I’m liking the concept behind the Brooklyn Community Supported Art + Design program. Essentially it is a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) program, but instead of getting a basket of veggies delivered to your door, you invest in an artist.
There are two tiers: $500 for 6 pieces of art, or $250 for 3 pieces. Artists are chosen through a juried system and include a variety of disciplines including painting, printmaking, sculpture, textile, collage, and more. Once you invest in the CSA+D program, the artists will create the pieces and investors will pick them up at an event celebrating the completion of the works.
It sounds like a really interesting way to get involved in your local community art culture, and helping support local artists while snagging some booty yourself. Though it is unclear if you get to choose your artist, the medium, or the actual piece you will receive, which would be a deal breaker for me. Not that I don’t like surprises, I just don’t like $500 surprises that I’ve paid for. What happens if you hate every single piece that was made? Seems unlikely, but I’m also seriously picky about everything so…
As someone who is involved with artists fairly regularly, or at least has access to them, it seems so much easier to just find an artist you love and ask if they make commission pieces. Though, I’m not very adventurous, and maybe getting mystery art at the end of a quarter is a thrill. It’s certainly a way to discover new talent, for good or bad, and that is an experience worth having if you’ve got some fun money. In the scheme of things, if the works you receive are limited edition or one-of-a-kind, then $250 for 3 pieces is a bargain for sure.
This type of program has been in place in a few other cities, stating in St. Paul, MN. It has since spread to dozens of other areas across the United States, and is actually in place in an area local to me and I had no idea (whoops!). It’s a promising trend in exposing communities to the arts that they may not have access to otherwise, and for people looking to expand their art collections with a little mystery. If you want to bring this program to your area and see some of the participating artists, Springboard for the Arts offers a Start Up Kit on their site!