receive nine original works of art (one from each artist) throughout the year.

The artists are paid in advance to create work, 50 people receive beautiful original art, and invest in their local art ecology.  I think my head is going to explode.

WR_CSA_infographic3
WR_CSA_infographic3

This is a model that should be replicated all over.  In this case a community arts organization led the charge.  A group of artists could also collaborate and create their own CSA.  It is a win-win for everyone.  Go.  Do this.  Right now.

Looking for help creating your own innovative ideas to connect new audiences to your work?  That's what Crusade for Art is all about.  Read more here.

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One Hit Wonders and Art

On Monday I moderated a panel on collecting, hosted by WonderRoot and aimed toward the Atlanta business community. The panelists included a curator, artist and collector (and everyone was a bit of all three, to be honest), and it was really interesting to hear about this passion of mine – building collectors and getting people excited about art – from different perspectives. For the most part we all agreed on the basics and built on each other’s comments, but there was one topic that caused a split between the panelists. The question was this: How important is it to like an artist’s entire body of work when deciding whether or not to buy a piece of art?

I say, unapologetically, very important. This is how I see it – You are becoming that artist’s collector. You are investing in their career and taking an interest in their future. I feel there is so much amazing art out there, why settle for a piece that you like, but you don’t respect the rest of the collection? I want to look at something on my wall and feel good about the image and the talent and consistency of the artist I am supporting.

I would not dissuade anyone from buying art. If you love something, and it speaks to you, and you just have to have it – then by all means. But all things being equal, if you love horses and you see a horse image that you are really drawn to, but then look at the rest of the artist’s work and think it is crap – keep looking. Horses abound in art. You can have it all.

To me, buying a piece and then realizing that the artist is not someone you find talented or care to support is like putting the bumper sticker of a one-hit-wonder band on your car before you buy the album. One of the other panelists argued that although Pure Prairie League is a one-hit wonder, “Amie” is still a fabulous song. I can’t argue with that, and so I agree there is room here to consider other factors (if the piece is not that expensive, has a quality that just hits you a certain way, etc), but as a general rule I would rather have an R.E.M. bumper sticker than Chumbawumba.

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Bus Bash

On Saturday we had the big reveal of Lady Blue at the Bus Bash event at WonderRoot. It was a mini trial-run of what the pop-up shows will be like on the road trip next year, as well as a fundraiser for the trip and for WonderRoot's artist exhibition fund. In case you missed it, here you have four hours of fun condensed into one minute of video.

Welcome the bus party in May

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Pitching the Art Tent

Since we are not art festival veterans and purchased our tent (without instructions) off Craigs List, Meghan and I thought it would be a good idea to give it a trial run before the Bus Bash Saturday morning. Generally I'm a pretty competent putter-togetherer of things, but I do tend to finish a project with at least one unused piece, resulting in a mostly functional but slightly shabbily constructed finished product. Eh, details. Here's a quick (very quick) video of the trial run - pitched up right in the gallery. And yes, there are a few unused parts. . . they're probably not important.

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